Registration Process (Standard)
The criteria for membership of the Register are:
Applicants possess at least one of the qualification routes specified below.
Applicants apply for initial registration either:
- within 24 months of the Register being established, or
- within 12 months of being awarded their qualification
The process for dealing with applicants who do not meet the above criteria are dealt with below.
Qualifications Recognised for Entry onto the Register:
The list of currently available qualifications and accreditations recognised for membership by RISLI are:
- Bachelor’s Degree in Deaf Studies (Interpreting), Irish Sign Language Interpreting, NFQ Level 8, Trinity College Dublin (TCD)
- NVQ Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting with Level 6 NVQ Certificate in Irish Sign Language (equivalent to NFQ Level 8), Signature
- Deaf Interpreting training course, Certificate Continuous Professional Development), TCD
The following qualification routes, which are no longer offered by educational providers or organisations, continue to be recognised by RISLI for membership:
- Diploma in ISL/English Interpreting, NFQ Level 7, TCD)
- Diploma in Deaf Studies (Dip H.Ed.), ISL/English Interpreting, University of Bristol (equivalent to NFQ Level 8)
- Masters in Interpreting Studies with Irish Sign Language / English language pair, (equivalent to NFQ Level 9), Queens University Belfast
- Sign Language Interpreting Service / Irish Sign Link Accreditation processes (1997, 2000, 2006, 2009)
This list of recognised qualifications will be maintained by the Registration Panel and updated as necessary, and will be published on www.risli.ie.
In order to apply for membership of the Register, applicants must submit:
- A completed Registration Form
- Evidence of appropriate qualifications (preferably a notarised copy of the award certificate)
- A recent photograph of the candidate’s face in electronic format for use on the Register Membership card
- Proof of identification
Canvassing by applicants or by others on behalf of applicants is strictly prohibited.
All applications will be reviewed by the Secretariat upon receipt to confirm qualifications and make necessary inquiries to confirm the information contained therein with the relevant educational institutions if necessary. The secretariat will issue an acknowledgement to all applicants.
If an application indicates a qualification route not recognised by RISLI (i.e. if none of the recognised qualification routes have been indicated, and a different qualification is mentioned and the application encloses corresponding evidence), the Secretariat will pursue the Registration Process for Non-Recognised Qualification set out below.
The secretariat will refer applications to the Registration Panel. A registration sub-committee(s) may be formed to consider the applications for registration. If upon consideration of the application, the Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee decides an application is unsatisfactory, the Secretariat will, following direction from the Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee, send the applicant a Registration Unsuccessful Notice, stating:
- The application has not been successful
- The reason(s) why their application has been found to be unsatisfactory by the Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee
- That the registrant can appeal the decision of the Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee not to register them by following the Appeals Process
If the applicant’s evidence of qualifications are satisfactory, the Secretariat will, following direction from the Registration panel and/or registration sub-committee, carry out the necessary administrative work to add them to the Register. The applicant will be then sent a Registration Notice, stating:
- The application has been successful. The applicant is registered, and a Registration Number is issued
- The date of initial registration (i.e. the date of the Registration Notice)
- The end date of the registrant’s first CPD Cycle (i.e. one year after their initial registration date above)
- The CPD requirements the registrant must fulfil in the coming CPD Cycle before the end date in (c) above
Successful applicants will be provided with:
- A Certificate of Registration with a unique Registration Number
- A Membership Card featuring the registrant’s photograph (provided with application), name, registration number, and date and details of registration status
- Once established, login details (a unique ID and password) to log into the online CPD Portal section of the Register Website. This will enable the registrant to update their details and access CPD resources
Applicants can appeal the decision of the Registration Panel not to register or to attach conditions to their registration by following the Appeals Process.
Registration Process (Non-Recognised Qualification)
This process applies to an application where an applicant holds a non-recognised qualification (i.e. if the applicant holds none of the recognised qualification routes identified above, and the application provides evidence of a different qualification route).
Candidates must submit a Registration Form for admission to the Register, to assist in evaluation of the interpreter training qualification, the applicant must also provide:
- details of their qualification(s), such as:
- the full title of the qualification(s) and the year obtained
- name of the educational institution providing the qualification(s)
- names of academic staff delivering the qualification(s)
- course programme or syllabus
- college transcript(s) of results
- details of interpreting experience to date, including years of experience, domains of interpreting, CPD activities carried out. Two referees must be provided
The applicant may be requested to successfully complete a Skills Check (Baseline) assessment to demonstrate satisfactory practical skills in interpreting between Irish Sign Language and English.
The Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee may request the registrant to attend a Registration Meeting to support the evaluation of their application.
Failure to respond to an invitation within 30 days or to attend a Registration Meeting may be taken by the Registration Panel as a withdrawal of the application.
Registration Meetings will be held in private, with an Assessor(s) appointed by the panel, who will make a recommendation to the Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee.
