Deaf People Can Now Undertake an Interpreting Qualification

We are pleased to announce that the first of our two public commitments to the Working Group on Professional Recognition for Deaf People Who Provide Language Services is operational.

As agreed with the Working Group Signature has worked with qualifications regulators and sector skills bodies to remove technical barriers that previously excluded deaf people from accessing Signature Interpreting qualifications.

The Signature Level 6 NVQ Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting (QCF) replaces the Level 4 NVQ in Interpreting (BSL/English) to be available from 1 September 2010. Candidates able to demonstrate full modality in two languages at the required level are able to undertake the qualification opening the door to professional interpreting qualifications for those Deaf people who have more than one Signed Language.

The qualification is no longer limited to BSL and English. It can be delivered in a number of combinations signed language ⇔ signed language, or signed language ⇔ spoken language, as long as the candidates can demonstrate the required competences in both languages. That means people with appropriate skills in two signed languages, for instance BSL and ISL, can undertake the qualification.

Possible language combinations for the qualification are:

  • BSL ⇔ ISL
  • BSL ⇔ Welsh
  • ISL ⇔ English
  • BSL ⇔ Other recognised signed languages

We ask centres to liaise with us in good time, to make sure we support appropriate verification of portfolios in new or unusual language combinations.

English ⇔ BSL

We have also made a commitment to develop a Level 6 NVQ Diploma for those professionals who work translating and interpreting English Text ⇔ BSL. We worked with the ASLI Deaf Interpreter Network, employers and other professionals in the field to develop a proposal for this qualification and we are very pleased the Working Group supports that proposal.

The qualification will be based on the National Occupational Standards in interpreting and translation and will give the professionals working in this field the opportunity to demonstrate the necessary skills to undertake such interpreting/translating work to professional standards.

In the coming year the Working Group will make a formal application to NRCPD to have that qualification considered for entry to a register of those professionals.

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