Frequency Asked Questions

1I have a NDIS Plan and want to book through Sweeney Interpreting. What do I need to do?

  • your NDIS Plan number
  • your NDIS Plan start date
  • your NDIS Plan end date
  • how is your core/consumables funding managed - NDIA managed, - plan managed or self managed?
  • We will arrange a Service Agreement with you

    2Why a Service Agreement?

    A Service Agreement is a document that tells you how much we will charge and our cancellation policy. The Service Agreement also shows how we will respect each other, make sure that both of us are safe at all times and how you can give feedback.
    3In NDIS plans, what is the difference between: NDIA/Agency Managed, Plan Managed and Self Managed?

    NDIA/Agency Managed

  • your plan is managed by the NDIA
  • all providers must be NDIA registered
  • all providers needs to lodge their invoices through a special online system
  • check if your providers are NDIA registered or not
  • Plan Managed

  • if your NDIS plan has funding for a plan manager, you choose a plan manager. Your plan manager will look after your providers’ invoices. The NDIA will pay your plan manager who will then pay your providers for you.
  • providers do not have to be NDIA registered
  • Self Managed

  • you pay your support providers directly and apply for reimbursement from the NDIS
  • you are fully responsible for all the invoices, claiming monies back and dealing with your providers
  • 4How do I know which parts of my NDIS plan is managed?

    Under each funding category in your NDIS Plan, look for ‘NDIA Managed’, ‘Plan Managed’ or ‘Self Managed’.

    Often a NDIS Plan has more than 1 plan management type. For example, the ‘core/consumables’ category may be plan managed and the ‘capacity building supports’ category may be NDIA managed.
    5NDIS Roles & Responsibilities

    NDIA - National Disability Insurance Agency, a government body that manages the NDIS.

    NDIS Quality & Safeguards Commission - an independent agency established to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services.

    NDIS - National Disability Insurance Scheme is a funding service managed by the NDIA.

    LAC - Local Area Coordinator - LACs work with you to develop your plan, help you implement it and monitor how your plan is going and undertake your plan reviews.

    Support Coordinator - supports participants to coordinate services from a range of suppliers or providers, address service delivery issues and develop the capacity and resilience of their support network.

    Plan Manager - if your NDIS has plan managed funding categories, you need a Plan Manager to take care of your invoices.

    6How can I make interpreter bookings?

    The best way to make your interpreting bookings is online. You can go in any time to make the booking, to update the booking and cancel the booking.

    If you have not booked with us previously, you can register with us. It only takes 2 minutes to do this and then you can make your booking request.

    If you get stuck, please contact the bookings team and we will be happy to work with you.

    7I need interpreting for my work AND personal needs. How do I do this when I book an interpreter?

    We have several customers who book interpreters for both work and personal needs.

    If you have one email address only, be sure to choose either NDIS or Work (EAF) or business (fee-for-service).

    If you have a work email address, you can use it for your work interpreter bookings only. And you can use your personal email address for NDIS interpreter bookings only. Also tick either ‘NDIS’ or ‘Work’ or ‘business’ as it helps us to make sure that we are charging correctly. (Hint: NDIS invoices do not have GST).

    8The online booking form is not working properly?

  • refreshing the browser
  • clearing the history/cache
  • If you still have problems, email screenshots of your screen, to and we will try to help you to solve your problem.
    9What is the difference between a Certified Provisional Interpreter and a Certified Interpreter?

    Certified Provisional interpreters (CPI) work with information in Auslan and English that is not complex.

    Certified Interpreters (CI) usually have more experience than CPI’s and interpret more complex language.

    10I do not know the interpreter or which interpreter is right for me?

    You can view our interpreters in the picture gallery and read their profiles.

    You can discuss with our bookings team what you need and we can suggest interpreters to work with you.

    11Can I book a Support Worker through Sweeney Interpreting?

    Sweeney Interpreting does not provide support workers.

    To see what services we can provide - click here.
    12What if my preferred interpreter is not available?

    If you have listed preferred interpreter/s in your booking request and they are not available, we will contact you to discuss what you want to do. Sometimes your preferred interpreter will let us know when they are available and you can decide if you wish to change your booking.
    13Do all interpreters do VRI (Video Remote Interpreting)?

    No. Some interpreters prefer to work in face-to-face situations.
    14I am not sure how to use VRI

    We are happy to provide you with training - contact us to discuss options. For more information, you can read here.
    15Which software can I use VRI on?

