Code of conduct

(Pursuant to Article 27-bis of Legislative Decree no. 206 of 6 September 2005)


Translators and interpreters have the task to convey, in the language into which they translate, the same concepts and messages contained in the source text, without addition or omission, and to the best of their professional skills, respecting all of the linguistic and cultural aspects of the source text. Translators and interpreters shall facilitate communication and dialogue while remaining neutral.

Title I – General principles

This code of ethics and conduct shall apply to all translators and interpreters who are members of A.N.I.T.I. in the conduct of their professional activities and in their relations with each other, with clients and third parties.

It shall be the responsibility of the Ethics Committee, after consulting with the Board of Directors, to impose sanctions that are appropriate and proportional to any breach of this code of conduct.
Sanctions shall be appropriate to the gravity of the matters and take into account any recidivism, and the specific individual and external circumstances that contributed to the breach of this code.

Disciplinary liability derives from intentional non-compliance with the duties and rules set out in the sections below, including non-compliance deriving from omission to act. In deciding on any potential expulsion proceedings, the Ethics Committee may, at its discretion, conduct an assessment not only on the specific alleged breach, but also on the overall behaviour of the member, taking into account the gravity of the breach, whether the breach is recurring and the specific individual and external circumstances which led to the breach.

When exercising professional activities abroad, translators and interpreters are subject to local codes of ethics applicable in the country where the activity is carried out, if there are reciprocal rules. In case of conflict, the local rules shall prevail.

Translators and interpreters shall base their conduct on a duty of integrity, dignity and decorum. In the exercise of their profession, translators and interpreters may not express political opinions or issue personal and public statements about their political or religious views. Through their translation activity, translators or interpreters shall not knowingly contribute to the perpetration of offences or illegal acts.

Translators and interpreters shall carry out their professional activity with loyalty and fairness. Translators and interpreters are prohibited from receiving any personal advantage from information acquired in the exercise of their profession or the performance of an engagement. Interpreters shall perform their duties with objectivity and impartiality, and court interpreters shall always keep in mind that they operate in the superior interest of Justice. Translators shall perform, personally and to workmanlike standards, the engagement assigned to them.

Translators and interpreters shall fulfil their professional duties with diligence. In particular they shall comply with the procedures and the conditions of the engagement. Translators shall also meet any terms of delivery if these have been expressly agreed in writing. They shall also be responsible for the form and layout of the translated text.

It is the duty of translators and interpreters to keep any information about the services provided absolutely secret and generally keep confidential all information regarding details of business transacted. Translators and interpreters shall ensure the protection of documents and data in their possession.
Translators and interpreters shall also ensure that their staff, employees and trainees and, in any case, anyone cooperating in the performance of their professional activities, respect the professional duty of confidentiality.

Translators and interpreters, in the exercise of their profession, have a duty to maintain their independence and defend the accuracy of their translation from external pressures or conditioning.
Members of A.N.I.T.I. should not engage in any activity as agent in the field of translation and interpreting.
Cooperation between professionals in their respective languages and areas of expertise shall not be construed as an agency activity.
Translators and interpreters shall not act in pursuance of personal interests.

Translators and interpreters shall not accept assignments that they know they cannot carry out with sufficient expertise. In any event, translators and interpreters shall inform their customers of any circumstances that could prevent the provision of the requested service, communicating any need to supplement their services with those of another colleague.
The acceptance of a certain professional appointment shall constitute grounds to assume that the translator or interpreter possesses the skills to carry out the assignment.

Translators and interpreters have a duty to ensure their continuing professional development, both in the strictly linguistic field and with regard to their general and specialist knowledge with particular reference to the sectors in which they carry out their activity.

Translators and interpreters have a duty to comply with the social security and tax obligations provided for by applicable law and regulations in force.
Translators and interpreters have a moral duty to take out a professional liability insurance against professional risks.

Translators and interpreters shall avoid any situation of incompatibility and, in any event, to advise the client of any potential conflict of interest, that might jeopardise the quality of the performance of the service, and request, if in doubt, the opinion of the Association.

Specific promotion and information regarding the particular line of business or specialization conducted is allowed, provided it is implemented with discretion and so as not to offend the dignity of the profession.

Translators and interpreters shall respect the working conditions laid out by A.N.I.T.I.

