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Membership and Operation

Terms of Reference

The Regulatory Centre for Irish Sign Language Interpreters Ireland CLG has been established to develop and maintain a Register of Sign Language Interpreters (RISLI) under the supervision of a Registration Panel. The Terms of Reference set out the operating procedures of the panel.

Functions of the Panel

The Regulatory Centre for Irish Sign Language Interpreters Ireland CLG has been established for the purpose of maintaining the register of Irish Sign Language Interpreters and quality assurance scheme (“the Register”), currently being developed by the Sign Language Interpreting Service and Citizens Information Board. This company will operate under the business name of RISLI. A Registration Panel (“the Panel”) will be appointed to RISLI, which will assume the role of decision maker in relation to all relevant matters connected with the Register. This paper contains information such as the intended function of the Panel, duties and obligations, terms of reference and membership criteria. Much of this information may be contained in Bye-Laws.

The Panel is responsible for:

  • Maintaining the professional Register of Irish Sign Language interpreters
  • Defining and setting requirements and standards for registration and maintaining registration
  • Recognition of education and training programmes for the purposes of registration and its maintenance
  • Setting criteria for the selection and registration of individual assessments for Irish Sign Language Interpreters, as required
  • Specifying standards of practice for registered Irish Sign Language Interpreters, including the establishment, publication, maintenance and review of—
    1. appropriate guidance on all matters related to professional conduct and ethics for registered Irish Sign Language Interpreters,
    2. appropriate guidance on the maintenance of the professional competence of registered Irish Sign language interpreters, and
    3. a Code of Conduct for registered Irish Sign Language Interpreters
  • Maintaining the Code of Conduct and other policies, codes or documents relating to matters including the ethics and professionalism of registered interpreters
  • Giving guidance to professionals on Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and evidence of work practice requirements
  • Hearing submissions and deciding on appropriate sanction(s) where the Complaints Committee decides that a complaint is upheld
  • Setting fees for entry to and / or retention on the Register, when required
  • Monitoring and reviewing quality standards, policies and practices

Panel Duties and Obligations

  • Members are required to devote as much time as is necessary for the proper and efficient discharge of their duties
  • Members may be nominated to serve on committees or sub-groups, to be established by the Registration Panel as required
  • Members are obliged to comply with the relevant provisions of the Registration Panel – Code of Conduct. Members should also be aware of, and work within, the Charities Governance Code
  • While there is no remuneration for the position, members can claim travel and subsistence allowances, which will be paid in respect of journeys undertaken to attend meetings or to transact its business. This will be in accordance with approved public sector rates
  • Most communication between Panel members will be by electronic means. Members must be willing to accept communications through electronic means. Equal respect will be given to the use of signed languages in communications and Irish Sign Language interpretation will be provided where required
  • Members shall not, unless authorised by the Registration Panel or required by law to do so, disclose confidential information obtained while performing duties, as member of the Panel. Members should abide by the confidentiality policy as set out below and be mindful of the circumstances where information shall be disclosed as outlined in this policy

Decision Making

  • The Panel acts with autonomy and independence in the best interest of the Register. All decisions in relation to the operation of the Register are made by the Panel
  • The Chairperson has been nominated by the Department of Social Protection.  If no Chair is in attendance the Panel members will propose and second a candidate from within the Panel members present for the role
  • Decisions will be primarily made by consensus, or on the casting vote of the Panel Chairperson. In circumstances where a consensus cannot be reached, a decision of the Panel made by way of a simple voting majority (50% plus one). In the event of a tied vote, the Chairperson shall have a second or casting vote
  • The Panel can change and amend its own policies and procedures by a majority vote at a Panel meeting. Any such changes will be included in the quarterly Registration Panel report for publication on the website (risli.ie), as well as communicated directly to registrants.  All policies and procedures will be updated at the earliest instance
  • Outside supports, such as legal and other advice, may be accessed by the Panel as required in accordance with Office of Government Procurement (OGP)
  • The Panel may recommend Subcommittees are established as deemed necessary. In this regard, the Panel shall adopt Terms of Reference for each SubCommittee; such Terms of Reference shall outline Committee roles and functions, membership, reporting requirements and be updated on a regular basis

Meetings & Reporting Mechanisms

  • Meetings will take place as necessary. It is intended the Panel meets at least four times a year. Minutes of each meeting of the Panel will be recorded and published
  • A quorum for the purposes of a Panel meeting shall be 50% plus one
  • Panel members should attend all Panel meetings, and any meetings of subcommittee of which they are a member. If a member misses three consecutive meetings (Panel and Subcommittee), they will be deemed to have resigned
  • There may be circumstances in which members are unable to attend a meeting, in which case they should send their apologies as soon as possible to the relevant Chairperson and/or the Secretariat of the meeting of the Panel or Subcommittee
  • The Panel will provide updated quarterly Registration Panel Reports in writing to the Secretariat for publication on the website (risli.ie) and for submission to The Regulatory Centre for Irish Sign Language Interpreters Ireland. CLG. (RCISL) These reports will provide:
  1. general information in relation to the Register
  2. names of those accepted onto the Register
  3. policies, procedures, and any changes thereto
  4. recommendations

