A quick guide to BSL/English interpreters’ and translators’ organisations

Confused by the number of BSL/English interpreting organisations in the UK?  It is confusing, because there are so many!  So here’s a quick guide to help you to work out who does what…

 

 

See also:

 

The National Union of Sign Language Interpreters (NUBSLI):

The trade union for BSL/English interpreters and translators.

NUBSLI campaigns to protect interpreters’ fees, terms and conditions.  In doing so, NUBSLI also supports the Deaf community’s access to quality interpreting.  Interpreters do not have to join NUBSLI.

The National Registers of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind People (NRCPD) and The Regulatory Body for Sign Language Interpreters and Translators (RBSLI):

Regulatory bodies which have registers for BSL/English interpreters and translators.

They have complaints processes, so people who need to complain about interpreters can do so via NRCPD or RBSLI, if they are registered with them.

NRCPD has a Code of Conduct and RBSLI has a Code of Ethics, which are like guidelines for how interpreters should behave.  Interpreters do not have to register with them, but may not get work if they don’t, as bookers often require it.  Those who are registered should carry an ID card that shows they are registered.  

Association of Sign Language Interpreters (ASLI) and Visual Language Professionals (VLP):  

Member led professional organisations for BSL/English interpreters and translators.

ASLI and VLP provide external representation, best practice guidance, professional support and networking and insurance.  Interpreters do not have to join them; they may join ASLI or VLP, or both, or neither.

Scottish Association of Sign Language Interpreters (SASLI):

A professional membership organisation AND regulatory body for BSL/English interpreters in Scotland.

SASLI provides professional support and networking, but no insurance.  It is also a register, with a Code of Conduct Policy and a complaints procedure.  Interpreters do not have to join/register with SASLI, but may not get work if they don’t, as bookers often require it.  Interpreters who are registered should carry an ID card that shows they are registered.  

 

Further information

Here’s a visual flowchart, created by Katy Smillie, one of our members. You can view the larger version by clicking on the image.

organisation chart

 

If you want to find out more about the organisations mentioned, the following links will take you to their websites: