British Sign Language Level 1 Award

Qualification Aim and Objective

Achieving this qualification means that learners will be able to communicate with Deaf people in British Sign Language (BSL) on a range of themes that involve simple, everyday language use.  They will gain basic skills and confidence in production and reception of BSL.

At the end of the qualification, learners will be able to:

  • Understand and use a limited range of simple words and sentences in BSL
  • Take part in simple, everyday conversations in BSL
  • Give and follow simple directions or instructions in BSL
  • Give and follow simple familiar statements or descriptions in BSL

The specification has been designed using the UK Occupational Language Standards (Instructus 2013).

Qualification Structure

The qualification is divided into three units, each of which can be achieved separately.  Learners should cover BSL101 first as units BSL102 and BSL103 build on this knowledge.  Units BSL102 and BSL103 can be taken in any order.

Signature unit code RQF unit number Unit Title
BSL101 F/502/4513 Introduction to BSL
BSL102 J/504/0762 Conversational BSL
BSL103 F/504/0761 Communication in BSL about Everyday Life


BSL101 is internally assessed by the teacher, units BSL102 and BSL103 are externally assessed by a Signature assessor.

Total Qualification Time

The qualification has a credit value of 9, which is 90 hours of learning in total.  The Guided Learning Hours (GLH) are 64.  Guided learning hours means time the learner is timetabled for face-to-face contact and should include:  NB zoom/teams etc is defined for these purposes as face-to-face.

  • Classroom based teaching
  • Individual or group tutorials
  • Feedback or observed practice
  • Assessments

A summary of the hours are shown below:

Guided Learning Hours Additional Study Hours Total Qualification Time Credit Value at Level 1
64 26 90 9


Pre-qualification requirements

Level 1 Award in British Sign Language can be taken without any previous BSL experience at any level.

BSL competence standards include requirements for learners to have sufficient sight, manual dexterity, facial and body movements to produce and receive BSL.

It is the responsibility of the centre to explain these requirements before accepting a learner for this qualification.

Learning resources

BSL Homework


Level 1 Award in British Sign Language with Signature Learning Hub

Our online BSLHomework package is perfect for anyone studying towards a Signature Level 1, 2 or 3 Award in British Sign Language. BSLHomework is a comprehensive online library of video clips and support materials to help you understand the assessments, develop your vocabulary and linguistics skills, and practice your receptive BSL skills from wherever you are.

Packages start from £30.00 ex VAT

Signature Shop

In the Signature online shop you can buy homework DVDs for both BSL level 1 & 2. These DVDs will help you to practice what you have learnt as part of your course, and allow you to prepare for your upcoming assessments.