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Structure and Governance

The Regulatory Centre for Irish Sign Language Interpreters Ireland CLG, was established in December 2020 to maintain the register of Irish Sign Language Interpreters and quality assurance scheme (“the Register”).

This company will operate under the business name of RISLI. A Registration Panel will assume the role of decision maker in relation to all matters pertaining to the Register.  SLIS will provide administrative support to the panel through the Quality Development Officer (QDO).

Purpose of RISLI

RISLI will:

  • protect users of interpreting services, primarily the Deaf community and service providers, through a standards-based registration system for Irish Sign Language Interpreters
  • set and ensure adherence to standards for the provision of Irish Sign Language by public bodies
  • support public bodies to facilitate the use of Irish Sign Language services so the Deaf community can exercise their rights and entitlements through access to services
  • support professional Irish Sign Language interpreters to meet and maintain standards
  • promote social inclusion of Irish Sign Language users including access to public bodies
Values to be advanced

RISLI advances values to promote and ensure:

  • Social inclusion and access for Deaf sign language users
  • Quality within sign language interpreting
  • Availability of sign language interpreting in Ireland
  • Support for service providers, particularly public services to facilitate the use of sign language interpreting services
  • Strive to do no harm
Principles

The register promotes best practice, setting principles drawing on national and international standards for Sign Language Interpreting. Register principles are:

  • Balance: actions will be appropriate to the risks posed and costs identified
  • Accountable: operations are based on rational and sound decisions
  • Fair: rules and standards will be implemented fairly
  • Focus: regulation will focus on the problem and minimise side effects
  • Agile: endeavour to anticipate and adapt to change as required
  • Transparent: regulations and processes will be open and user friendly
  • Embedded: account will be taken of Irish context, the Irish Deaf community, and stakeholders
Panel Structure

The structure of the Panel, committees, and Secretariat involved with the Registration System are set out as follows:

A Selection Committee was established in November 2020 to form the first Registration Panel. The committee is comprised of five individuals, who will serve in a voluntary capacity.  Membership, made up from stakeholders, includes the Citizens Information Board (CIB), SLIS Board member, the Irish Deaf Society, the Council of Irish Sign language Interpreters (CISLI) and an external representative with experience of an established professional register. The committee invited applications from stakeholders for membership to the first Registration Panel.  The Chairperson of the Selection Committee will be a nominee of the appointing body.

A Registration Panel of up to 11 individuals, serve in a voluntary capacity to maintain the Register. Membership was through an open invitation and members have been appointed in December 2020.  Membership of the panel is assembled as follows:

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

A Complaints Subcommittee (of three people) will be convened from the membership of the Registration Panel as required. The Chairperson of the Registration Panel will nominate the Subcommittee Chair. Where there are not sufficient members available, or conflicts of interest may arise, external nominees can be appointed. The Complaints Subcommittee role is to investigate complaints as set out in the  Complaints Policy.

An Appeals Panel (of three people) to include a nominated appeals chairperson from the membership of the panel will be established to consider appeals to decisions of the Complaints Subcommittee in cases relating to alleged breaches of the code of conduct or in respect of decisions in respect of an applicant’s registration.

External Assessors will be procured by the Registration Panel to set out practical and knowledge-based assessments of interpreters for Specialisation Panels, to assess qualifications, and to carry out audits of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) as defined in the CPD & Mentoring Policy.

Secretariat to the Register and its associated components will be provided by the Quality Development Officer (QDO), SLIS.

Key Documents

The operations of the Registration System will be based on some or all of the following documents:

  1. Register Structure and Governance
  2. Registration Panel – Membership and Operation
  3. Registration Panel – Code of Conduct
  4. Registration Process
  5. Code of Conduct
  6. Garda Vetting – Policy and Guidelines
  7. GDPR and Privacy Policy
  8. CPD and Mentoring Policy
  9. Complaints Committee – Membership and Operations
  10. Appeals Committee – Membership and Operations
  11. Complaints and Mediation Processes paper
  12. Appeals Processes
  13. Panel of Assessors
  14. Specialisation Panels – Operations
  15. Skills Checks – Operations

The contents of the governing documents may be amended, or new documents added, from time to time.

References

CORU Health and Social Care Professionals Council. Guide for Council and Registration Board Members, 2019 (PDF).

Sign Language Interpreting Service. SLIS Consultation Paper: Development of a National Voluntary Register of Sign Language Interpreters. Dublin, January 24, 2018.