How to book an interpreter

How do I find an interpreter?

You can find an interpreter by searching the registers held by the regulatory bodies: National Registers of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind People (NRCPD), Regulatory Body of Sign Language Interpreters (RBSLI) and Scottish Association of Sign Language Interpreters (SASLI).

Registered BSL/English interpreters (RSLIs) have been assessed as safe to practice and can be held accountable via a complaints procedure. Trainee interpreters (TSLIs) who are in the process of completing a recognised interpreter training course are also regulated by NRCPD and can also be booked for appropriate assignments.
It is for these reasons that only registered professionals or regulated trainee interpreters where appropriate, should be used.

What should I expect to pay?

It depends on where the event is taking place and whether it requires an interpreter with specialist knowledge. NUBSLI has produced fee guidance which can be read on our website. If you have questions about these fees you can also read the FAQ guide.

How many interpreters do I need?

Interpreting is physically and mentally demanding. Two interpreters are usually needed for meetings or training courses that are longer than one hour or where the content is very complicated.  To protect the health and safety of interpreters, and to provide a good level of access for all, we recommend that two interpreters are booked to co-work these events.

What information do I need to give to book an interpreter?

Give as much information as possible and try to book in advance:

  • 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 how many other people will be attending.  A contact name is also useful
  • What? Extra information will help you get the most suitable interpreter, especially if your event is of a specialist nature, such as mental health or social care.

What about video/online interpreting?

Video/online interpreting services (VRS) can be used for shorter, smaller meetings, preferably one-to-one. It is not advisable to use them for large meetings which last longer than 40 minutes.

Where can I go for more information?

ASLI(Association of Sign Language Interpreters)

VLP (Visual Language Professionals)

NRCPD (National Registers of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind People)

RBSLI (Regulatory Body of Sign Language Interpreters)