1) Who will review complaints?
In the first instance the Chair of the Board and the Chair of the PCC (Professional Conduct Committee) will view the complaint to ensure it is:
a) related to the code of ethics
b) is against an RBSLI registrant
c) within the time frames as stipulated in the RBSLI Complaints Procedure
2) Who facilitates the mediation session?
A mediator shall be sought from The Civil Mediation Council.
3) How are interpreters/translators selected for the hearing panel?
Registrants who meet the criteria shall be invited to put themselves forward for the PCC standing committee. The Chair of the PCC shall select from the standing committee persons, (registrants and lay), to sit on a hearing or appeals panel.
4) Will support be offered to the individual facing the complaint?
We would advise those undergoing a complaint to seek the support of their professional association, trades union and/or a mentor of their choosing. Respondents are entitled to have a representative with them at any hearing.
5) What is your policy if one of the RBSLI’s Board is the subject of a complaint?
Complaints against Registrant board members will result in the member being suspended from the board until such time as the complaint process is completed. The outcome of the complaint process shall then determine whether or not that board member returns to their seat on the board.
6) Why doesn’t RBSLI register student or trainee interpreters/translators?
As students or trainees have not yet gained an interpreting or translating qualification it does not seem appropriate for RBSLI to be regulating unqualified persons. It would be unfair to expect those who have not yet completed their training to be held to the same standard as a fully qualified interpreter or translator, therefore RBSLI does not invite them to register. RBSLI would prefer a climate where students and trainees were not expected to work alone and certainly would encourage them to only undertake assignments with a qualified practitioner who is able to support and monitor them. Anyone who holds an interpreting qualification can make an application to register with the RBSLI regardless of the status they might be assigned by other regulators, e.g. someone with a qualification might be restricted to a trainee category by another regulator but, if their qualification is mapped to NOS, would be registered as qualified by RBSLI.
7) Why is your website not fully accessible to Deaf people?
As a new organisation we are in the process of embedding and refining our information, policies and procedures. As our income progresses we fully intend to ensure that our website, and other communications, are available in BSL and other accessible formats as required. We are currently in the process of translating our complaints procedure into BSL and hope to have this on our website very soon.
8) My qualification doesn’t appear on your criteria, how can I register?
Please do complete an application to register proforma on our website and upload your certificate. We will review it and let you know whether your application is successful.
9) I completed a Deaf Interpreter Training course, but I don’t have a certificate. Am I eligible to register?
Unfortunately we cannot accept applications from people who have undertaken courses that have not yet met National agreed minimum standards.
10) How are Board members recruited?
Board members may join the Board from time to time. Potential Board members may be found by:
• Advertisement and then application
• Directly approaching current Board members for a recommendation
• Proactive approach from a Board member
11) There is only one seat on the Board for a translator, why is that?
There is one reserved seat for a Registrant Translator, this means that if no Translators are available or willing to take a seat on the board, this seat shall remain vacant. Registrant seats are open to both interpreters and translators so, in theory, all the registrant seats could be occupied by translators.
12) How long do people remain on the Board?
The usual term of service on the Board is 2 years, renewable for subsequent 1 year periods by mutual agreement between the Board member and the Board (by majority vote), up to a total term of 5 years including the original 2 years.
13) What is RBSLI’s geographical boundary?
We do not specify any geographical boundary at this time and welcome applications from all qualified interpreters and translators throughout the British Isles. There are practitioners who live outside the British Isles and work both here and abroad, they are also invited to apply.
14) Many interpreters are being asked for NRCPD ID by Access to Work. Do they recognise you as a legitimate regulating body?
RBSLI is actively engaging with existing local and national purchasing bodies to ensure that we become recognised as a credible standards driven regulatory organisation. We have been informed by Crown Commercial Services (CCS) that RBSLI is recognised within the upcoming framework agreement under ‘or equivalent’ however we are continuing to discuss the explicit inclusion of RBSLI registrants.
With specific regard to Access to Work, we are aware that some claimants have been informed that NRCPD or equivalent is accepted.
15) What are you doing to ensure agencies recognise you are a legitimate regulating body and consequently will employ RBSLI regulated interpreters and translators?
We are meeting with certain organisations to discuss recognition and have been in written communication with others. We fully intend to announce the results of these discussions as and when.
16) Have you received positive support from deaf organisations?
We were very pleased to see the statement published by the BDA in the British Deaf News and are planning to engage with them and other Deaf led organisations.
Our entry qualifications are those that meet the National Occupational Standards (NOS) in interpreting.
RBSLI is a qualified only Register
18) How do you think you will improve services for the deaf community?
The RBSLI Register promotes only sign language interpreters and translators who are trained and appropriately qualified. This ensures that interpreting and translation services are delivered accurately, effectively and in a professional way. Purchasers and service users can feel confident that by employing RBSLI registered practitioners they are qualified to do the job.
19) Your website lists registrants. Will it show photos of the interpreters and translators too?
Although we do not publish photographs currently, this is something we may look to do in the future.
20) If an interpreter or translator only works part time, do they pay less for their registration?
No, however we do offer to negotiate registration on a case by case basis, especially with regard to career breaks such as pregnancy.
21) Why do you not stipulate registration with RBSLI requires a DBS check or insurance?
RBSLI is a regulatory body not an employer and as such is not eligible to undertake DBS checks. RBSLI does, however, ask for a mandatory declaration that registrants hold current and appropriate/Enhanced DBS checks.
Please see website: Registrant Guidance The sixth tenet of the RBSLI Code of Ethics states: ‘ensure that interpreters uphold the best qualities of the profession at all times’..
DBS checks are professional interpreters/translators’ responsibility whether freelance or working for an agency. Interpreting agencies, as employers of interpreters/translators, either as staff or sub-contractors, should take on the duty of verifying that their interpreters have this in place. See Disclosure Barring Service.
Consumers that purchase interpreting and translation services directly may want to check with providers that they have the necessary insurance and DBS Checks before making a booking.
Indemnity insurance is important for each registrant in order to make sure that they have sufficient insurance to cover any potential legal costs resulting from a complaint made against them. Registrants are required to make a mandatory declaration stating whether they hold PII sufficient for their needs.
22) Will you be checking the CPD we log and assessing it?
Yes, RBSLI checks 100% of cpd submitted
23) What is the advantage in using interpreters that are registered RBSLI?
RBSLI maintains a qualified only Register of sign language interpreters and translators. These are competent professionals that have qualifications, which meet the National Occupational Standards in Interpreting – the minimum standard deemed safe to practice. See Qualification Eligibility Criteria This minimum standard provides assurance to consumers searching for qualified, safe practitioners.
There is no disadvantage in using RBSLI Registered interpreters and translators, when sourcing qualified practitioners, so it is beneficial to source from all Registers. This maximises the use of valuable interpreting and translation resources on the ground and ensures customers get much needed access.
24) What makes RBSLI different from other UK sign language interpreter/translator regulators?
Regulation of the interpreting profession is currently non-statutory or self-regulatory. RBSLI is the same in this respect.
RBSLI’s focus is dedicated solely on professional linguists: interpreters and translators. We believe this is a stronger approach to supporting interpreters and translators and enhancing the public’s image of a regulated language profession.
RBSLI wants to see regulators of interpreters and translators, both spoken and signed, united in their approach towards working to achieve statutory regulation (protected status) suitable for the profession as a whole. We believe that this will only serve to strengthen standards across the board, protect the public and in doing so will hopefully raise the standing of the profession.
One of RBSLI’s aims is to:
‘Develop regulation more suited to professional sign language interpreting and translating to preserve them as integral and distinct professional linguistic services’