itiss – providing you with information …

itiss - itiss – providing you with information …

Guidelines – Booking BSL/English Interpreters


When you are making your booking for a BSL / ENG Interpreter[s], it is worth considering the following which acts as a guide.

Example of Table 1

Duration Number of BSL/ENG
Setting / Situation
30 – 60 minutes   2 Large Dinner / Social / Networking
1st Interpreter to work
2nd Interpreter to eat / ‘rest’
but remain active
1 – 4 hours Minimum 2 Same as above
4 or more hours Minimum 3 Conference type situation
1st Interpreter to work
2nd Interpreter – Feeder / ‘rest ‘
but remain active
3rd Interpreter – eat / rest
  • Feeder would involve feeding the 1st Interpreter information / support / or taking over if and when necessary.
  • ‘Rest’ – does not mean that the Interpreter is off or away, but more that they are observing and making sure the Active Interpreter is
  • In a situation where a 3rd interpreter is involved, ‘Rest’ would mean rest and not ‘observing’.

You should make sure that the Social /Networking sessions [ i.e. lunch, coffee breaks, socialising, networking etc ] are covered as well as plenary and workshop sessions.

It is worth booking your Interpreter[s] who are registered with the various registration bodies. [see table below for more information ]

Some Interpreting agencies may charge you extra for their services, It is worth checking this out before confirming any booking.

Duration Number of BSL/ENG
Setting / Situation
MCIL Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguistics UK wide
MITI Member of the Institute of Translators and Interpreters UK wide
MASLI Member of Association of Sign Language Interpreters Professional Body for England / Wales / N. Ireland. – There is a network for Scottish based Interpreters, see SASLI.
MRSLI / TI Member of the Register of Sign Language Interpreters Register of Interpreters in England / Wales / N. Ireland –(there is a small group of these interpreters working  in Scotland)
RMSASLI / AMSASLI Member of Scottish Association of Sign Language Interpreters Scotland only – SASLI is the Professional Body for Scotland only, and also holds the Register of Interpreters.

Provide as much information as possible and well in advance of the event.

Negotiate with the BSL / ENG Interpreters and User[s] an appropriate plan or timetable with start / finish times and duties of each BSL / ENG Interpreter [i.e. which interpreter will do the BSL to ENG and ENG to BSL etc]

The BSL / ENG Interpreter should be positioned in a well lit, clutter free background.

In a platform type setting it would be appropriate to have some seats reserved for the BSL / ENG Interpreters if more than one is working and perhaps some for the D/deaf BSL Users.   However it should not be assumed that all BSL D/deaf User would like to sit at the front of the room.

You should also expect some negotiation from the Interpreters regarding lighting and positioning as they are normally best advised for this.  This should be done well in advance.

It is in your own interest not to leave this to the last minute time should be allocated for this.

It would be advisable to negotiate with the BSL / ENG Interpreters in dealing with simultaneous request from multiple User[s]