Accessing Interpreting and Translating Services

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

Schools with students and families from language backgrounds other than English need to ensure that information relating to school programs and student progress is made available to parents in their first language.

To facilitate this, the Department provides schools with access to qualified/accredited interpreters, in line with Victorian government policy to help Victorians from culturally and linguistically diverse communities deal with government departments and agencies. All schools have been provided with the guidelines and booking forms.

    Guidelines for interpreting and translating

Interpreting and translating services are available free to government schools, if they fall within the established guidelines. This service is not available to assist individual students in classrooms, or support curriculum related activities.

See: Guidelines for using interpreting and translating services  (doc - 116.5kb)

On-site interpreters

The Department has a contract with Victorian Interpreting and Translating Service (VITS) to provide these services using qualified and accredited interpreters and translators for the 2014 to 2018 school years. This service is available free to government schools and early childhood services - delivered or funded by the Department - within established guidelines.

Booking online is the preferred option. Bookings should be made as early as possible. To book an interpreter, see: Victorian Interpreting and Translating Service

Telephone interpreters

VITS also provides a telephone interpreting service that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Telephone interpreting may not be appropriate in some circumstances or if an interview is likely to be longer than 60 minutes.

For instructions on using the telephone interpreting service or a list of interpreting phone numbers, see the VITS information kits. Alternatively, call VITS on 03 9280 1955 for more information.

VITS can also offer video interpreting services. 

Translating school-specific notices

Translation services are not normally available for Department-funded services unless there are extenuating circumstances. Direct your enquiries to the appropriate contact listed in the Guidelines.

Schools may request translation of other documents that fall into specific categories and are within maximum word limits. This service is available free to government schools within established guidelines. 

To request translation services, complete the Translation booking request form (pdf - 230.1kb) and contact VITS via: 

Electronic documents for translation can be uploaded via the client portal.

Service contract

Interpreting and translating services are provided to schools by VITS on behalf of the Department through a tender process. VITS currently holds the contract until the end of 2018.

For more information about Victorian Interpreting and Translating Service, see:

To view an online version of the VITS' welcome kit which has been distributed to all schools, see:

Assignments that fall outside the guidelines

Translation of documents or interpreters requests for assignments that fall outside the guidelines can be arranged. In such cases, requests should be made directly to VITS, or another accredited interpreting and translating agency, who will bill directly.

International students

Please note that interpreting and translating services for full fee-paying overseas students for whom the school is collecting a fee are not provided for under these guidelines. Schools should deal directly with an interpreting and translating agency for assignments concerning these students. 

Victorian Government policy and procedures

Improving the Use of Translating and Interpreting Services – A Guide to Victorian Government Policy and Procedures is published by the Victorian Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship (OMAC).

This guide sets out the Government's position: people who cannot speak English need to be able to access professional interpreting and translating services where significant life decisions are concerned, and where essential information is being communicated.

The Guide provides direction to Departments and agencies on the use of interpreters and translators, and offers practical advice on obtaining high quality language services.

Improving the Use of Translating and Interpreting Services: A Guide to Victorian Government Policy and Procedures has been divided into sections for ease of downloading. To access these sections, see: