Changes to Requirements for Trainee Sign Language Interpreters.

15 January 2018

NRCPD has consulted with stakeholders about the standards and requirements of Trainee Sign Language Interpreters (TSLI). Following the consultation, a working group was set up, and the feedback from the consultation informed its recommendations for changes to the requirements for TSLI, with the view of improving standards. In August 2017 the Board approved the proposed recommendations.

Recently, following a review of the National Occupational Standards in Interpreting, the decision has been made to remove the National Occupational Standards for Trainee Interpreters (NOS TINT) from the National Standards. The NOS TINT were the standards used to assess a potential trainee before they are endorsed as safe to practice as a TSLI. Although these standards are no longer formally part of the National Occupational Standards, NRCPD will retain these as a framework to assess TSLI.

The new requirements for TSLI will be implemented on 1 April 2018. The new requirements are set out below.

Contact between TSLI and supervisors

  • TSLI and their supervisor must have formal contact once every three months. This is a minimum requirement and meetings should be more frequent if the supervisor or TSLI feel it necessary.
  • TSLI and supervisors are encouraged to have monthly contact in-between the quarterly formal meetings.
  • Video conferencing or similar meetings are acceptable.
  • A record of the quarterly meetings must be kept that includes the date and what was discussed, and it must be signed by both parties. Records from each meeting do not need to be submitted to NRCPD; however they must be retained for audit.
  • If the supervisor has evidence that the TSLI is not meeting the trainee standards and/or feels they are not safe to practice, the supervisor must inform NRCPD.

Assessment and Endorsement

  • TSLI must be assessed against the trainee standards before their first application and then at each subsequent renewal. If the assessor decided they do not meet the standards, they will not be endorsed and will not be permitted to renew at that time.
  • The assessment must be carried out by an assessor (A1) or equivalent.
  • A record of the assessment must be made and signed by both TSLI and endorser. Records to do not need to be submitted at each renewal; however they must be retained for audit.

Approved Development Plans

  • TSLI who are undertaking an approved development plan must record their progress against their planned targets at the quarterly meetings and this must be countersigned by the supervisor. Records do not need to be submitted to NRCPD but must be retained for audit.

Training/practice breaks

  • TSLI must inform NRCPD if they intend to take a break from training and practicing. If the break is three months or longer, the TSLI must be assessed against the trainee interpreter standards by an assessor or equivalent to ensure they meet the required standard following their break.


  • An annual audit will take place to ensure compliance with the new requirements.
  • Information that will be required for audit, and therefore must be retained by the TSLI is:
  • Records of the quarterly meetings between TSLI and supervisor.
  • Records of the TSLI progress against planned targets in their approved developments plan, countersigned by the supervisor (this only applies to TSLI on approved development plans).
  • Records of the TSLI assessment against the trainee interpreter standards.

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