“Many of you out there who have the responsibility of booking interpreters may not be aware of what is happening in the North West. Unfortunately due to economic pressures everyone is having to cut corners with regards to budget and this is having a huge impact on Deaf people when interpreters are being booked. A lot of agencies are providing ‘sign language interpreters’ to interpret at appointments. Quite often to save money they are sending people who are not trained or qualified to do this work.
As a qualified registered interpreter I have turned up to quite a few appointments to find out that an unqualfied, untrained person with pre GCSE level of language has been there before me and tried to facilitate communication. This has had some serious implications especially when working with job centres (deaf people’s benefits have been stopped), the police, hospital appointments (one woman didn’t realise she was going to have a hysterectomy) etc etc.
Please can you make sure that if you are booking interpreters or using interpreters that they are a registered interpreter. The main registration body is NRCPD and if you look at their website www.NRCPD.org.uk you can search the register to make sure they are who they say they are. All registered interpreters must carry ID with them that clearly shows NRCPD. Being registered means your interpreter will have a current Enhanced CRB check, Professional Indemnity Insurance and you will have access to a complaints procedure.
Keep safe out there!”