Title II – Relations with colleagues

Translators and interpreters should always maintain a friendly and fair attitude towards their colleagues, with a view to creating an unperturbed and fair professional environment. They shall refrain from any activity or form of advertising that may cause harm or prejudice to other colleagues. In particular they should not criticise colleagues for their work, nor generate a conviction that their own services are superior or more advantageous.
The spreading of news regarding the person and the conduct of a colleague is strictly prohibited. Any violation of the code of conduct shall be reported only to the disciplinary body.
The provisions referred to in this article assume greater importance when the conduct of any colleague in breach of these rules is perpetrated to the detriment of a member of the Board of Directors, an official or the image of the Association in general.

Translators and interpreters shall refrain from any behaviour that could be characterized as “unfair competition”. Translators and interpreters shall also be prohibited from exploiting any information regarding their clients or clients of other colleagues or from taking advantage of an assignment obtained as a team in order to solicit a client.

Translators and interpreters shall ensure that their employees are permitted to further their professional development and be remunerated for their work in accordance with the contribution made.
Translators and interpreters shall ensure their trainees have access to, and have the benefit of, adequate practical training. An adequate working environment shall be provided.
Trainees are required to abide by this code of conduct in carrying out their training activities.

Title III – Relations with clients

A relationship of trust is the basis of any professional activity.

Failure or delay in carrying out an assignment constitutes professional misconduct, and is punishable, including by way of disciplinary sanction, when the failure is attributable to negligence or carelessness (regardless of whether the client’s interests are actually damaged).

Translators and interpreters shall disclose to the client the terms applicable to an engagement and provide any relevant information.
In particular, they are required to inform their clients that they are members of the Association and whether they are in possession of any professional qualification and/or certification.

Translators and interpreters are in any case obliged to return without delay to their clients any documentation they have received for the purpose of carrying out their duties, whenever requested to do so.
Translators and interpreters are entitled to retain copies of documents, without the consent of the client, only when necessary in order to obtain payment of their fees and evidence the fact that the engagement has been performed.

In accordance with the terms and conditions of work, translators and interpreters shall require that an engagement be assigned to them individually. Where fees are not paid by the end of the agreed term, a translator or interpreter may commence judicial proceedings against the client in default with a view to obtaining payment for their professional services.

As far as possible, translators and interpreters shall refrain from providing evidence as a witness regarding circumstances of which they become aware in the course of their professional activity or inherent to an engagement.

Title IV – Relations with other associations

Relations with other trade and professional associations shall be fostered, with a view to enhancing the spread of information and the implementation of joint actions in support of the profession. Such relations shall be the exclusive responsibility of the President, or his or her nominee, exclusively within the limits of the President’s delegated authority.

Members of A.N.I.T.I. may be members of other associations or groups provided the by-Laws or the Regulations and the purposes of the other association do not conflict with the provisions of the By-Laws, the Regulations and the Code of Conduct of A.N.I.T.I.

A.N.I.T.I. members who hold representative positions in A.N.I.T.I. may not accept positions in other associations of translators and interpreters, except following the prior approval of the Board of Directors, in order to avoid situations of conflict, unless such plurality of offices or participation in meetings can, in the opinion of the Board of Directors, encourage co-operation between the associations. In line with the foregoing, A.N.I.T.I. members who hold representative positions in other associations of translators and interpreters may not be members of the Board of Directors nor be officials in A.N.I.T.I.

A.N.I.T.I. members who also belong to other Italian associations of translators and interpreters must refrain from standing as candidate for the Board of Directors of A.N.I.T.I. or accepting tasks or the appointment to other positions in A.N.I.T.I., analogously with the provisions of article 27 above.

Title V – Disciplinary sanctions and disciplinary proceedings

In any case of breach of the provisions of this Code of Conduct and in accordance with the criteria set out in Article 2 hereof, the Ethics Committee, after consultation with the Board of Directors and after hearing the member’s defence, has the power to levy one of the following sanctions against the member:
a) warning;
b) censure;
c) suspension;
d) expulsion;
e) striking off.
If the member in breach is a member of the Ethics Committee, the Board of Directors shall be responsible for the issue of any disciplinary measures.
If the disciplinary sanction consists of anything other than a mere warning, a statement containing the information as required by Article 7 (1 – f) of Law no. 4/2013 as referred to in Article 14 of the Association Regulations shall no longer apply and shall automatically cease to have effect.

A warning consists of a written admonition notified by registered mail to a member, to observe and respect the rules of this Code of Conduct, and an invitation not to repeat the breach. This sanction shall apply in any cases of minor fault or breach of the provisions of this Code of Conduct which does not result in any adverse impact on the decorum and dignity of the profession.

