Interpretation Team Leader, Nouméa, New Caledonia

Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)

SPC HQ Noumea


The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 27 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our unique organisation works across more than 25 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health surveillance, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.

The Operations and Management Directorate (OMD) provides corporate services to all SPC Divisions and Programmes. It consists of three key departments: Finance, Human Resources and Information Services. OMD is focused on improving the effectiveness of systems, policies and management to provide high-quality customer-oriented services.

The role – the Interpretation Team Leader will be responsible for coordinating SPC’s interpretation services to provide effective services to the entire organisation as well as delivering interpretation. The Interpretation Team Leader is responsible for managing cost recovery of the interpretation services, managing the customer service relationships with internal and external stakeholders, identifying and making use of opportunities for outsourcing, and ensuring the team meets its business reporting obligations.

The key responsibilities of the role include the following: Coordination of interpretation services

  • Manage client relationships for all interpretation services.
  • Communicate with all stakeholders in an appropriate manner consistent with the role of a professional interpretation team leader.
  • Manage a cost recovery model that ensures the team’s services are financially sustainable, well managed and cost recovered.
  • Ensure team’s compliance with all SPC’s legal obligations, policies, and procedures and build SPC’s compliance with any specific policies.
  • Manage the freelance interpreters’ Expression of Interest (EOI).

Conference interpretation services

  • Work in a team providing simultaneous interpretation services between English and French and French and English at SPC and partner/client conferences, meetings and other events in a wide range of technical, scientific, governance and other contexts at a wide range of Pacific venues, including at face-to-face, remote, and hybrid events.
  • Provide consecutive and whispered interpretation individually or as a team for SPC staff and/or visiting delegations.
  • International travel to meeting venues (potentially frequently).
  • Act as end-to-end “coordinator” when coordinating interpretation meeting arrangements and assigned to conferences as team leader.
  • On a roster basis, coordinate all administration for interpreted events.
  • Collate and accurately record all team hours attributed to projects in appropriate systems and databases to enable accurate billing/charging.

Management of interpretation team

  • Ensure management of direct reports.
  • Contribute to the performance appraisal system of direct reports.

Translation services

  • Produce translations from English into French in a wide range of technical and scientific publications, as well as general SPC materials which may be highly sensitive and complex – using approved translation software.
  • Produce self-revised translations on a regular basis.

For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the online job description.

Key selection criteria


  • Postgraduate degree in conference interpretation and/or translation from a recognised school.

Technical expertise

  • A minimum of ten years of experience in professional conference interpreting and translation in an international organisation or the public service, or as a freelance interpreter/translator working mainly with international organisations.
  • Management skills, including demonstrated general management, people management and financial management skills.
  • Broad general knowledge and thorough understanding of a wide range of technical and scientific subjects.
  • Demonstrated ability to interpret and translate often highly technical material accurately; excellent vocabulary coupled with a keen sense of semantics; thorough understanding of syntax and style.

Language skills

  • Perfect written and spoken command of first language (French A), high proficiency in spoken English (active English B), perfect understanding of written English.

Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness

  • Knowledge of Pacific Island countries and territories is an advantage.

Salary, terms and conditions

Contract Duration – This vacant position is budgeted for 3 years and is subject to renewal depending on funding and performance.

Remuneration – the Interpretation Team Leader is a band 11 position in SPC’s 2023 salary scale, with a starting salary range of SDR (special drawing rights) 4,206-5,161 per month, which converts to approximately XPF 637,132-781,844 (USD 5,636-6,916; EUR 5,339-6,552). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration being given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale is based on annual performance reviews. SPC salaries are not presently subject to income tax in New Caledonia.

Benefits for international staff employees based in New Caledonia – SPC provides subsidised housing in Noumea. Establishment and repatriation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave travel, health and life and disability insurances and education allowances are available for eligible employees and their eligible dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 working days of annual leave per annum and other types of leave, and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8 % of salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution).

Languages – SPC’s working languages are English and French.

Recruitment principles – SPC’s recruitment is based on merit and fairness, and candidates are competing in a selection process that is fair, transparent and non-discriminatory. SPC is an equal-opportunity employer, and is committed to cultural and gender diversity, including bilinguism, and will seek to attract and appoint candidates who respect these values. Due attention is given to gender equity and the maintenance of strong representation from Pacific Island professionals. If two interviewed candidates are ranked equal by the selection panel, preference will begiven to the Pacific Islander. Applicants will be assured of complete confidentiality in line with SPC’s private policy.

Application procedure

Closing date: 12 March 2023 – 11:00 pm (Noumea time)

Job Reference: SH000257

Applicants must apply online at (link)

Hard copies of applications will not be accepted.

For your application to be considered, you must provide us with:

  • an updated resume with contact details for three professional referees
  • a cover letter detailing your skills, experience and interest in this position
  • responses to all screening questions

Your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage if all the above documents are not provided. Applicants should not attach copies of qualifications or letters of reference. Please ensure your documents are in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.

SPC does not charge a fee to consider your application and will never ask for your banking or financial information during the recruitment process.

Screening questions (maximum of 2,000 characters per question):

  • Modern technology allows us to connect interpretation services from anywhere in the world to any meeting. How do you see technology and interpretation services evolve over the next 3 years?
  • Our organisation can have a lot of demand for interpretation services (up to 3 meetings at the same time). How would you address such scheduling conflicts?
  • Our organisation has very high standards regarding the quality of interpretation, and we also have a network of freelancers to address peak-demand. How do you ensure high quality interpretation services using a freelancer network?


Type: Contract – International

Category: Interpretation & Translation

Reference ID: SH000257

Date Posted: 08/02/2023

Tags: banking, financial management, fisheries, genetic resources, health surveillance, housing, human resources, interpreter, performance appraisal, repatriation grant, sustainable development, translation