Complaint references: CR54

10th Mar 2021

Professional Discipline Sign Language Interpreter
Date Complaint Received 10.03.2021
Date Complaint Closed 02.12.2021
Origin of Complaint Service User
Registered or Trainee Registered
Nature of Complaint

The Complaint relates to a meeting with the Complainants daughter's nursery staff. The allegations were that the Registrant signed on about 10 minutes late to the Zoom meeting. The Registrants set up was not at all professional, they were not interpreting against a plain background, and they were using a tablet which. The Registrant had to be instructed how to hold the tablet so they could be seen correctly. The Registrant kept interrupting speakers during the meeting, saying they could not hear correctly, this made the meeting quite stressful and difficult to follow for all staff members involved. When challenged on their technical set up, the Registrant was despondent and said their set up had always worked well for others.


Investigation conducted into potential breach of Section 1.1, 1.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1 & 6.1 of NRCPD's Code of Conduct.


Case Examiners decided based on the evidence provided, that there is a realistic prospect of finding an impairment of fitness to practice, however, it is not in the public interest to refer the matter to the Complaints Committee. The Case Examiner decided that the best course of action in this case is to provide advice.

With regard to 1.1 of the code of conduct, the Case Examiners recognised that the Complainant felt the Registrant appeared despondent when challenged about their technological set-up. The Case Examiners felt the Registrant had the appropriate skills to undertake the assignment but felt that they didn't necessarily have a suitable technological set up at the time. Case Examiners felt there was evidence of impairment in relation to 3.2 and 3.3 of the code of conduct. In relation to 3.3 of the code, the Registrant should have considered referring the service user to another interpreter with a more professional digital set-up. In relation to 6.1 the Case Examiners noted that according to the Complainant, the Registrant appeared to be talking to someone else in their location. Case examiners felt these actions could lead the clients involved in the assignment to question the trust and confidence they had in the Registrant and in the professionals a while. 5.1 of the code of conduct specifies an Interpreter must limit their work or stop practicing if their ability to practice could be negatively affected by your mental or physical health, and the case examiners felt it was clear from the Registrant's own account that a back injury prevented them from being able to offer an interpreting service to the best of their ability. The Case Examiners encourage the Registrant to consider withdrawing from an interpreting assignment when they feel unwell or unable to interpret due to any physical injury. Regarding the Registrant's submissions that the pandemic had forced interpreters to 'adapt and learn and primarily through trial and error'. The Case Examiners pointed out that ASLI produced a 'Video Interpreting Best Practice' document in 2015. They recommend the Registrant read and familiarise themselves with this and write a reflective review of this document to be uploaded as part of the Registrant's CPD record. The Case Examiners believed the Registrant has already reflected on their actions, sought training and updated their technology and work environment.

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