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I am a BSL level 3 signer can I charge for signing?

A thorough check of the stats for this site show that there are some interesting search terms that have led people here. Amongst the normal searches for ‘Anonymous Interpreters’ and ‘sign language interpreting blog’ were the below. In a bid to right some misinformation and myths out there, there follows some comments:
BSL level 2 signer pay
Level 6 BSL signer pay
How much do level 3 BSL interpreters charge?
ads for unqualified BSL interpreter low rates
Court signer
Can I interpret in courts with a GCSE

There are two comments:
– The terminology of Signer Vs Interpreter – There is a clear distinction between signers who have some BSL qualifications but have not yet attained fluency in sign language against the National Occupational Standards. Registered Interpreters have attained fluency and have additional training in interpreting. Not everyone with language skills can be an interpreter. Any news item on the Ministry of Justice contract shows that with clearly.
– It is shocking so many people want to either hire those with basic levels of sign language or want to work using these qualifications. Let’s leave Deaf people alone, this includes children, and give them the service they deserve i.e. Registered Interpreters who have the appropriate qualifications and experience.
BSL tutors, you have a responsibility to the Deaf community at large not to encourage those that are unskilled to work as unqualified interpreters.
Do I need to register as an interpreter?
Yes.
Do I need to book a signer for a job interview?
Can children interpret for Deaf parents in the police station?

– The Equality Act 2010 states that Deaf people have a right to access services. A signer does not need to be booked for a job interview, a Registered Sign Language Interpreter does or whichever service a Deaf person has requested such as a Registered Lip Speaker.
– Absolutely not. Using children to interpret is tantamount to abuse. It may have happened years ago but no-one should be using children any longer. The Met has one of the best systems for booking interpreters and its guidelines are transparent.
Why do I need a CRB?
If I set up a business agency why do interpreters need CRB checks?

– CRB checks protect any vulnerable people interpreters may be working with. Any agency should be aware of the importance of these checks especially if they are booking interpreters for the following: child protection, mental health, courts, police, social services and medical bookings. Agencies are not monitored, registered or regulated and this is just one example of why their working practices and their employment standrards should come under close scrutiny. Especially with funds coming from the public purse.
Who is against compulsory CPD?
What are the arguments against CPD?

– The system we have for compulsory CPD is very new and as a consequence too basic. It is nowhere near the kind of regular check an interpreter should have to gauge their skillset. The system of collecting points is not an ideal refection of the safety of someone to practice. Is it just the system of collecting points that people are so against? We have even seen one organisation supposedly set up in opposition of CPD make a major u-turn and they seem to have now accepted that principle though many of their members still do not. A clear indication there is no representation of their membership.
Will the Big Word give me lots of work?
– If you are cheap, yes, or if you do not mind working for less under a sub-sub-contract. Currently Remark and Action on Hearing Loss are providing The Big Word with reduced-rate sign language interpreters.
Sign language devalued interpreters
Spending cuts on interpreters since 2010

– This blog has reported both the devaluing of interpreters and the affects of outsourcing and spending cuts on the interpreting profession in the UK regardless of the law or the government’s commitment to equality.
Access to work fraud
Access to work I need an interpreter not a CSW

– Access to work is currently a bit of a mess. Valued and absolutely necessary to Deaf employees and business owners but the bane of many people’s lives when they spend much of their time trying to get claims assessed, fighting for interpreters rather than unqualified personnel and sorting out the subsequent claim forms. Not only that but some agencies that Deaf people relied on to book interpreters have been involved in fraudulent claims, not doing any favours to the Deaf community they purport to serve. There will be a future post on this topic.

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