Working with an Interpreter and a Translator

What is a registered Interpreter?

The National Registers of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind People (NRCPD) ensures that Interpreters and Translators meet the minimum qualification requirements to be safe to practice.

The criteria for admission to each registration category are as follows:

Registered Professionals:

  • have achieved, or are working towards, the National Occupational Standards.
  • have undergone a police check (DBS Check).
  • are covered by Professional Indemnity insurance.
  • agree to follow a Code of Conduct (outlining professional behaviour, neutrality and maintaining confidentiality).
  • can be made subject to the NRCPD complaints procedure.

A Registered Interpreter:

has reached the National Occupational Standards in Interpreting.

can work in most areas depending on their experience. Some areas require additional training, ie courts, police, mental health.

A Trainee Interpreter:

has not yet completed full interpreter training.

has achieved level 6 standard in British Sign Language.

can work in some areas depending on their experience.

NRCPD regulated trainee interpreters (TSLI)

TSLIs may not work in the criminal justice system or mental health settings. TSLIs must exercise caution when accepting work in a social care setting.

Booking an Interpreter or Translator

Locate an interpreter or translator on ASLI’s free online directory, the NRCPD’s free online directory, an agency or an online/video interpreting service.

Include as much information as possible such as:

•When?  Dates and times are important.
•Where? The address of the office or place where you need the interpreter.
•Why? The purpose of the booking, e.g. meeting, training or supervision.
•Who? The name of the Deaf person and explain who else will be attending.
•What? Additional details will help you get the most suitable interpreter.

Two interpreters will be required for assignments over 1 hour in length. Video or remote interpreting is not suitable for assignments over 40 minutes in length.

What rights do deaf people have to an Interpreter or Translator?

The Equality Act 2010:  service providers must make “reasonable adjustments” to ensure they are fully accessible, including providing an Interpreter.

NHS guidelines on the provision of interpreters within the Health Service: “Doubly Disabled Equality for Disabled people in the new NHS Access to Services”, NHS Executive (1999), clearly states that only registered Interpreters should be used.

Police, Courts & other Legal Agencies:  Only registered Interpreters should be used for legal bookings as per guidelines.

Access to Work
ASLI supports the National Access to Work  Delivery Managers’ Policy Statement (2007)  that the recommended minimum requirement for the engagement of an interpreter is a trainee or registered interpreter with the NRCPD.

When and where are Interpreters or Translators used?

Deaf people need an Interpreter or a Translator whenever important communication is taking place and it is their right to access that information.
For example:
•Hospitals, GPs and other NHS services
•Job interviews or at the job centre
•At work: training courses, meeting, calls
•Schools, colleges and universities
•Attending a public meeting or council appointment
•Attending court or a police station
•Banks, other providers of services

What if it doesn’t go well?

The National Registers of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind People (NRCPD) holds the register of Interpreters and Translators. If you are using a registered Interpreter or Translator and have a complaint, you can inform the NRCPD and they will investigate. You cannot complain about an Interpreter or a Translator who is not registered.

Who pays for the interpreter or translator?

It is the responsibility of the service provider under the Equality Act 2010,  however, some funding is available such as Access to Work (DWP) or Disabled
Students’ Allowance. Some services, such as health and social care, may have a
centralised booking service.