Join AIIC – Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the requirements for membership?
To apply to become a member, you must:
  • have worked for a minimum of 150 days as a conference interpreter
  • be sponsored by existing AIIC members who have worked with you over the past 3 years in each of your language pairs.
  • agree to work to AIIC’s Professional Standards at all times
  • agree to respect AIIC’s Code of Ethics

2.  What are the requirements for pre-candidacy?
 To apply to become a pre-candidate, you:
3. What types of membership are there?
There are 2 types of membership available to new applicants:
Member: Can you demonstrate that you have worked a minimum of 150 days as a conference interpreter? If the answer is yes, then membership may be the right option for you.
Members have the right to vote at the assembly and to use the AIIC members logo.
Existing members who work fewer than 20 days a year, whether temporarily or permanently, have the right to remain in AIIC as an associate member.

Pre-candidate: Are you just starting your conference interpreting career? If you have worked fewer than 150 days, or do not have the necessary sponsors yet, you can join the association as a pre-candidate.
While you are building up your experience as a conference interpreter, you can take an active role in the life of the association, although pre-candidates do not have voting rights and cannot publicise their association with AIIC.  Not sure which application is right for you? Download the Practical Guide for Applicants to learn more.
As a professional organisation representing the interests of working conference interpreters, AIIC does not offer membership to students or institutions.

4. Why do I need a professional address?
When you become a member of AIIC, you also become a member of the local, regional association where you have your professional address.
Your professional address corresponds to the country where you generally work and does not have to be your official place of residence, but you must maintain that address for a period of at least 6 months.

5. What are A-B-C languages? 
Inside AIIC, your languages are classified as either A, B or C languages. Before applying, you need to decide the right classification for each language. If you have any doubts, ask your sponsors to advise you.
A language (active language)
This is your mother tongue (or tongues). This is the language you speak or sign best and that you work into from all your other languages. All members have at least 1 A language.
B language (active language)
This is a language in which you are perfectly fluent, though it is not your mother tongue. Not all members have a B language, but those who do can work into this language from 1 or more of their other languages.
C language (passive language)
You understand this language perfectly and you work from this language into your active language(s). 
For more information on language classifications, download the Practical Guide for Applicants

6. Do I need to apply with all my language combinations at once?
No, you can apply with a single language pair. AIIC members are always welcome to apply to add new language pairs, or to reclassify a language once they have worked the necessary number of days and have obtained sponsorship.

7. How many sponsors do I need?
You will need at least 3 sponsors in total, depending on the language pairs you are applying with.
  • For an A language, you need 2 sponsors with an A in that language and an A, B or C in the source language.
  • For a B language, you need 2 sponsors. 1 sponsor must have an A in the same language, the other an A or B, with an A, B or C in the source language.
  • 2 sponsors must have their professional address in the same AIIC region as you.  If a region has not been created for your professional address, the rules are slightly different. Please check the Practical Guide.
  • A sponsor may sign for more than 1 language pair.
 For examples of sponsorship requirements for each language, download the Practical Guide for Applicants

8. Who can I ask to sponsor me?
Sponsors must have been members of AIIC for at least 5 years in each of the language pairs you want them to sponsor you for. As members can add additional language pairs at any time, you must check that your chosen sponsor has the required experience inside AIIC with each specific language pair they are sponsoring you for. They must have worked with you in the necessary language pairs to the extent that they are confident to attest your interpreting skills, professional standards and your professional ethics.
When you add your language pairs and professional address into the system, you will be presented with a list of possible sponsors. Before selecting any sponsors from the list, you should contact them and ask if they would be willing to sponsor you.
If you need more sponsors, start by checking the AIIC directory and searching by language pair. If you have a rare language combination and there are no potential sponsors in your region, you may be able to request a waiver. More details can be found in the Practical Guide for Applicants.

9. Which region am I in?
Within AIIC there are currently 23 regional bureaux. New regions can be created once there are at least 20 members with their professional address there who would be interested in setting up a new region.
Some regions correspond to countries (e.g. France and Germany), others to wider geographical areas (e.g. Africa and South America). When you join AIIC, you automatically become a member of the region where you have your professional address.

10. How much does membership cost?
The membership fee is traditionally equivalent to one day’s pay for a conference interpreter in your region, however AIIC takes the economic situation of each region into consideration when defining annual dues. The current dues for your region can be requested from the Secretariat.
Pre-candidate annual dues are CHF150.

11. How much is the processing fee?

Full members






The application fee is paid online when submitting the application.

12. How do I prove I have worked 150 days as a professional conference interpreter?
 You need to show that you have worked as a professional conference interpreter for:
  • A minimum of 150 days
  • At least 50 days in each language pair
 Each event on a day counts as one day, even if it was shorter, e.g. 3 hours

Conference interpreters with multiple clients
On the application form, you need to list all the dates you have worked for at least the last 150 days, as well as the venue, subject matter, your sponsors and the language pairs you were recruited for in chronological order.
You do not need to include the contracts with your application, though AIIC reserves the right to request them.
Conference Interpreters working mainly for a single institution
You can either:
  1. submit the list of meetings you have worked (as above), or

  2. attach a certificate from that institution stating the period of time covered, your language combination(s), the number of days worked for each language pair and when you added any new languages to your combination.

13. What counts as a conference?
A conference style event, like a seminar, plenary presentations, and political events. Interpreting on television, e.g., for the news, also counts as a conference-style event.

14. How do I apply?
You must submit your application using the online application form - please don’t send your application by email or post.
Membership applications are reviewed by the Committee on Admissions and Language Classification (CACL) twice a year. Applications received by May 31st will be reviewed in July. Applications received by November 30th will be reviewed the following January.
If your application arrives at least 6 weeks before the deadline, it will be pre-screened by a member of CACL. They will make sure that all parts of the application are completed correctly and let you know if any additional supporting documentation is required.
Once you have submitted your application, your sponsors will be contacted to confirm that they have agreed to sponsor you, when they last worked with you and the language pairs they are sponsoring.
Your application will be reviewed by CACL at their next meeting in July or January. After the meeting, the Committee publishes the list of candidates and members have 60 days to challenge any applications. If your application is unchallenged, at the end of the 60 days, your membership will be proclaimed.
For more detailed information, consult the Practical Guide for Applicants  or contact the Secretariat on +41 22 09 15 40