What we're doing to promote registration

05 November 2014

A core element of our work is promoting registration, which we do in a number of ways. In particular, we ask the government and public services to only use registered communication and language professionals.

We do this because regulation of communication and language professionals increases public safety. It raises standards by making sure registrants have

  • have the right qualifications
  • sign up to our Code of Conduct;
  • sign a fit and proper persons declaration; and
  • continue to develop their professional practise.

It also provides individuals and organisations that use the services of communication and language professionals with an objective complaints process. We can take action to make sure the registrant improves their training or behaviour. We can also remove someone from the register if necessary.

Access to Work

The Department for Work and Pensions' Access to Work scheme now requires NRCPD registration numbers to be included on invoices submitted by communication and language professionals.

Unfortunately, some advisers have been refusing to pay invoices retrospectively. That has caused some problems.

We have received a written assurance from the Head of Access to Work that payment will not be withheld retrospectively. Customers will be told NRCPD registration is required for future invoices to be paid.

Agencies and unregistered communication and language professionals

We are sometimes contacted by colleagues about agencies that use unregistered communication and language professionals. We recently published an article reminding agencies of the importance of using only registered communication and language professionals. It includes a letter you can download and send to agencies.

NHS England accessible information standard

NHS England is consulting on a draft accessible information standard. It will state requirements and recommendations which health and social care organisations must follow.

NRCPD has submitted a response [PDF] to the consultation. The main points are

  • the Standard should stipulate all communication and language professionals must be registered with NRCPD where possible;
  • the registration requirement should apply to medical and non-medical settings; and
  • guidance documents should state staff must ask to see the communication and language professional's NRCPD registration card.

Framework agreement for the provision of interpreting and translation services

The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) is creating a framework agreement for the provision of translation and interpretation services. It includes 'non-spoken' interpreting.

What is a framework agreement?

A framework agreement tells buyers (in this case government departments and public services) and sellers of goods and services what has to be included in individual contracts (which are called 'call offs'). In particular, it might say what the quality of the goods and services needs to be, or how much should be paid for them.

A buyer uses a framework agreement when they know they'll probably need to buy something. In this case, the government knows some of its departments and public services need to buy translation and interpretation services. But it doesn't know exactly what or how much.

The framework agreement will make arrangements with certain sellers of goods and services. They will make a bid to become the supplier of one or more translation and interpretation services.

Each department or public service then makes a contract with a supplier if they need and want to. But they don't have to use the framework agreement if they don't want to.

What we are doing

We have been in contact with the CCS since July. Our focus is to make sure the professional requirements for "non-spoken" interpreting include registration with NRCPD. That would mean every call off would state communication and language professionals supplied would have to be registered with NRCPD.

We are now waiting to see the final draft of the framework agreement.

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