MCIS COVID-19 Response
Updates for Language Professionals

MCIS has been closely following guidelines from provincial and federal governments, and has decided to resume in-person interpretation services as of July 1, 2020.

Please ensure that you take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and those around you, including your family, friends, our extended community and clients.

We would also like to remind you of the following requirements prior to taking an assignment, and again before leaving for an assignment:

  1. Check for any symptoms and complete an online self-assessment to reduce potential risks to yourself and others, before going on a face-to-face assignment;
  2. Inform MCIS immediately if you are unable to complete a job due to the abovementioned concerns;
  3. Follow public health guidelines at ALL times on prevention and risks, including appropriate masks/face coverings, use of gloves and hygiene practices;
  4. Do NOT accept or proceed with any in-person interpretation jobs, if you have any symptoms or have come in contact with an individual suspected of having COVID-19.

MCIS continues to encourage customers to request remote services via phone and video platforms, where possible. We continue to request that our customers inform us of any potential risks to our interpreters and insist that extend the same protective measures to you, our interpreters, as they do their own staff members.

Thank you for your service, continued support and patience during these extraordinary times.

The Government has announced various measures to support self-employed / freelance contractors, which may be applicable to you – our interpreters and translators – affected by COVID-19. MCIS will continue to monitor any additional support the government may announce and provide information on those measures, as they become available, on this website. The updated information on these measures is available below.

We would like to assure you that your health and safety is of utmost concern to MCIS. We are monitoring all information provided by public health authorities and following official guidelines to minimize risks to our interpreters, staff, service providers and customers.

What is MCIS is doing to manage risks to interpreters?

  • MCIS is monitoring the situation and will be providing regular updates when new information becomes available through public health authorities.
  • We have resumed the provision of in-person interpretation services as July 1, 2020.
  • MCIS continues to ask service providers to consider the health and safety of our interpreters on assignments, by extending the same protection measures to our interpreters as are in place for their own staff. In-person interpretation services will not be provided unless these measures are in place.
  • MCIS is asking service providers to consider the use of remote interpretation services (telephone, video) in cases where interpreters may be exposed, or at an increased risk.
  • MCIS has created training on the provision of remote interpretation services and they are available on our website free of charge.
  • MCIS has launched a new in-house immediate interpretation service in select languages to offer interpreters additional income-earning opportunities. We are also working with partners to further expand these opportunities for our interpreters to compensate for the decline in revenue as a result of the COVID-19 emergency.
  • MCIS is also planning to be prepared in case of a rapid change in the status of the outbreak to ensure we remain operational and continue to provide access to critical services at a time when they are needed most, while taking all precautions to protect the health and safety of our interpreters.

What should interpreters do to minimize risk to themselves and clients?

  • Follow measures recommended by public health authorities to protect yourself and prevent the spread of the virus. Latest PHAC recommendations are available here.
  • Avoid all non-essential travel and follow travel advisories which you may consult here.
  • If you do attend an in-person appointment, make sure you request that you are given the same personal protective equipment (PPE) as the service provider. If you encounter any challenges, inform MCIS immediately.

Public health risk is continually reassessed as new information becomes available. MCIS will continue to monitor and provide updates.

Thank you all for your support and dedication in ensuring that we continue to provide access to critical information and services to the most vulnerable.

Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to let us know.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am concerned about the spread of the virus and do not want the service provider to touch my phone in order to sign the verification of service form. What should I do?

In response to feedback received from customers and interpreters, MCIS is waiving the requirement to collect the service provider’s signature on your smartphone at the end of the assignment. Instead, please sign yourself in the presence of the service provider.

I have some cold symptoms but they are mild and I am sure it’s just a cold. Can I accept assignments?

We would also like to remind you of the following requirements prior to taking an assignment, and again before leaving for an assignment: 

  1. Check for any symptoms and complete an online self-assessment to reduce potential risks to yourself and others, before going on a face-to-face assignment;
  2. Inform MCIS immediately if you are unable to complete a job due to the abovementioned concerns;
  3. Follow public health guidelines at ALL times on prevention and risks, including appropriate masks/face coverings, use of gloves and hygiene practices;
  4. Do NOT accept or proceed with any in-person interpretation jobs, if you have any symptoms or have come in contact with an individual suspected of having COVID-19.

If you experience any symptoms associated with the coronavirus (fever, cough, difficulty breathing), please do NOT accept any face-to-face assignments over the next 14 days. For assignments you are already booked for, please contact MCIS immediately. This is extremely important, as more and more service providers will be conducting screenings and if you show symptoms that are of concern, they may cancel the appointment to avoid risks to their staff/clients.

I was feeling fine when I accepted the assignment but now I have cold symptoms and the assignment is tomorrow. What should I do?

If you have a confirmed in-person interpretation job, and your health does not allow you to complete the job, please contact MCIS immediately so that the job can be reassigned.

Please check your inbox for emails on job status updates such as cancellation/change notifications from MCIS. There is no need to call us as we will be contacting you, and jobs are being cancelled or rescheduled based on the delivery date. The job status information and remote job opportunities are always available on our vendor portal.

Kindly note, remote interpretation (telephone or video) and can be fulfilled from a secure location at home.

If you experience any symptoms associated with the coronavirus (fever, cough, difficulty breathing), please do NOT accept any face-to-face assignments over the next 14 days. For assignments you are already booked for, please contact MCIS immediately. This is extremely important, as more and more service providers will be conducting screenings and if you show symptoms that are of concern, they may cancel the appointment to avoid risks to their staff/clients.