Conduct Guidelines

  • Panel members and the Secretariat supporting the operation of the Register are expected to maintain the highest ethical standards in their role.  Standards are contained within the Code of Conduct for Panel Members
  • Panel members should bear in mind due to the manner of their role, even when they consider themselves to be working in a private capacity, or for another organisation, they should be mindful of their conduct
  • Any breach of Code may result in action being taken against the Panel Member, Secretariat or partners concerned, including, but not limited to collective discretion of the Panel, to withdraw membership or participation in the Panel or its subgroups
  • A Panel Member must act in a manner which is consistent with the aims and interests of Panel and shall seek to enhance its reputation

Secretariat

The Secretariat will provide administrative and operational support to the Panel. This includes, but is not limited to, the drafting of the Agenda of the Registration Panel meetings in collaboration with the Chairperson, the preparation and circulation of papers for such meetings, ensuring they are sent to members in a timely fashion and the drafting of Minutes for each meeting.

Panel Membership

Selection and appointment of Panel members and terms of office are covered in this section.

Panel Composition

The Panel consists of up to eleven (11) members who serve on a voluntary basis comprising of members from key  stakeholder organisations as set out here:

  1. One Registered Irish Sign Language Interpreter
  2. One academic expert in interpreting or Deaf studies
  3. One member with international experience of sign language interpreting register
  4. One professional interpreting representative
  5. One public body representative
  6. One external registration panel member
  7. One nominee of the Minister for Social Protection
  8. Three members of the Deaf community

Appointment of the Panel

  • Members of the Panel have been appointed by the appointing body. For the initial Registration Panel, members will be appointed from the recommendations of a Selection Committee composed of the following:
  1. a nominee of the Minister for Social Protection appointed as Chairperson of the Selection Committee
  2. a Sign Language Interpreting Service (SLIS) Board Member
  3. a representative from the Irish Deaf Society (IDS)
  4. a nominee of the Council of Irish Sign Language Interpreters (CISLI)
  5. an external representative with experience of an established professional register
  • With the exception of the appointment of the initial Registration Panel, members will be appointed by the appointing body from the recommendations of the Registration Panel
  • Invitations to apply for membership of the Registration Panel were extended to key stakeholder organisations and clubs
  • Invitations outlined criteria and responsibilities of panelists
  • The Secretariat will collate Expressions of Interest from candidates for the Registration Panel and communicate with candidates on behalf of the selection committee throughout the recruitment process
  • To assist in decision-making, the Selection Committee or Registration Panel may request those shortlisted from an Expression of Interest process to provide further information or attend for a short meeting with Selection Committee or Registration Panel members
  • The Selection Committee or the Registration Panel, through the Chairperson, will send a Recommendation for Selection (Registration Panel) Notice to the appointing body for appointment
  • Where a member is not in a position to complete his or her term of office such that a vacancy occurs, the appointing body will appoint a replacement panel member from within the recommendations of the Registration Panel, whilst ensuring that the constituency requirements are met

Criteria for Membership

Efforts shall be made to ensure Panel members selected are:

  • familiar with the Deaf and/or disability sectors, or can demonstrate capacity to acquire this knowledge, as well as the legislative, educative, and regulatory environment in which the Panel operates

OR

  • experienced in panel, committee or board membership and/or public administration experience

Panel members should ideally possess the following qualities:

  • relevant experience of the Deaf community and interpreting world, or the corresponding profession or industry in which they are based
  • effective judgement and decision making
  • demonstrated experience in identifying solutions to complex issues and understanding their impact and implications
  • excellent interpersonal and team-working skills, with proven ability to build relationships with different stakeholders
  • excellent communication skills in written / spoken English and/or Irish Sign Language, with the ability to negotiate and challenge when necessary
  • a strong sense of ethics and integrity with the ability to bring objectivity and scrutiny to the operation of the Register

Induction will be provided to new Panel members. This will consist of an introduction to all policies, process, background to the Register, explanation of duties. A face-to-face (or virtual) meeting with the Chairperson will be arranged. This induction will involve ensuring that Panel members have familiarity with all the functions, policies and processes of the Panel. Topics within the induction may include some or all of the following:

  1. the governance structure of the Panel
  2. the legislative and administrative framework in which the Register sits
  3. the Code of Conduct used by the Register
  4. the Registers’ complaints and appeal processes
  5. the processes around membership of Specialisation Panels once established
  6. Confidentiality and GDPR requirements as they pertain to the Register

Terms of Office

Members of the Panel appointed will hold office for a term of three years from the time of appointment. To protect consistency and continuity of the Panel, members are appointed by random selection for a term of either two years (50% members) or three years (50% members) on establishment of the Panel. Except for the Chair who will be appointed for three years.

The Panel will be chaired by one of its members,  appointed for an initial term of three years.

Panel members cannot remain members for more than two consecutive terms. Second terms will be endorsed by appointing body.

A Registration Panel member term will cease in the following scenarios:

  • Resignation of the Registration Panel member
  • A breach of the Code of Conduct for Panel Members. Non-attendance of a Registration Panel member at 3 successive Panel meetings
  • Death of the Registration Panel member

References

CORU, Code of Conduct for Council and Registration Board Members (PDF).

CORU, Guide for Council and Registration Board Members (PDF).

[1] See https://www.revenue.ie/en/employing-people/employee-expenses/travel-and-subsistence/civil-service-rates.aspx