thebigword supports The National Police Language Services Awards

Every day of the year, interpreters attend police stations and other locations in all weathers and at all times of the day and night to assist police officers with investigations and enquiries by interpreting for victims of crime, witnesses and detained persons.  The police forces of England and Wales are unable to effectively carry out their duties without the help, support and assistance of over 2000 Police Approved Interpreters on the growing PAIT List.

Each assignment is unique for the interpreter attending and brings unique challenges, experiences and stresses for that Interpreter.  Much like the lives of police officers and other emergency workers, the Interpreter will often put their work before their family life, relationship or household chores in order to support a police investigation.

The Awards 2022

The National Police Language Services Awards are a celebration of the work undertaken by all police interpreters, whilst seeking to highlight excellence, determination and dedication through three distinct awards:

  1. The Simon Cole Award for Excellence
  2. Spoken Language Interpreter of the Year
  3. Non-Spoken Language Interpreter of the Year

The Simon Cole Award is for an interpreter or translator who has demonstrated considerable expertise, dedication, determination and support to policing over a protracted period of time and may well include activity outside of the 2022 period.

Interpreters, Language Service Providers (LSPs) and members of a police service may submit their nominations for all three awards. Judges will consider all entries and decide on finalists.

Criteria for nominating

To be nominated for an award, an interpreter will have demonstrated one or more of the following behaviours:

  1. Exceptional skill in dealing with a difficult, protracted or distressing police assignment
  2. Determination, perseverance or patience in difficult circumstances
  3. Dedication to police service in the way they have arranged their domestic circumstances in order to be available for police assignments, or to attend a specific assignment.

Offering exceptional support to an investigation above and beyond that expected of an Interpreter.

These behaviours are NOT exclusive and the judges will consider other examples that would be deemed suitable for an award.

Nominating Procedure

A nomination form will need to be completed in full and then sent to

This form can be downloaded from the National Police Language Services website: National Police Language Services awards 2022 | (

Nominations MUST be received before 5pm on Friday 3rd February to be considered for awards.

The circumstances will need to be verified by the LSP that assigned the interpreter to the event. Those supported by the LSPs will be sent back to Leicestershire Police.

Once all nominations have been received, the judges will meet to deliberate and consider their chosen award winners.

The judges will be drawn from a number of disciplines and will include members of the police service, representatives of the LSPs and independent interpreters.

A moderating panel will oversee the decisions to ensure fairness and confirm the final awards. This panel will not include LSP members or interpreters, but will be made up of experienced professionals with suitable skills, experience and understanding of language services to enable them to consider and then ratify the decisions made by the judges.

The moderating panel decisions are final.

Qualifying Period for Assignments

For a nomination for Interpreter of the Year Award to be considered, it must have commenced, or concluded in the year preceding the year the awards are held i.e. January 2022 – January 2023.