I have recently travelled to [anywhere outside of Canada]. What should I do?

Inform MCIS immediately if you have travelled outside of Canada within the past 14 days. In addition, please refer to the Government of Canada’s emergency measures regarding recent travel.

Do I need to have my ID badge?

YES, please make sure you have your MCIS ID card on you every time you are on an assignment. Due to the outbreak, many facilities will have enhanced security and screening processes in place and you may not be permitted in the facility without your interpreter ID. If you do not have an MCIS interpreter ID, contact info@mcis.on.ca immediately, and include a headshot that can be used to create your ID.

Will I be paid if the service provider decides to cancel the assignment last minutes?

Yes. The usual cancellation rules apply. If the booked assignment is cancelled with less than 24 hours of notice, you will be paid for booked time.

If one of my family members is sick or has symptoms, what should I do? Can I still accept jobs?

Please follow/refer to public health guidelines. If you or your family members have symptoms, please inform MCIS immediately. We will work with the service provider to establish whether remote services are a possibility.

I am self-employed – what benefit is available to me if I am sick or quarantined?

As The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) has come to an end, the Government has launched a suite of 3 new recovery benefits to provide needed support to Canadians who continue to face financial hardship. Based on the information currently available, you may be eligible for the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) that would provide you with an income of up to $400 per week for up to 26 weeks.

The new Canada Recovery Benefit is effective from September 27, 2020, for one year and would provide a benefit amount of $400 per week for up to 26 weeks to workers who are not eligible for EI.

The benefit would be available to residents in Canada who:

  • are at least 15 years old and have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • have stopped working due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are available and looking for work; or are working and have had a reduction in their employment/self-employment income for reasons related to COVID-19
  • are not eligible for EI
  • had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or 2020, and
  • have not quit their job voluntarily

In addition, the government has announced the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) and Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) which are also effective from September 27, 2020 for one year.

To request any supporting documentation from MCIS, please fill in the online information request form.

For more information, please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/news/2020/08/supporting-canadians-through-the-next-phase-of-the-economy-re-opening-increased-access-to-ei-and-recovery-benefits.html 

I have never done video interpretation before. How can I prepare to do video interpretation assignments?

There are several things you can do to prepare for video interpretation assignments. The first thing is to make sure you have a reliable internet connection, as well as a working computer, microphone and headset. You will also need to set up a quiet, private place where you can complete the assignment without interruption. As different service providers use different platforms to complete video interpretation, you can prepare ahead of time by researching the most common video conferencing tools and getting familiar with them. Some of the most commonly used video conferencing tools are: Zoom, Webex, GoToMeeting. They are a good start. You can also use tools available online to test your audio and video connection ahead of time, to avoid technical issues during an assignment. One such tool is available here. MCIS will also be conducting webinars on doing remote and those will be available soon, so stay tuned.

FROM THE TRAINING DEPARTMENT

Dear Language Professionals,

With the COVID-19 pandemic upon us, we would like to provide you with an update on the measures MCIS’ Training Department is taking. The health, safety, and well-being of our facilitators and students is our top priority. We are taking all distancing measures possible to help our community #FlattenTheCurve.

We encourage you to use this time to upgrade your skills by taking one of our many online training programs. These flexible training programs are offered to help you build your skills as freelance interpreters and translators, improve your qualifications and will provide you with greater opportunities once the quarantine is lifted.

For more information on our courses and programs, please visit our Training webpage. If you have any questions regarding the courses or training programs, please reach out to our engagement team at engagement@mcis.on.ca and they will be more than happy to answer your questions.

We will be posting our monthly promotions on this page, so please check in every month to see what promotions we’re offering.

Just a reminder: MCIS is not offering in-person CILISAT testing until further notice. If you would like to be tested during this time, please inquire with our partner CITG Canada who offer online ILSAT/CILISAT testing at interpreter_oral_test_booking@citgcanada.org.

Stay safe and well!

Please see our latest promotions below:

April Special Offers – Online Training Programs

Save 20% off ALL Online Language Training Programs – April 15 to May 15

Online Language Interpreter Training (OLIT)

Online Translator Training Program (OTTP) (90 PDUs):

Save 10% off ANY Continued Competence Course (with the purchase of OLIT or OTTP)
Offer Valid until May 4

Interpretation

  • Cardiovascular Disease Training (6 PDUs)
  • Interpreting for LGBTQIA Newcomers (2 PDUs)
  • Anti-Oppression Training (2 PDUs)
  • Interpreting for Survivors of Human Trafficking (2 PDUs)
  • Interpreting for Survivors of Sexual Violence (2 PDUs)
  • Mental Health & Autism (2 PDUs)

Register Online

Translation

  • Managing a Translation Business (12 PDUs)
  • Introduction to Localization (4 PDUs)
  • Introduction to Transcription (3 PDUs)
  • Introduction to AVT-Subtitling (5 PDUs)
  • Introduction to Advertising Translation (4 PDUs)
  • Introduction to Technical and Scientific Translation (3 PDUs)
  • Introduction to Business Translation (3 PDUs)
  • Introduction to Financial Translation (4 PDUs)

Register Online

Information Session

If you would like more information on our Training Programs, please sign up for our online Information Session in April.