If the Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee decide the skills and experience provided is not sufficient and to the level to ensure the applicant’s basic knowledge, skills and competencies in interpreting into and from a signed language, the applicant will be sent a Registration Unsuccessful Notice. This notice will state:
- The applicant’s non-recognised qualification has been evaluated and has been deemed insufficient to support the application
- The skills and experience have not been deemed by the Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee to be sufficient and level in interpreting into and from a signed language
If the Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee decide the qualification, skills and experience is of a sufficient standard and level to ensure the applicant’s basic knowledge, skills and competencies in interpreting into and from a signed language, the applicant will be sent a Registration Approved Notice. This notice will state:
- The applicant’s non-recognised qualification, skills and experience has been evaluated and has been deemed sufficient
- The Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee may attach conditions to an applicant’s registration
Upon being evaluated and approved the qualification may be recommended to the Registration Panel for inclusion on the list of recognised qualification routes in Entry Standards for Qualification and Criteria for Education Programmes.
Applicants may appeal any decisions of the Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee to the Appeals Panel.
Registration Process (Late Registration)
This refers to an application where an applicant has a recognised qualification listed above, however application is received after the period specified above.
For late applications, applicants must submit a Registration Form. To assist in evaluation of the interpreter training qualification, the applicant must provide the following:
- interpreting experience to date, including years of experience, domains of interpreting
- log of CPD activities carried out
- involvement in the Deaf community since obtaining their qualification
- other information that may be required by the Registration Panel
Late registration will be considered by the Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee on a case by case basis. The process will follow the process outlined above.
Registration Process (Return to the Register)
If registration has lapsed by less than 12 months you can request for membership to be reactivated subject to compliance with CPD requirements.
If an applicant is seeking to return to the Register after a 12 months gap, the application process will be the same as above, however may require a Skills Check to be conducted by independent assessors.
If membership has been revoked for any reason, prior approval from Registration Panel must be received before proceeding with a new application and may require a skills check to be conducted by independent assessors. Any conditions that may apply for return to the Register must be met within prescribed timescales.
Registration Process (Fit and Proper)
Applicants must satisfy the Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee that they are a fit and proper person to carry out interpreting duties, in order to be admitted to the register. This means applicants must have the skills, knowledge, character and health to enable them to carry out interpreting duties safely and effectively.
If applicants have a serious physical or mental health condition or illness that may affect their ability to carry out interpreting duties safely and effectively, they must provide full details. This does not necessarily make applicants ineligible for registration, however it offers an opportunity for applicants to demonstrate how they manage health issues, and how this enables applicants to carry out interpreting duties safely and effectively.
Applicants must submit a Registration Form for admission to the Register where they must answer questions pertaining to their character and health.
Based on information provided on the application form relating to an applicants declaration, the Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee may request the applicant attend a registration meeting. Registration meetings will be held in private. The Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee may seek to verify any of the information provided by the applicant in these questions with third parties.
Failure to respond to an invitation within 30 days or to attend a registration meeting may be taken by the Registration Panel as a withdrawal of the application.
If the Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee decide the applicant is not a fit and proper person, the applicant will be sent a Registration Unsuccessful Notice which will contain reasons for this decision.
If the Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee decide the applicant is a fit and proper person, the applicant will be sent a Registration Approved Notice. The Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee may attach conditions to an applicant’s registration.
Applicants may appeal any decisions of the Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee to the Appeals Panel.
Maintenance and Renewal of Registration
In order to maintain their place on the Register, the registrant must:
- recognise and act in accordance with the professional Code of Conduct
- complete the required hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
- complete the yearly interpreting work practice hours required
- if selected for audit, provide the requested CPD Portfolio documentation and evidence of completion of work practice hours The Registration Panel will procure an auditor to carry out annual reviews of a minimum of 5% of registrants portfolio
- if found deficient in meeting the requirements, agree to undergo a skills check assessment if requested
- Agree to undergo Garda Vetting, if requested by RISLI
Renewal of Registration
As part of the annual CPD Cycle, a registration renewal notification will be issued to registrants.
An updated Certificate of Registration and Membership Card will be issued.
Conditions Attached to Registration
A registrant may, in the following situations, have conditions placed on their registration:
- Where a complaint is found proven in part or in full as set out in the Complaints and Mediation Policy
- Following an application for registration
Interpreters registration will need to comply with all conditions attached to their registration within the specified time period.
A notification will be issued to the registrant outlining the decision of complaints sub-committee, Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee to attach any Condition(s). This notice will state:
- the Condition(s) to be attached, and the reason(s) for doing so
- a specified time period for completion
A registrant may appeal any decision of the complaints sub-committee, Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee to attach conditions to their registration, within 30 days.
The Registration Panel, or a constituent subcommittee will review and agree if conditions have been met and may require further evidence. If a registrant fails to comply with condition(s) within the specified time period the registrant will be removed from the Register having been informed in writing of this.
