Code of Professional Ethics and Conduct
(Text approved by AITI Members at the General Meeting held on 13 April 2013)
It is the task of translators and interpreters to ensure written and oral communication between speakers of different languages. They shall work in the interests of peace, security, justice, health, well-being and the economic, scientific and cultural development of peoples.
Article 1. Scope of Application
This Code of Professional Ethics and Conduct (hereinafter “Code”) shall apply to all translators and interpreters who are members of the Associazione Italiana Traduttori e Interpreti (“AITI” or “the Association”) during the exercise of their profession and in their relations both with members of the Association and with third parties.
With the aim of guaranteeing proper professional standards, it is to be hoped that translators and interpreters who do not belong to a professional association may also apply this Code’s principles in their work.
Article 2. Disciplinary and Regulatory Powers
In the event of a breach of this Code, power to impose sanctions in accordance with AITI’S Articles of Association and sets of Regulations, shall vest in the Association’s disciplinary bodies.
Article 3. Sanctions
I. In the event of a breach of this Code, the Association may impose sanctions on its members. A sanction may take the form of a warning, a censure, exclusion or expulsion, according to the gravity of the matter and any recidivism, and having taken account of the specific objective and subjective circumstances that led to the breach. The Articles of Association and their related implementing Regulations shall specify the sanctions and the procedures for the different kinds of disciplinary proceedings.
II. Any breach of this Code must be communicated in writing solely to the Association’s disciplinary bodies.
Article 4. Intentionality of Actions
Disciplinary liability shall depend on the intentionality of an action quite independently of whether any wilful intention or negligence may be found at the end of civil or criminal proceedings. The behaviour of the person accused shall be assessed in the whole, and only one sanction shall be imposed, even when a number of different charges are brought in one single disciplinary procedure.
Article 5. Duty to Act with Probity and Dignity
I. Translators and interpreters must act with probity and dignity.
II. Translators and interpreters must not knowingly alter the content of an original text for ideological or personal reasons. Any personal opinions must be expressed with moderation and must be clearly separated from the original message.
Article 6. Duty to Act Loyally and Fairly
I. Translators and interpreters shall carry out their professional activities, loyally, fairly, objectively and impartially, thereby laying the foundations for a relationship of trust with the client.
II. Translators and interpreters must in no circumstances derive any personal gain from the information to which they may become privy in the course of their professional activities.
Article 7. Duty to Act Diligently
Translators and interpreters must carry out their professional duties diligently. In particular, they must respect the specifications and terms of an assignment and any other conditions agreed with the client.
Article 8. Duty to Preserve Confidentiality
I. Translators and interpreters shall maintain the utmost confidentiality in relation to all the information and documents to which they become privy in the course of their professional activities. The duty of confidentiality shall not come to an end upon conclusion of the professional service or relationship.
II. Translators and interpreters shall ensure that all persons who assist them in their work or with whom they work together shall comply with the same confidentiality rules.
III. The duty of confidentiality is overridden by legal obligations or requests from public authorities.
Article 9. Duty to Act Independently
I. Translators and interpreters have a duty to maintain their independence in the exercise of their profession. They must be aware of the importance of their work and must maintain their independence both when deciding technical aspects and when choosing their working methods.
II. Translators and interpreters shall reserve the right to draw their client’s attention to any more suitable ways of achieving the purpose of the communication than those proposed and shall ultimately retain independence regarding the linguistic choices relating to the assignment.
Article 10. Duty to Ensure Competence
I. Translators and interpreters shall only accept assignments in the languages and areas of specialisation for which they are qualified and competent.
II. Translators shall only translate into their mother tongue, their language of education and habitual use or a language in which they have a proven equivalent competence.
Article 11. Duty to Ensure Continuing Professional Training
Translators and interpreters have a duty to see to their own professional training, both as regards strictly linguistic skills and as regards their general and specialised cultural grounding. They shall constantly update their skills and knowledge in the areas in which they operate.
Article 12. Duty to Fulfil Social Security and Tax Obligations
Translators and interpreters must comply with the law of the country in which they carry out their professional activities and, more specifically, with their obligations under the social security and tax regimes in force in the country where they are resident for tax purposes.
