RSLI Development Programme (1 Year)

RSLI Development Programme (1 Year)

Upcoming courses:
Thursday evenings 6pm-9pm, 11 January 2024 - 12 December 2024
Last Updated: 09-10-23

At a glance:

Level 6 (RQF)
1 years from Level 6
40 weeks
3 hours/week
Online course
£4,500 (inc. VAT and exam fees)

Course content

The aim of this course is to give you the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills to work as a professional sign language interpreter. You will achieve the Signature Level 6 Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting and Translation (RQF) qualification. This course leads to Registered Sign Language Interpreter (RSLI) status with the NRCPD.

This course is suitable for hearing people who have previous experience of interpreting, e.g. you are already registered as a Trainee Sign Language Interpreter (TSLI) and looking for a structured programme to become qualified. You must have achieved the Level 6 Certificate in BSL qualification (or equivalent) before applying. You will complete Stream 1 of the qualification (spoken/signed interpreting) in BSL/English language combination. This course is delivered in spoken English.

The course is delivered mostly online with the exception of some face-to-face assessments, which will take place at our training venue in Wimbledon, London on a weekend.

We have developed this course based on our extensive experience in the interpreting, translation and training fields. The course is made up of 240 hours of guided and independent learning spread over 12 months.

If you are not already registered as a TSLI, we will support you with TSLI registration as part of the course (subject to you also meeting all other requirements set out by the NRCPD).

This one-year course is made up of 120 hours of guided learning and 120 hours of structured independent study (total 240 hours). The course is delivered in 3-hour weekly sessions online over 12 months. This is followed by an additional 3 hours of structured independent study per week, which is completed through our e-learning platform.

In this course, you will develop your knowledge, understanding and skills in the following areas:
ModuleTopics covered
Theories and principles in interpreting and translation studiesYou will be introduced to a wide variety of key theoretical frameworks in interpreting and translation studies, such as functionalist theories, ethical models and the role of the interpreter and translator. It will introduce you to some of the current principles and issues in the public service interpreting and translation professions, with a focus on signed language interpreting and translation, and will encourage you to think critically about your own practice by applying a range of theoretical frameworks. You will also discuss ethical dilemmas that may arise during interpreting assignments.
Maintain skills and systems for interpreting tasksYou will understand the importance of maintaining interpreting and language skills as a professional interpreter and you will critically evaluate a range of systems to help you maintain your professional skills. As most sign language interpreters and translators are self-employed/freelance, you will learn about the requirements and demands of working as a freelance interpreter/translator, including practical business administration skills, the importance of maintaining good relationships with clients and how to find and charge appropriately for interpreting work.
Prepare for interpreting assignmentsYou will learn about the importance of preparing for interpreting assignments, applying key theories in interpreting and translation studies to plan and prepare appropriately for assignments. You will be able to assess your own ability to undertake, and accept, interpreting assignments, as well as plan and prepare for assignments as part of a team of interpreters. You will learn about the importance of maintaining a glossary for domains you regularly work in. You will critically evaluate and apply a range of preparation strategies and you will produce evidence of preparing for 4 assignments.
Plan and implement continuous professional developmentYou will work with your professional supervisor to plan your development points over the course of your studies. You will create, maintain and update a Professional Development Plan throughout your studies. Your plan will be informed by trends, developments and good practice in the sign language interpreting/translation profession as well as your own evaluation of your gaps in knowledge, skills and competence. You will have regular meetings with your supervisor to review your PDP (required to maintain your TSLI registration).
Professional interpretingThis module will focus on the practical skills required for one-way and two-way consecutive and simultaneous interpreting, both face-to-face and remote. It will introduce you to the cognitive processes and stages of the interpreting process as well as key skills used in the field, including note taking. You are expected to practise regularly by working as a trainee interpreter and you will also receive regular formative feedback throughout the course. 
Work as part of a team of professional interpretersThis module will give you the knowledge and skills to work effectively as part of a team of interpreters. It will equip you with a range of co-working techniques, such as feeding, checking and monitoring skills. You will consider a wide range of co-working techniques in various situations and domains, using key principles and ethical models to justify your decisions.
Evaluate performance as a professional interpreterYou will use a wide range of theoretical frameworks, ethical frameworks and key principles in interpreting and translation studies to critically evaluate your own interpreting performance. You will be able to justify and analyse the interpreting approach, as well as evaluate the consequences of ethical decisions made. 


