Complaint references: CR49

12th Mar 2021

Professional Discipline Sign Language Interpreter (Trainee - TSLI)
Date Complaint Received 12.03.2021
Date Complaint Closed 16.09.2021
Origin of Complaint Registered Sign Language Interpreter
Registered or Trainee Trainee
Nature of Complaint

Allegations related to a complex mental health assignment in March 2021, involving both the Complainant (a RSLI) and the TSLI. Concerns were raised that the TSLI was also undertaking other mental health work along with complex Social Care and medical assignments. The Complainant had spoken to the Agency involved in the booking, who informed her that the TSLI was cheaper than other interpreters and therefore was obtaining a large workload. The Complainant felt the TSLI was accepting inappropriate bookings and not adhering to the practice restrictions for TSLI's


Investigation conducted into potential breach of Section Potential breaches of 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 6.1 and 6.2 of NRCPD's Code of Conduct. A statement was obtained from the Agency involved.


Case Examiners decided based on the evidence provided, that there was a realistic prospect of finding an impairment of fitness to practice, but that it was not in the public interest to refer the case to a Complaints Committee.

In their summary, the Case Examiners concluded that the content of the booking was clearly available, and that the TSLI accepted the booking without getting adequate information.

Witness evidence did indicate that the TSLI had undertaken Social Care work and commented that this may not be suitable for Trainees if the content is complex. Such work should be undertaken with caution, and great care taken over whether a Trainees skills and ability are adequate for such assignments. Trainees should keep this under review throughout their involvement with a case, take advice and if necessary, take further steps to find a suitably experienced replacement should they feel the case is becoming complex and beyond their skills, ability, or knowledge.

The TSLI was advised to meet with a supervisor to explore why mental health and complex Social Care assignments are not suitable for a TSLI. The supervisor is to confirm these discussions to NRCPD within 3 months. The TSLI was also advised to meet and discuss with other senior RSLI colleagues to benefit from their experiences.

NRCPD was also asked to contact the Agency involved around not allocating such bookings to TSLI's in future.

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