Article 13. Duty to Avoid Conflicts of Interest
Translators and interpreters shall promptly inform their clients and, where appropriate, those benefitting from a service, of any grounds for a conflict of interest of a personal, economic, ideological or other nature that could compromise the quality and objectivity of the service.
Article 14. Advertising and Publicity
I. Translators and interpreters shall be truthful and precise in all personal advertising and publicity and they shall not jeopardise the decorum of the profession in any way. They shall abstain from all forms of deceptive advertising and publicity and shall not claim to have any qualifications, diplomas or skills that they do not actually possess.
II. All forms of misleading and comparative advertising are prohibited.
Article 15. Prohibition of Misleading or Aggressive Commercial Practices
All misleading and aggressive commercial practices, as defined by the Italian Consumer Code (Legislative Decree No. 206 of 6 September 2005) are expressly prohibited.
Article 16. Relationship of Trust
All professional activities are founded on a relationship of trust. Translators and interpreters must personally carry out the assignment entrusted to them and must not delegate it to others without their client’s prior consent.
Article 17. Duty to Inform
I. The purpose of the professional service must not conflict with the objectives set out in the preliminary and must not prejudice inviolable human rights or the principles underpinning democracies. Translators and interpreters must not carry out assignments that could, in all likelihood, involve them in illegal activities.
II. Translators and interpreters must inform their clients both of the working conditions that are applicable to the assignment and of their own linguistic, extra-linguistic and technical skills as they are relevant to the service requested.
III. Translators and interpreters must inform their clients about aspects relating to quality standards and professional best practice and must communicate the best way of achieving the assignment’s purpose, taking into account that the professional methods used must meet the needs not only of the client but also of those benefitting from the service, and the person who writes or delivers a text orally.
IV. Should the methods requested by the client significantly prejudice the purpose and/or quality of the service, the translator or interpreter has the right to refuse the assignment and shall immediately notify the client accordingly.
V. The client and those benefitting from a service must be specifically informed that any admission of error or request for clarification by the translator or interpreter is not to be considered a sign of incompetence but, rather, a demonstration of professional integrity directed at achieving the objectives set out in the preliminary.
Article 18. Assignment Specifications
I. Translators and interpreters shall check that the assignment’s terms and conditions are stated clearly and, where possible, in writing. They shall encourage clients to confer assignments sufficiently in advance to ensure the quality of the service and shall urge them to provide all the information required to identify the assignment’s specific purpose and the means by which the work will be disseminated.
II. Translators and interpreters shall likewise urge clients to provide every kind of information, document, material or contact that may contribute to the quality of the service, and shall guarantee to preserve their confidentiality.
Article 19. Fair Remuneration
I. Translators and interpreters shall refrain from providing their services in exchange for remuneration that is not commensurate with the quality of their work.
II. Remuneration for services rendered must be calculated on the basis of the translator’s or interpreter’s specific skills, his/her training and experience, the technical difficulty of the assignment, the research required, the deadlines agreed, any expenses incurred, investments made or any additional outlay.
III. Translators and interpreters shall avoid proposing or accepting remuneration subject to discounts or reductions that may constitute a form of unfair competition with their colleagues.
Article 20. Fellowship
Translators and interpreters must always maintain a cordial and loyal attitude towards colleagues and other professional figures with whom they come into contact in order to encourage peaceful and proper professional co-operation.
Article 21. Non-solicitation of Clients
When translators and interpreters work in a group or team, they must scrupulously respect the interests of their colleagues and shall undertake to preserve the relations that their colleagues have with the client.
Article 22. Information regarding Colleagues
Translators and interpreters must refrain from expressing in public or to clients opinions that could damage the professional reputation of a colleague. Any technical opinions or assessments must be expressed in a balanced, objective manner.
Article 23. Relations with Other Associations
AITI members who also belong to other associations or groups in which they hold representative office or by which they may have been delegated to act, must refrain from acting as AITI spokespersons at meetings between associations, so as to avoid conflict situations.
Approved by AITI Members at the General Meeting held on 13 April 2013