The Census is here, and we are ready!

09 August 2021

TIS National is once again honoured to serve the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the wider community in providing immediate in-language telephone interpreting services for the upcoming 2021 Census. TIS National’s involvement this year will be uniquely different to previous years as it will be largely influenced by COVID-19 outbreaks and lockdowns across the country. This unique challenge required us to be agile and flexible to meet the increased demands for interpreting services. To achieve this, we have applied enhanced telephone Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology menu options created specifically for Census callers. This IVR will filter calls through a dedicated line rather than calls flooding through the general call queues.

To get ready for the Census, TIS National will have 96 contact centre operators in addition to other TIS National workers surging from their usual business areas to take Census calls. This will be the largest team of operators that the contact centre has had in its over 50-year history of providing interpreting services to the Australian community.

Preparing for this event was not an easy feat. It required collaboration of the different business areas of TIS National working for months on the complex scheduling, training, and backend telephony systems updates. As TIS National is located in two physical locations in Melbourne, as well as operators working from home, we have ensured that staff are well-trained, supported, and ready for the Census period, despite the recent lengthy lockdowns. 

TIS National is already receiving 1000 Census-related calls daily, and anticipate at least 10,000 calls across all enquiry lines for Census day. Thanks to the productive working relationships between the ABS, TIS National, and over 2500 TIS National Interpreters, we are ready to service calls during a one-in-100-year pandemic!

Census

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