There are a total of 17 assessments spread across 12 months. There are 5 assessments in Part 1 and 12 assessments in Part 2. All assessments in Part 1 involve written coursework. In Part 2, there are a total of 6x internal assessments of one-way and two-way interpreting, 4x external assessments of one-way and two-way interpreting and 2x sight translations (externally assessed). This means students are required to produce 6x evidence of real interpreting assignments in the community (some of these assessments will be conducted in the classroom).
13,000 word essayWritten essay – externally assessedOnline
2Business plan (detailing systems and processes in place to do business)Coursework – internally assessedOnline
3GlossaryCoursework – internally assessedOnline
44x evidence of preparing for interpreting assignments, including evidence of preparing for co-working assignments, 1-way interpreting, 2-way interpreting and sight translation.Coursework – internally assessedOnline
5Professional Development Plan and reflective journalsCoursework – internally assessedOnline
6One-way consecutive interpreting BSL>EnglishLive observation or filmed clip - internally assessedOnline
7One-way consecutive interpreting English>BSLLive observation or filmed clip - internally assessedOnline
8One-way simultaneous interpreting BSL>English and critical analysisLive observation or filmed clip - internally assessedFace-to-face
9One-way simultaneous interpreting English>BSL co-working and critical analysisLive observation or filmed clip - internally assessedFace-to-face
10Two-way face-to-face interpreting co-working and critical analysisLive observation or filmed clip - internally assessedFace-to-face
11Two-way remote interpreting and critical analysisLive observation or filmed clip - internally assessedOnline
12One-way simultaneous interpreting BSL>EnglishFilmed clip - externally assessedFace-to-face
13One-way simultaneous interpreting English>BSLFilmed clip - externally assessedFace-to-face
14Two-way face-to-face interpretingFilmed clip - externally assessedFace-to-face
15Two-way remote interpretingFilmed clip - externally assessedOnline
16Sight translation English>BSLFilmed clip - externally assessedOnline
17Immediate translation BSL>EnglishFilmed clip - externally assessedOnline

Entry Requirements

Native or near-native English
Level 6 qualification in BSL (or equivalent)
A university degree (in any subject) - mandatory for the 1-year programme
Previous experience of interpreting (in any language combination)
Pass the interview and aptitude test
You must also have a good level of literacy to be able to read and understand the course materials.

You must have previous experience of interpreting in order to be eligible for the 1-year programme. For example:

You have completed an undergraduate degree in sign language interpreting and looking for a route to RSLI registration.
You are a qualified interpreter in another language combination (e.g. ISL/English or ASL/English) and wish to qualify as a BSL/English interpreter.
You have experience of working as an unregistered BSL/English interpreter and wish to become qualified.
You have completed Part 1 of the Signature INTRA6 qualification elsewhere and wish to complete Part 2 with us.


After you have achieved the Signature Level 6 Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting and Translation qualification, you can register with the NRCPD as a Registered Sign Language Interpreter and start working as a qualified sign language interpreter.

You will also be eligible for full membership of the Association of Sign Language Interpreters (MASLI) and Visual Language Professionals (MVLP).


Many qualified BSL/English interpreters are freelance sole-traders. There are several interpreting agencies that offer work to qualified BSL/English interpreters. These include some big multinational agencies that offer interpreting services in several languages and some smaller specialist agencies that deal mainly with BSL/English interpreting services.

NUBSLI publish guidance on rates for freelance interpreters, which vary depending on the region of the country. On average, a newly qualified interpreter can expect a starting salary of £30,000 per annum. This can go up to as much as £50,000 per annum for experienced freelance interpreters.

For more information about starting out as a professional BSL/English interpreter:

National Union of British Sign Language Interpreters (NUBSLI)

Association of Sign Language Interpreters (ASLI)

Visual Language Professionals (VLP)

Dates and times

11 January 2024 - 12 December 2024 (RDP-Jan24)
Thursdays 18:00-21:00 once a week (online)
Semester 1
11 January 2024 - 28 March 2024
Semester 2
18 April 2024 - 25 July 2024
Semester 3
5 September 2024 - 12 December 2024
Note: Some assessments will be face-to-face at our training venue in Wimbledon, London (dates TBC). You will be required to travel to London for face-to-face assessments.


Part 1 + Part 2 = £4,500 (inc. VAT and exam fees)
Part 2 only = £4,000 (inc. VAT and exam fees)

Monthly: £450 per month x 10 months

£450 deposit required to reserve your place (this will be subtracted from the total cost).

£75 non-refundable interview fee is also payable. This is not returned in the event you are not offered a place on the course.

Fees include awarding body assessment fees and access to Moodle. Monthly Direct Debit payment plan comes as standard. Our fees are always all-inclusive so there are never any unexpected costs!

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