Complaint references: CR55

19th Apr 2021

Professional Discipline Registered Sign Language Interpreter
Date Complaint Received 19.04.2021
Date Complaint Closed 25.10.2021
Origin of Complaint Professional Service User
Registered or Trainee Registered
Nature of Complaint

Complainant raised concerns around a remote lecture assignment 22nd March. Two RSLI's had been booked (one of which was the Registrant) and a third was in attendance as an observer. The Complainant had co-ordinated and was delivering the lecture. The Complainant was a BSL user, as were several of the students in attendance.

Allegations include that the Registrant logged in 15 minutes late, declaring they had not prepared and were drunk. The Registrant could not decipher what was being signed and left without explanation a few minutes after the lecture started. The RSLI observing stepped in to support the Registrants co-worker, so they did not have to continue alone. The Registrant later sent a message to the Complainant apologising, stating they had left to avoid further embarrassment.

The recordings from the lecture were provided, and witness statements were obtained from the co-working RSLI and RSLI observer present.

The Registrant provided various character references as part of their response statement.

Summary

Investigation conducted into potential breach of Section 1.1 and 6.1 of NRCPD's Code of Conduct. This investigation did not proceed to second statement stage, due to the acceptance of culpability and apologies from the Registrant in their first statement.

Outcome

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.

The Case Examiners view in relation to impairment was that whilst the situation became disrespectful due to the impairment from alcohol, however they did not believe this disrespect was intended. They concluded that the Registrants arrival late, underprepared and under the influence of alcohol, resulted in their inability to complete the assignment to an acceptable standard and they terminated their involvement quickly.

In reaching their decision around whether it was in the public interest to refer this case to the Complaints Committee, the Case Examiners concluded that it was sadly regrettable human error that had resulted in the Registrant failing to add the booking to their diary. They noted that the character references provided by the Registrant supported that this was not the normal standard of conduct for this Registrant, and that all of the character references attest to the Registrants previous professionalism, skill and that they are seen as a role model for other colleagues.

The Case Examiners formally acknowledged how distressing this incident must have been for the Complainant, who had put trust in the Registrant, and that trust was broken. The Case Examiners wished to let the Complainant know that their decision did not dismiss the upset and embarrassment caused.

The Case Examiners also wished to commend the actions of the co-worker and the observer who managed the situation with professionalism.

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