Censure consists in a formal notice of censure served on a member. Censure consists in a formal notice of censure served on a member. This sanction shall apply when the breach has been such as to damage the decorum and dignity of the profession, particularly when the member has already received a warning from the Ethics Committee, or when he is in breach of Articles 5, 6, 8, 9 and 18 of this Code of Conduct, or Articles 7.2. and 10.2 of the Association Regulations.

Suspension consists in the declaration of temporary ban from practising the profession as a member of the Association. This penalty is imposed for breaches that are not serious enough as to give rise to the permanent removal of the member from the association.
Depending on the breach, the suspension may be set for a period from five days to one year.
Temporary suspension from membership does not exempt the members from payment of the membership dues and entails the loss of the right for the member to hold him or herself out as a member of A.N.I.T.I. and the withdrawal of membership card until the expiry of the suspension period.
In the event of temporary suspension from membership, the certification described in Article 14 of the Association Regulations shall not apply.

Expulsion shall be the applicable sanction where a member, in the course of his or her professional activity:
a) is no longer eligible for membership pursuant to the final paragraph of Article 3 of the By-Laws;
b) causes serious substantive and moral damage to the Association or commits any prohibited acts under Title II, Articles 16 and 17 of this Code of Conduct;
c) falls within the circumstances set out in Article 7.8., second paragraph, sub paragraph c) of the Association Regulations;
In any case of expulsion under sub paragraph a), an expelled member may only be reinstated if the conditions for ineligibility cease to apply.
In any other case, no application for re-admission shall be made before the expiry of five years from the date of expulsion. In this event, the applicant shall make a new application for enrolment.

Striking off consists of a declaration to the effect that the member is definitively prohibited from practising the profession as a member of the Association.
A member shall be struck-off if his or her conduct has seriously compromised their reputation and the dignity of the profession in such a way as to require that the member be expelled from the association.
Striking off shall be effective from the date of receipt by the member of the notice by registered mail with recorded receipt of delivery.
A member who has been struck-off may no longer be re-admitted.

A precautionary suspension may be ordered by the Ethics Committee, after consultation with the Board of Directors, with regard to any member who has a conflict of interest as regards membership of the association or with the exercise of the profession of translator or interpreter. It shall cease when the conflict of interest no longer exists or from the effective date of the member’s resignation.
The possibility of suspension shall continue to apply, including as an extension of the precautionary measure, once the conflict of interest ceases to exist.
A conflict of interest of a member with regard to their membership in the association or the exercise of the profession of translator or interpreter shall always be assessed specifically in relation to the circumstances in which it arises and in which it becomes apparent.

Disciplinary proceedings may be started following written notice made by another member or by a third party.
In order to protect the rights of clients pursuant to Article 27-ter of Legislative Decree n. 206 of 6 September 2005, the Association shall be responsible for the maintenance of a desk, physical or online, to which a client may apply in case of dispute with an individual member.
The desk referred to in the previous paragraph is accessible via website > Desks > Conciliation Desk, by filling in all the relevant fields.
Having received such notification, the Ethics Committee, as the body in charge of the Code of Conduct, shall seek to come to a mutually agreeable settlement of the dispute and, where necessary, to prohibit or to end the unfair practice reported.
All communications regarding disciplinary proceedings shall be delivered to the member subject to the measure by means of registered mail with receipt of delivery to be sent to the member’s place of business or residence. At any stage of the disciplinary procedure it shall always be possible to file briefs and documents.
Any request to open disciplinary proceedings, unless manifestly groundless, shall be communicated to the member by the President of the Ethics Committee, by means of a clear and detailed description of the alleged breach, the presumed place and time when the breach is alleged to have taken place and the ethical provisions contravened; the party subject to the proceedings shall be allowed to appear before the Ethics Committee, on giving at least five days prior notice, and his/her clarification and justification shall be heard before the proceedings are open; if clarifications and justifications appear to be sufficient to exclude the alleged breach, the proceedings shall be dismissed. Otherwise, or if the member subject to the proceedings fails to appear, the Ethics Committee shall report to the Board of Directors and, taking into account the Board’s opinion, shall issue a disciplinary measure, which shall be communicated to the member responsible for the breach within the following five days.

Precautionary measures shall follow the same principles and rules governing disciplinary proceedings, mutatis mutandis.
The measures for application of the precautionary suspension can be modified or revoked at any time, at the request of any party concerned, when the need imposing or justifying them no longer applies.

Final provisions

The specific provisions of this code represent examples of the most common behaviour and shall not limit the scope of application of the general principles of freedom, common sense, decorum, dignity, professional care, prudence and expertise.

This Code of Conduct was approved by resolution of the General Meeting held on 14 April 2018.