I know that I am certainly not alone in my decision to quit the ITI this year and can only hope that the organisation revises some of its policies and reviews its procedures to ensure that it adheres to higher ethical standards and demonstrates a greater willingness to support its members. As professionals running our own businesses, some of us require the support of our professional associations to help ensure industry-wide best practice and to secure new contacts and clients. I cannot say that I saw much evidence of either from the ITI.
I have decided not to renew my ITI membership and am sharing below my letter sent to the institute setting out some of my reasons for not doing so:
“I am writing to ask that you please put my membership on ice. In other words, I will not be renewing this year.
I regret to say that my membership has brought me nothing but spam, e-mails from agencies banned from posting jobs on Proz and who therefore trawl the ITI directory instead, and e-mails from ITI agency corporate members offering rates that no serious translator would consider. By and large, the directory listing has attracted nothing but contacts I would very much prefer to avoid. As for the subject/language networks, I attempted to join the Portuguese network, paid my dues, but the coordinator was unable to add me to the Google group for technical reasons, and the forum that has been created on the website is as dead as a forum can be – another waste of time and the small fee I paid to join.
As you know, I joined the ITI in 2013 and quite swiftly discovered it had an unfair and flawed policy on language variants and a loose and inconsistent definition of what it meant to be “ITI-assessed". I tried very hard to engage with the Chief Executive and Board on this matter but to no avail. A letter written on the subject for the Bulletin was banned. The variants issue could have been addressed very easily and swiftly. Apart from anything else, the current categories are an embarrassment and make the ITI look quite ignorant of language variants. Instead, I have been fobbed off with “We’re looking into it”, yet two years on there is no evidence of any change.
When I joined the Institute, I had already been a satisfied CIOL member for approximately 13 years. However, I had high hopes for membership of the ITI and was looking forward to finding out what my membership would bring. I would not otherwise have paid nearly £300 for my application and exam fee and a further £200+ for the first year of membership. All in all, quite a hefty outlay. Unfortunately, I have found the Chief Executive and the Board to be at best, unresponsive, and at worst, positively unwilling to engage in any constructive dialogue and dismissive of members’ concerns or points of view. The recent handling of the retired category is a case in point. The terms for the revised category would appear to have been drafted by an institute bent on losing its most long-standing members, which strikes me as a very baffling way to behave. I do not feel I can continue to support an institute that at present gives me every impression of holding its members’ opinions in such low regard.”