Code of Professional Ethics

1. Scope and purpose

This Code of Professional Ethics governs the conduct of conference interpreters who are members of the Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators (hereafter ‘the BDÜ ’) in professional settings .

2. Code of Professional Conduct of the BDÜ

This Code of Professional Ethics supplements the Arbitration and Disciplinary Committee Rules of the BDÜ (dated November 3/4, 2001, Heidelberg). Should there be any contradiction between this Code of Professional Ethics and the Arbitration and Disciplinary Committee Rules, the latter shall prevail.

3. Professional Title

Only members of the BDÜ who are conference interpreters and have submitted a relevant application as well as proof of 200 days’ experience as conference interpreters shall be entitled to refer to themselves as ‘Conference Interpreters VKD-Senior in the BDÜ’. They shall be under no obligation to actually use this designation.

4. Unfair Competition

BDÜ Conference Interpreters shall refrain from engaging in unfair competition, specifically from any kind of competition that is capable of damaging the reputation of the conference interpreting profession. In particular, unfair competition shall mean

  • the premeditated, deliberate undercutting of prices with the aim of squeezing out or damaging competitors,
  • the deception of clients by producing unclear quotes,
  • inappropriate criticism concerning colleagues voiced vis-à-vis third parties in order to improve one’s own standing.

5. Professional Qualification

BDÜ Conference Interpreters shall only accept assignments for which they are sufficiently qualified.

6. Exercise of the Profession

Members of VKD im BDÜ e.V. undertake to exercise their profession to the best of their knowledge and belief and in an unbiased and impartial manner.

7. Confidentiality

BDÜ Conference Interpreters undertake to treat all information they are provided with in connection with an assignment in strict confidence and to not use it for their own benefit.

8. Cooperation

BDÜ Conference Interpreters undertake to cooperate constructively with their fellow conference interpreters.

8.1 A BDÜ Conference Interpreter who is requested to organise conference interpreting services (‘Consultant Interpreter’)  shall select the interpreting team subject to the provisions of this Code of Professional Ethics. They shall be under no obligation to use BDÜ Conference Interpreters only.
A special measure of mutual trust is required between a Consultant Interpreter and the members of their team to ensure the success of an assignment.

8.2 The members of a team who are selected by a Consultant Interpreter for a given assignment undertake to cooperate with and support each other. Their external appearance is that of a team. The Consultant Interpreter shall be the first point of contact for any concerns regarding working conditions or contractual issues. On principle, the Consultant Interpreter shall function as an intermediary between the team and the client.
Consultant Interpreters undertake to provide special assistance to recently qualified conference interpreters.

9. Place of Domicile

BDÜ Conference Interpreters undertake to have their professional place of domicile listed in the database of members. Only one place of domicile may be indicated.

10. Violations of this Code of Professional Ethics

Compliance with this Code of Professional Ethics shall be monitored by the Executive Board and  the Admissions Committee of the VKD.

Complaints concerning violations of this Code of Professional Ethics shall be addressed to the Executive Board of Verband der Konferenzdolmetscher (VKD) im BDÜ e.V., which shall notify the Admissions Committee.

Adopted on February 4, 2006 at the AGM in Erfurt (confirmed on February 17, 2007 at the AGM in Frankfurt/Main; amended on January 27, 2013 at the AGM in Dresden, amended on January 30, 2016 at the AGM in Bonn).

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