Terms of Reference
Functions and Scope
The Complaints sub-committee (‘sub-committee’) is responsible for investigating complaints about registered interpreters. If the sub-committee is satisfied that a complaint is proven in part or in full, the sub-committee decides on the appropriate action.
The sub-committee is not responsible for:
Considering or investigating complaints about any interpreter who is not a registered interpreter
- Paying compensation, or helping any party make a claim for compensation
- Making an interpreter apologise to a complainant
- Giving legal or professional advice or representation to a complainant or interpreter
The sub-committee will act with autonomy and independence in the best interest of the Register of Irish Sign Language Interpreters (‘the Register’).
Sub-committee members (‘members’) will be required to devote as much time as is necessary for the proper and efficient discharge of their duties. This may include:
- preparation for meetings
- attending meetings
- stakeholder events
- other ad hoc meetings as required
Meetings will take place as necessary, upon receipt of complaints by RISLI.
Members will be expected to attend all sub-committee meetings, whether they are meetings to be attended in person or remotely.
Minutes of each meeting of the sub-committee will be prepared by the secretariat.
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.1
Most communication between members will be by electronic means, and members must be willing to accept and use communications through these means. Equal respect will be given to the use of signed languages in communications, to be facilitated by those involved with the Register.
Members are obliged to be fully cognisant of all policies and processes of RISLI, including:
- Complaints and Mediation Processes
- Appeals Processes
- Complaints sub-committee – Membership and Operation
- Appeals Panel – Membership and Operation
- Members should also be aware of, and work within, compliance with the Charities Governance Code
The sub-committee will prepare a Complaints Report for each case referred to them. This report will refer to all documentation considered by the sub-committee and any evidence heard. In addition, the report will include the decision reached on whether the facts are proven, any decision on any action to be taken, and any other information deemed necessary.
The sub-committee will work with the Appeals Panel to provide an Annual Complaints and Appeals Report to the Registration Panel each year where at least one complaint or appeal is dealt with. This report can include:
- General information in relation to complaints and appeals dealt with through the year, including numbers of cases, number of appeals, decisions, etc. This report will not divulge names or other sensitive details of particular case.
- Any observations or recommended changes to complaints and appeals policies procedures
Selection and Appointment of Members
It is intended that the sub-committee will be a three-person committee convened from the membership of the Registration Panel. Where there are insufficient numbers of members available or conflicts of interest arise, external persons can be appointed by the Registration Panel.
The Secretariat, or Board/Staff of Sign Language Interpreting Service (SLIS) will provide administrative, secretarial and other support to the sub-committee.
The Secretariat to the Sub-committee will deal with any and all correspondence in relation to the processes described in this document.
Induction will be provided to all sub-committee members. This induction will involve the functions, policies and processes of the sub-committee and how they pertain to the wider workings of RISLI and the Registration Panel. Topics within the induction will include some or all of the following:
- the governance structure of the Sub-committee and RISLI
- the legislative and administrative framework
- the Code of Conduct
- the complaints and appeal processes
- the processes around membership of Specialisation Panels
- issues surrounding confidentiality and GDPR
- Other topics that are deemed necessary
The sub-committee must be conscious of the complexity of complaints, and the wide range of expertise that may need to be drawn upon during investigation of a complaint. This may include expertise in, for example:
- different interpreting modes
- interpreting models, research and theory
- interpreter quality standards
- interpreting CPD or assessment methodologies
- sign linguistics and / or linguistic variation within ISL
- interpreter ethics and professionalism
- power dynamics and the study of oppression
- Knowledge of the Deaf community
- Other areas of expertise that may be required
Where the sub-committee require such advice and expertise which their membership do not possess, the sub-committee may appoint external consultants to assist with aspects of a complaint. External consultants may produce an External Consultant Report for use in the sub-committee’s investigation.
External consultants will be procured and remunerated for their services.