NRCPD responds to Crown Commercial Service language services framework agreement

10 December 2014

NRCPD has continued its engagement with the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) about its framework agreement for language services by responding to the latest draft of the service specification.

NRCPD is pleased Lot 4 (non spoken face to face and video interpreting services) now specifies, "Interpreters shall be registered with the National Register of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind people (NRCPD), or equivalent registration".

We are also pleased the scope of the lot has been expanded to include all services for deaf and deafblind people. All references to 'interpreters' therefore need to be changed to 'communication and language professionals'.

The specification also includes welcome references to the NRCPD Code of Conduct, language assessment and the need to establish competence, and requirements for professional development. This attention to quality will help protect the public.

However, there is still work to do as the specification of NRCPD or equivalent registration is contradicted elsewhere. In particular, qualifications below the level required for registration are listed as being potentially acceptable.

We have written to the CCS highlighting these contradictions and suggesting changes. We will be working directly with them to make sure these administrative issues are solved.

Whilst we are confident that can be done, we are concerned this version of the specification was described as the final draft when it was shared with stakeholders. It is an important framework agreement that could have a significant impact on the delivery of communication and language services for deaf and deafblind people.

It therefore needs to be designed with greater attention to detail. We hope to be reassured it will be redrafted and subject to further stakeholder comment.

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