Telephone interpreting

On demand and pre-booked telephone interpreting services are available through a national provider. Some Aboriginal languages can be accessed through the South Australian Government Aboriginal Interpreter Service.

The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) can be used by schools if the assignment meets the Interpreting and translations guidelines (staff only) (PDF 313KB).

TIS National – On demand interpreting

To request a common language interpreter when needed from any location follow the steps:

  1. Phone 131 450
  2. Say the language you require
  3. Answer Yes to having a registered account
  4. Answer No to having an ATIS account
  5. Once connected to the operator, provide *your details, the **client's details and the Department's ***client code to the operator
  6. If the client is not with you, the operator will call the interpreter and the client and connect them to you for a three way conversation
  7. If the client is with you, the operator will call the interpreter and connect them to you for your interpreting assignment.


*Provide your full name, telephone number and name of the school or office.

**Provide the client's name, if known, and telephone number if the client is not with you.

***Quote the *Client Code found in the Interpreting and translations guidelines (staff only) (PDF 313KB) or by phoning 7814 3124.

The operator will locate an interpreter immediately in most cases.

If the client is with you make sure you are using a speaker phone in a quiet location.

Brief the interpreter about the purpose of the call and make sure you keep the information to be interpreted at any one time short, with one idea per sentence.

Make sure you include a pause after each sentence, so that the participants don't talk over each other or cut each other off.

TIS National – Pre-booked interpreting

New procedures

Prebooking of telephone interpreters must be done via TIS Online. If you are a registered user login to your account and choose the correct option for the type of booking you want to make. If you are not yet registered to use the online booking system, please follow these instructions to request registration.

How to register with TIS National for prebooked telephone interpreting

You must register to use the TIS online booking form. The quickest way to register is to email and request registration for their online booking system. Your email should contain a signature block including the school name, your position, your phone number and email address. You must also provide the department's client code in the email. The client code can be found in the Interpreting and translations guidelines 2023 (staff only) (PDF 313KB) or by phoning 7814 3124. TIS National will send you an email with a password activation link. Please click on the activation link. Once you have set up your password you can book your prebooked telephone interpreter.

When completing the TIS online booking form be sure to add the school name in the invoice reference field.

If you have difficulties using the TIS Online system please phone TIS National on 1300 655 820 and ask for help.

When to prebook your telephone interpreter call

Pre-book a telephone interpreter when a language is not common or when a specific time is required, such as a meeting with a parent. Please note because of high demand, TIS now requires at least 48 hours minimum notice for them to be able to service pre-booked requests. When completing the booking request:

  • Provide the school's details and department client code, found in the Interpreting and translations guidelines 2023 (staff only) (PDF 313KB).
  • Accurately indicate the start and end time for the pre-booked call. Note - Charges apply for the time requested even if the call ends early.
  • TIS National will send a confirmation to your nominated email address when this request is received and another confirmation (including your job number) when an interpreter has been allocated to your phone booking.
    • If you don't receive confirmation of your booking or for other booking queries, contact TIS on 1300 655 820..
  • Follow the instructions on your confirmation notice when making the call.

South Australian Government – Aboriginal language service

  • Call ALIS on 1800 280 203, quote the name - NSW Department of Education and a Customer Service Officer will help you with the booking
  • Use the “Make a Booking” tab on ITC’s website , (for non-urgent requests only) and fill out the booking form. An email confirmation with the booking number will be sent to you once the booking is made
  • Send an email to, (for non-urgent requests only), and a Customer Service Officers will help you to make a booking.

Note: all bookings will be in the Adelaide time zone.

The languages currently available are Anmatyerre, Arrernte Eastern, Pintupi-Luritja, Pitjantjatjara, Warlpiri, Yankunytjatjara. If you need a different language let the service know as they are recruiting regularly.

National Relay Service

Use the National Relay Service to assist communication with the deaf or those with a speech impairment.

For more information contact the National Relay Service helpdesk on 1800 555 660, Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm.


  • School operations

Business Unit:

  • Educational Standards
  • Teaching, Learning and Student Wellbeing
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