Winter 2013 NRCPD Update

29 November 2013

Welcome to your winter 2013 NRCPD Update.

Interim Registrar

Following Paul Parsons' departure, NRCPD has appointed Janice Spalding as interim registrar. She will work closely with Angela Nunn, our registration support officer, for 3 days per week over the coming months. Janice will move forward our work on NRCPD policies and processes arising from the options appraisal.

NRCPD Board Composition

Over the last 3 years we have worked to align our standards with those of a public interest regulator, with the longer term aim of statutory recognition.

The NRCPD board includes those capable of representing users, and those who bring experience of regulation. However, at the October 2013 meeting, the board recognised the lack of representation from registrants. As a result, it is seeking to change the board structure to allow all 3 categories (users/registrants/regulators) to be equally represented on the board.

The aim is to begin the recruitment process in the first half of 2014. In the interim period, the board agreed that the chair should recruit 2 registered communication professionals to help provide this balance. We will confirm who they are as soon as possible.

Strengthening Registration

Options Appraisal

We have listened to the concerns raised regarding how the options appraisal and the executive summary have been communicated. We understand that we have not clearly explained how the move to Professional Standards Authority status (PSA), or a similar regulatory body, would support our ambition to achieve statutory regulation.

We recently published some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), addressing the issues you have raised and a revised executive summary of the options appraisal on our website. This replaces the version previously posted online in October. The BSL versions of these documents will be provided as soon as they are available. These steps are part of our commitment to communicate with you more clearly and effectively in future.

Stakeholder Workshop

To better understand everyone's views, the stakeholder consultation workshop, which was scheduled for 27 November 2013 was postponed. The event will now be held on Monday 27 January 2014. We extend our apologies for any inconvenience caused by the change of date.

We have invited representatives from various stakeholder groups including deaf people, communication professionals, professional associations, purchasers of services, training providers, and policy makers.

Between now and the January workshop, we will work hard to seek the opinions of our stakeholders. We are committed to listening to the views of registrants and want to make sure that stakeholders can discuss, understand and be involved in any new developments.

As part of this commitment, we are taking the following steps:

  • We held discussions with individual members of the Practitioners' Forum between 21 - 26 November, prior to the group's meeting on 27 November 2013.
  • A dedicated web page called Strengthening Registration is now available on our website for information relating to the options appraisal. This page is where you will find the first set of FAQs addressing the issues you have raised, and a revised executive summary of the options appraisal.
  • We will give regular updates on consultations and activities arising from the options appraisal. We will also publish additional FAQs on the Strengthening Registration page as further questions arise. BSL versions will be provided as soon as possible.
  • In the New Year, we hope to introduce a secure forum on our website, so registered communication professionals can share their views, concerns and experiences.

After the stakeholder workshop and wider consultations, the NRCPD and Signature boards will together consider the views expressed through these consultations. They will then identify what work and funding we need to take the next steps. We will inform and involve key stakeholders in assessing the implementation of any new developments.

The NRCPD board believes this work will be challenging. Whichever of the options is eventually implemented, we know we must improve NRCPD's core processes, communications and decision making. This will make sure we continue to protect both those who use communication professionals, and those who provide the service.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

In our Summer Update we advised of changes to our policy around enhanced disclosure requirements. We have held further discussions with the DBS, and they have referred the matter to the Department of Health for further advice.

We have also requested a meeting between representatives of NRCPD, the National Register of Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI), and the chief executive of the DBS to discuss:

  1. The most effective method to provide enhanced DBS checks for communication professionals on both the NRCPD and NRPSI registers.
  2. The eligibility of both NRCPD and NRPSI, as voluntary regulators, to request enhanced DBS checks.

We will issue further updates on both these matters as soon as we receive a response. Thank you for your patience.

In the meantime, all registrants must hold a valid enhanced disclosure certificate. You should have this available for your employer to view if requested. In addition, we encourage you to consider subscribing to the DBS Update Service at the time when you next update your enhanced disclosure certificate. This means your record is kept up to date and you won't need to get another certificate, as long as you pay the annual subscription fee.

Complaints Procedure Review

We are now reviewing the NRCPD complaints procedure and expect to consult with you on this early in 2014. We also plan to resume our review of the code of conduct, as a necessary component of the complaints procedure.

We have provided a link to the ASLI website on our Complaints webpage. This provides information on mentoring support for ASLI members who have received a letter of complaint from NRCPD.

This is part of our commitment to work in partnership with organisations which share our values.

Numbers Registered

The numbers of registered communication professionals at 31 October 2012 and 31 October 2013 are:

31/10/12 31/10/13
Registered Sign Language Interpreters 772 853
Trainee Sign Language Interpreters 193 231
Trainee Interpreters 25 0
Junior Trainee Interpreters 25 0
Registered Sign Language Translators 2 10
Registered Lipspeakers 41 36
Registered Speech to Text Reporters 26 22
Registered Electronic Notetakers 11 11
Registered Manual Notetakers 12 12
Registered Interpreters for Deafblind People 16 16
Total 1,123 1,191

The total number registered has risen by 68, compared to this time last year. We would like to thank everyone for their support and recognition of the importance of professional registration.

If you would like to comment on any item in this update or raise any other matters relevant to NRCPD, please contact enquiries@nrcpd.org.uk.

Check the register

Find and contact a communication professional