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Qualifications Update

Added 18 Jun 2012

Level 1 Award in British Sign Language (BSL1)


Level 1 Award in Irish Sign Language (ISL1)


We have published the 2012 - 2013 qualification specifications and regulations for Level 1 Award in British Sign Language and Level 1 Award in Irish Sign Language. These specifications will apply to all Level 1 assessments taken on or after 1 September 2012.

We reviewed our level 1 BSL and ISL qualifications earlier this year. Nearly 500 of you gave us your views by completing our online survey or taking part in the discussions we had at our meetings for centres and teachers across the UK. Thank you!

Results of the review show that you are broadly happy with the structure of the qualification and you suggested improvements that we could make to the content.

You asked us to update the assessment titles to give candidates a wider opportunity to showcase their skills. We have done that. New assessment titles will come into effect for assessments that take place on or after 1 September 2012.

Overall, very little has changed from the qualification you are used to teaching. Points to note:


Unit 101

You told us you are happy with this unit so we have not made any changes.


Unit 102

  • You told us that some candidates find describing only family members as limiting. We agree and state in the unit that descriptions of people can also include friends.
  • You told us you would like to see Food and Drink as a topic. We agree and have added this topic in the unit.

Unit 103

  • You told us that some candidates find the title 'School, College, or work' limiting. You suggested that a different title might make candidates more comfortable. We agree and have changed the title to 'Communicate in British Sign Language about Everyday Life' (BSL1) and 'Communicate in Irish Sign Language about Everyday Life' (ISL1). We hope this change means your learners will be clear they can sign about familiar environments and activities and describe other daily routines, like running a home, volunteer work, and learning.
  • We have added weather as a topic in this unit. Candidates will be able to sign about weather in context with their everyday life.

Please note all assessments that take place on or after 1 September 2012 will be assessed against the 2012-2013 qualification specification.

If you have any questions, please contact your Customer Support Officer who will be happy to help.