New Framework Agreement

By NUBSLI | Published on 10 December 2015

Last updated on March 6th, 2019 at 9:38 pm

NUBSLI has great concerns about the new National Framework Agreement due to start in January 2015.

It has been issued by central government. Any statutory organisation can buy a contract from the Framework Agreement (FWA). It will cover BSL interpreting in many different areas of work and for organisations such as the DWP, NHS trusts and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

As an agreement which has the potential to cover all areas of BSL interpreting in local and national government organisations, the agreement has to be right to protect standards for the Deaf community and ensure working conditions are sustainable for interpreters.

You may have heard of the MoJ contract with Capita and the disastrous fall in standards that caused.

What could the new FWA mean for BSL interpreters?

  • With so many contracts going through one framework our fees and terms and conditions could be controlled by the agreement
  • Government organisations purchase one-stop shop type contracts for all types of interpreting
  • More sub-contracted work
  • Jobs filled by unqualified interpreters at cheap prices
  • Lower quality interpreters and CSWs taking work
  • Registered and qualified interpreters out of work.
  • This will cause a brain drain from the profession

What could the FWA mean for Deaf people?

  • Unregistered and unqualified interpreters
  • Lower quality of interpreting for the Deaf community
  • No choice over the interpreters they want to use
  • No control over interpreter bookings
  • Higher risks when interpreters present

What could the FWA mean for hearing users of interpreters?

  • Unregistered and unqualified interpreters
  • Lower quality of interpreting which will not enable people to do their jobs, such as hearing clinicians, staff, teachers, social workers, mental health workers
  • Inability to avoid risk by using appropriately trained interpreters

What is NUBSLI doing?

  • We are working towards quality interpreters on decent pay
  • We are working to make sure the Deaf community gets quality interpreting access

I am a BSL interpreter or translator – what can I do?

  • Join NUBSLI and recruit more members
  • Insist on sustainable fees
  • Lobby your local commissioners and services NOT to buy a contract
  • Lobby your MPs
  • Raise awareness of the FWA with the Deaf community and other interpreters