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:
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).
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:
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