Our Frequently Asked Questions

Yes we do.  There is no governing body for foreign sign language interpreters in the UK.  However, there are some NRCPD registered interpreters who are also proficient in American Sign Language (ASL), Australian Sign Language (Auslan), Farsi, Irish Sign Language (ISL) or International Sign Language (ISL).  We also recommend using a registered BSL interpreter and a Deaf Relay Interpreter who has a second language for instance; French, Polish or Russian. These professionals are used to working as a team and will work in harmony. It may appear complicated but with some planning and expertise you can get successful communication in trafficking situations, police call outs and child protection situations. 

Sign language is not international; every country has its own signed language, and this may even vary throughout each part of a country just like accents. It was attempted to create an international sign language however the naturally evolved sign languages won.


There are over 135 different sign languages throughout the world, this includes British Sign Language (BSL) Australian Sign Language (Auslan) American Sign Language (ASL)

The number of interpreters you will need depends on many factors. There are a range of scenarios where it is recommended including any meeting that is more than 1.5 hours, a mental health or police statement where the consequences are significant if the details are incorrect.

There are many reasons why it is beneficial for all parties to work with more than one interpreter including the interpreters mental fatigue being significantly reduced – for more information on this head over to our resources page and have a look at our ‘ensuring you have the right number of interpreters’ PDF.

To register with us as a BSL Interpreter you will need to get in touch with Kelly – talent@clarion-uk.com who is there to help with the onboarding process. You will need to be qualified and NRCPD registered, you can find more information on that here (link to qualifications question).

We are always looking for freelance BSL Interpreters from across the country to join the Clarion UK team we also have some permanent staff interpreter positions that become available, the best way to keep a track of our current BSL vacancies is to head over to our Vacancies page.

These are the NRCPD approved courses: 

To become a Registered Sign Language Interpreter, you need to evidence that you are highly skilled in a signed language.  You must hold one of these interpreting qualifications.

Undergraduate Degrees:

Wolverhampton University BA (Hons) in Interpreting (BSL/English) (graduates who achieve a first class degree from September 2017 onwards with additional evidence)

Masters degrees:

University of Wolverhampton MA Interpreting.

UCLAN Postgraduate Diploma in BSL/English Interpreting and Translation

Heriot-Watt University MA (Hons) BSL (Interpreting, Translating and Applied Language Studies)

NVQ and Diploma Routes: 

Signature Level 6 NVQ Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting

SLI Advanced Diploma in Interpreting and Translation: BSL-English

IBSL Level 6 Diploma in BSL/English Interpreting Studies

IBSL Level 6 Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting Studies

English Speaking overseas Interpreting Qualifications (subject to NRCDP consideration and approval).

You may also need to hold one of these language qualifications.

Undergraduate Degrees:

Wolverhampton University BA (Hons) in Interpreting (BSL/English) 

Masters degrees:

UCLAN Postgraduate Diploma in BSL/English Interpreting and Translation

Heriot Watt Graduate Diploma course with grade C or above in Module C40BV1 British Sign Language

Heriot-Watt University MA (Hons) BSL (Interpreting, Translating and Applied Language Studies)

Heriot-Watt University MA (Hons) Languages (Interpreting and Translating)

NVQ and Diplomas: 

Signature Level 6 NVQ Certificate in British Sign Language

Signature Level 6 Certificate in British Sign Language (2019)

IBSL Level 6 Certificate in British Sign Language Studies

Another recognised Level 6 qualification in your second language

For more details, please look here at the NRCPD website. 

In an ideal world we would have weeks to accommodate your booking, but we understand that this isn’t always possible and life gets in the way. We always aim to fill every booking that comes through no matter how short notice. However, if you are booking with 24 hours’ notice there is a higher risk of your booking not being filled.

In short, yes. We have supported many organisations including; 38 GP Surgeries, 25 Addiction and Mental Health Centres, 5 Central Government Organisations including NHS England, 17 Dental Surgeries, 109 Hospitals and Healthcare Trusts (including Guy’s and St Thomas’ , Addenbrookes and Kings College Hospital), 34 PCTs and CCGs and 37 Private Hospitals including BUPA and Spire Healthcare. We provide the highest quality interpreters for consultant meetings including diagnosis, treatment plans, any emergency and specialist care. We also interpret for at least one birth per month and are there to support at the end of life. You can find out more about this here.

The BSL alphabet is something we can teach as part of a Deaf Awareness Training programme, it will be led by one of our Deaf team members and will take you through the alphabet as well as some useful advice and best practise information for your organisation to use when it comes to Deaf colleagues and clients. To find out more about our Deaf Awareness Training click here.

there are many things you can do to make your organisation accessible for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing. Our Deaf Awareness training (DAT) is there to educate your employees on the best practises when dealing with Deaf colleagues or clients. All of our DAT is lead by Deaf individuals and gives you a great insight into what it is like to be a part of the Deaf community and the best ways to communicate with an individual who is Deaf or hard-of-hearing within your organisation. Find out more here.

Yes, we work with you to give your Deaf and hard of hearing audiences equal access to your news, stories and songs. This may be in British Sign Language or through our specialist services such as remote speech to text or instant captioning. We have a team of over 30+ presenters and interpreters who are experts in theatre interpreting and presenting for videos. We work with a whole range of media companies producing videos, translating documents, celebrating product launches or interpreting international acts at music festivals, theatres or accessibility events. You can find out more about this here.

Yes, we have a nationwide freelance network many of which are in London the best way to see if we can fill your booking is to get in touch with the team.

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