The company offers high-quality online training and online webinars to help translators, interpreters and other professional linguists develop their careers and run their businesses efficiently and profitably. It organises special online training courses for in-depth study, as well as more general on-line webinar training for all levels of translator and interpreter.
eCPD Webinars is a small company, based in the UK, and run by its three directors, Lucy Brooks, Maia Figueroa and Marta Stelmaszak. They are assisted by associate Jessie Doppler. The head office is in West Sussex in the UK, with a regional office in Barcelona, Spain. They are supported by a team of speakers from all over the world.
eCPD Webinars is now accredited by the CPD Standards Office in the UK, in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Linguists. This attests to the quality of the training and presentations we provide. We have also received accreditation from the Dutch Bureau Wbtv.
Lucy Brooks is a qualified translator. Her credentials include Chartered Linguist, and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Linguists in the UK. As a translator, she understands the need for CPD for her peers. She was joined in 2012 by Maia Figueroa, a highly acclaimed literary translator based in Spain. Maia has added her own imprint to the programme. In April 2015 the pair were joined by Marta Stelmaszak, who is also a Chartered Linguist, and member of the Chartred Institute of Linguists. She is responsible for a new and more functional website and the streamlined booking process. She is also responsible for new business development.
Our guest is not an academic school of translation and interpreting we decided that the best way to get information about the patform is a short interview with the initiator of the company, which for many years has been filling up the gaps in the academic training of translators’ and interpreters’. Our interviewee is Lucinda Brooks, a director of eCPD webinars.
1. When did you start eCPD Webinars?
I identified a requirement for good CPD from translators and interpreters who find it hard to attend a face-to-face class or seminar, due to caring duties, or distance, or cost, or simply too much work. eCPD Webinars started in 2010 and began by simply asking presenters to repeat some seminars that I had attended myself.
2. Who are the platform founders?
The founding director was me, Lucy Brooks. I began with a couple of colleagues from the CIOL, but there were some issues with that (one of them became very ill and had to stop) and I have worked with three wonderful people over the years since 2010. Now I work in very close harmony with Marta Stelmaszak, and together we maintain the platform and produce new material every week.
3. In what way does your program complement a university MA course?
In contrast to a university course, eCPD does not try to offer training in HOW to translate. Our program offers bite-sized presentations offering practicing translators (we don’t call them students because they are not) genuine and quality CPD (continuing professional development). We ran a survey a couple of years ago in which we asked MA graduates how much business training they had at university. The results were very revealing. In Europe more than half had no business training at all, and another quarter just a little (a couple of hours during the course). This is a gap that we fill with lots of short presentations and courses on how to run a freelance business and maintain specialization skills.
I am making some of these available to attendees of this webinar. The handout contains full details.
Our productions can be sub-divided in 10 different categories. Business skills, and a lot of specialist categories such as medical translation, legal translation, financial, audio-visual, interpreters, editing and style, technical, and so on.
4. What languages do you use at eCPD?
The majority of our webinars are given in English. Our core audience is either English native-speaking or use English as a second or working language. Occasionally we arrange specialist seminars on, for example, Spanish law, German law, Polish law, Arabic legal translation, Dutch legal translation, during which the trainers explain the differences between the legal systems (compared with the UK). We also have a series of medical webinars in Spanish. And we have a couple of translation workshops available too. I have to gauge interest before producing a webinar in a language other than English. We do need to cover at least our costs and time in producing a webinar or course.
5. How long does a typical presentation last?
Typically, an hour. Sometimes we run a series of webinars so that we can go deeply into a subject, for example the series on medical devices – seven webinars, each 90 minutes long, or most of them.
We also run courses which usually run for 3 – 5 hour-long lessons, with homework and assignments.
6. How many people take part in your webinars?
We have hundreds of returning customers. Each of them has different interests so they sign up for the webinars where they want to deepen their knowledge. We can expect around 30-40 to book any one of our webinars.
7. What is your mission?
eCPD was conceived to serve the CPD needs of practicing translators and interpreters who find it difficult, for one reason or another, cannot attend face-to-face events. Reasons could be family ties, distance, cost, availability. Everyone can afford an hour a couple of times a month to keep up with developments in their chosen field.
9. Finally, why is eCPD is important for translators and other linguists?
It is important because:
1. We need to keep on top of technology as it develops beyond what we learned at university
2. We need to keep up with translation industry issues,
3. We need to tackle our own personal work issues (possible weak areas, areas we’d like to develop into but don’t know how)
4. We need to keep up with our own target language as things change – slang, marketing-speak, business-speak, new terminology in specific areas
5. Maintain source language skills
6. We need to understand what our customers want and need
7. We need to find customers.