Signature statement regarding iBSL

Signature has been notified, from Ofqual and Qualification Wales, that on the 24th November 2022 they imposed special conditions on the Institute of British Sign Language (iBSL) which prevents it from registering any new candidates to their qualifications without approval from them both.

As an awarding body that offer similar qualifications to iBSL, we were informed that centres may contact us to enquire about transferring learners to our qualifications.

The special considerations required iBSL to write to their centres and learners with details of alternative qualifications to those offered by iBSL. Ofqual and Qualification Wales have similarly written to those centres with this information.

iBSL are required to take all reasonable steps to assist any learners, centres or awarding organisations that request its assistance to transfer any learner from an iBSL qualification to any other qualification regulated by Ofqual and Qualification Wales.

If you are a learner, centre, or teacher from iBSL and would like support, please don’t hesitate to contact our team who will be available to provide this support.

Please email ibsl@signature.org.uk with your details.

Lindsay Foster, Executive Director at Signature said: “Following today’s notification from Ofqual and Qualification Wales, we have immediately put in place processes and plans to make the transition to Signature as straightforward as possible for learners and centres.

We understand how difficult this is and will do all we can to support those learners and centres who wish to complete their qualification with Signature. Our team, including myself, are ready to provide advice and guidance to anyone who needs it who have been affected by this situation.

We want as many of those learners affected to continue to learn BSL at the standard set by both iBSL and Signature.”

John Walker, Chair of Signature said: “As chair of Signature, it’s important for me to inform you that our team at Signature is available to support the team at iBSL and to make the process as straightforward and smooth as possible. We understand how difficult this time will be for anxious students and centres, so if there is anything we can help with, please let us know.

My message to learners is that we hope you will continue to learn BSL and gain your qualifications. Learning a language is a rewarding experience: not only do you gain a life skill and improve the way you communicate with everyone, but you will also meet a deserving community.

We are here for you, we will help and do what is needed to help you continue to learn.”

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