    You can use:
  • Zoom
  • MS Team
  • Skype
  • FaceTime
  • You need to let us know which method you will be using and the number/login details. We will then check with the interpreter if they have the same software.

    You can put this information in your online booking.
    16Why do some bookings have more than 1 interpreter?

    We need to look after the interpreters' health and safety. If interpreters become physically and mentally tired, the quality of their work will be reduced.
    17What if I need an interpreter after hours?

    Our office hours are 8.30am to 4.00pm Mondays to Fridays (except public holidays). During these hours, please contact us.

    An emergency is a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action.

    If you cannot communicate with the emergency people, use the SweeneyApp for Last-Minute Booking.

    18Does Sweeney Interpreting have insurances?

    Yes, Sweeney Interpreting has the following insurance covers:
  • Professional Indemnity
  • Public Liability
  • Workers Compensation
  • 19What will be I charged for each booking?

    Minimum booking time for VRI is 1.5 hours.

    Minimum booking time for face-to-face interpreting is 2.0 hours.

    Depending on your booking, you may also be charged:
  • loading
  • parking fees
  • travel time and mileage
  • additional interpreting time if the appointment goes over time
  • accommodation, meals, etc if agreed at the time of booking
  • 20What is after hours loading?

    Loading is for interpreters working before or after normal working hours.

    Loading is before 8am or after 6pm (20%) Mondays to Saturdays and Sundays and Public Holidays (30%).

    21Why is travel time charged?

    Travelling a long distance takes time and money, and therefore the interpreter needs to be reimbursed for this.
    22Is GST charged on interpreting?

  • NDIS - no
  • EAF/Jobaccess - yes
  • Business/fee-for-service - yes
  • 23How can I pay my invoices?

    You can pay by EFT, credit card or with your NDIS Plan funding.
    24Cancellation Policy

    If you cancel more than 24 business hours before your interpreter booking starts, you will not be charged.

    Business hours means Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.00pm. If you need to cancel an interpreter booked for 9.00am Monday, you need to let us know by 4.00pm on the previous Friday.

    If you cancel less than 24 business hours, we will need to charge 100% of the fee because the interpreter has made themselves unavailable for other jobs.

    25I want to book an interpreter for my holiday or special family event. What do I need to think about?

    Below are a few examples of what you need to think about having an interpreter for your holiday or special event.

    A long weekend at the Snowy Mountains

  • Travel time and mileage for the interpreter from Canberra or Sydney to travel to the Snowy Mountains.
  • Accommodation and meals for the interpreter.
  • How much interpreting do you want during the long weekend? Skiing instructions - are you expecting the interpreter to ski with you? Do you want interpreting during the social activities (day and/or night?)
  • If there is a lot of interpreting and/or a lot of deaf people going - do you need more than 1 interpreter?
  • You want an interpreter for a family member’s wedding.

  • Where is the wedding service?
  • Is it a religious service?
  • Where is the wedding reception?
  • What time does the wedding service start and what time does the wedding reception finish?
  • Do you want interpreting for everything or only with people that you don't know well and the speeches?
  • How many deaf people will be at the wedding?
  • Where do you want the interpreter to stand at the wedding service?
  • Have you told the wedding couple about the interpreter’s need for dinner and any dietary requirements? Where will the interpreter sit at the wedding reception?
  • A group of deaf people would like to have an Auslan interpreter travelling with them overseas for 3 weeks.

  • How many deaf people are in the group?
  • How much interpreting do you want - how many interpreters do you need?
  • Do you need an Auslan interpreter or can you use the country's local interpreter? (e.g. NZSL is very similar to Auslan). We can help organise this for you.
  • Who pays for the interpreter’s airfare?
  • Accommodation/meals for the interpreter/s?
  • Is the interpreter paid for not working while flying 14+ hours overseas both ways?
  • What breaks will the interpreters have during the 3 weeks? (It can be tiring for the interpreters and tourists!)
  • Does everybody have a NDIS plan? Is there sufficient funds in each person’s NDIS plan at the time of travelling overseas? (e.g. book in January for travel in September - and your plan renews in August?)
  • 26How do I give feedback?

    Your feedback - including complaints - is always welcome because it helps us to improve our services. Making a complaint will not affect the service you receive from Sweeney Interpreting.

    You can talk, or write, to the Support Team member to provide suggestions for improvement, compliments or other useful feedback. We will respond to you within 48 business hours. We may not have a full answer immediately but we will be in touch with you within 48 hours to work with you.

    For more information - click here.

    To share your feedback with us - click here.