The Published Register
Online Register Directory
The following information will be included on the published Register, for each registrant, on their profile page:
- Registration Number
- Date of first registration
- Specialisation Panel membership(s) (when applicable)
The following information can be included on the published Register, for each registrant, on their profile page, with the consent of the registered interpreter:
- Phone number
- Regions available for work
Registrants are responsible for ensuring information provided for inclusion in the published Register Directory is accurate and up to date.
Leaving the Register
Removal from the Register, whether voluntary or not, will entail the following:
- handing in of the former registrant’s Register Membership card
- deletion of the former registrant’s profile page from the online Register Directory
A registrant may, at any time, leave the Register by writing to the Registration Panel to that effect.
Involuntary removal from the Register
The Registration Panel may act to remove a registrant from the Register, following the decision of the complaints sub-committee (see Complaints and Mediation Processes) or where the Registrant has failed to comply with the condition(s) attached to their registration (see section 4.1.5 above).
The Registrant will be informed of their removal in writing.
The registrant can appeal the decision to of the Registration Panel to remove them from the directory, details of which are set out in the Appeals Processes.
Continuous Professional Development (CPD)
Registered interpreters must complete a minimum number of 12 hours of Continuing Professional Development, or CPD, each CPD Cycle (i.e. each 12-month period calculated from date of registration).
CPD is divided into three categories:
- Structured CPD
- Unstructured CPD
- Deaf Community Engagement (DCE)
Registrants must maintain a summary record and evidence of CPD activity. Registrants will be provided with a CPD Portfolio template which can be used to record completed CPD.
Audits will be conducted each year, with a minimum of 5% of the total registered interpreters chosen at random annually.
Registered interpreters may apply to have their CPD requirements reduced or suspended for one CPD Cycle i.e. one year’s membership, in specific circumstances.
The CPD and Mentoring Policy outlines in detail the requirement
Work Practice Requirements
Registrants must complete either a minimum of 12 interpreting assignments, to a minimum of 12 hours interpreting work, for each membership year (i.e. 12 months calculated from date of registration).
Interpreting assignments/hours can consist of the following:
- staff/PAYE interpreting hours
- paid professional freelance or agency interpreting work
- voluntary/pro bono interpreting work
Registrants must comply with requests for work practice records from the Registration Panel to participate in an audit.
Work Practice Audit
Work Practice audits will be conducted annually as part of the audit process to ensure compliance with the Register.
Audits will be conducted each year, with a minimum of 5% of the total registered interpreters chosen annually.
The registrant will be notified in writing if they have been chosen for a Work Practice audit to cover a specified period.
Acceptable forms of evidence of Work Practice include:
- letter from interpreting agency confirming the completion of interpreting hours/assignments
- invoices for work completed
- letter from employer or organisation confirming completion of interpreting hours/assignments
- Interpreting attendance sheets signed by appropriate contact person or signatory at the interpreting assignment (court clerk, medical consultant, etc.), or organiser of the interpreted event
When submitting evidence of work practice, registrants must ensure all documentation is GDPR compliant. Where this is not possible, registrants must ensure they have informed consent from all parties named in the evidence documentation submitted.
Audit will be coordinated by the secretariat on behalf of the Panel and non-satisfactory outcomes will be notified to the registrant.
Where work practice evidence is not satisfactory (hours of work practice not achieved), this is a potential breach of the Code of Conduct:
- Registrants will be notified of a supplemental period of three months to either complete, and collect evidence of work practice hours not completed in the specified period, will be additional to ongoing work practice requirements for registration in the current period
- Once submitted, the updated work practice evidence will undergo a review following the same structure as above based on the entire 15-month period
The registrant will be required to attend a work practice non-compliance meeting, with person(s) nominated by the Registration Panel, where they have failed to meet requirement within the supplementary period.
A complaint may be made to the complaints sub-committee in respect of an alleged breach of the Code of Conduct by the failure to comply with CPD and/or Work Practice requirement. A registrant can appeal any decision of the complaints sub-committee. See the Appeals Processes.
Work Practice Exemptions
As interpreters work in varying circumstances, some registrants may not have the same work opportunities as others. Registrants can therefore apply to have their Work Practice requirements reduced or suspended in exceptional circumstances. This will be assessed on a case by case basis.
A request for work Practice Exemption must be submitted as soon as possible outlining:
- The reasons why the registrant will be unable to meet the required Work Practice Hours for this current membership period. Reasons may include illness, injury, maternity leave, bereavement, or another issue that the registrant feels will affect their ability to meet Work Practice requirements
- Evidence where applicable, e.g. copy of medical certificate, sick certificate, confirmation letters from other individuals or organisations, etc.
- An indication of the amount of work practice the registrant has completed so far during the membership period, and what amount they consider they will be capable of completing in the remainder of the current Cycle
The Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee will make a decision on whether to grant an exemption. Decisions will be made depending on the circumstances outlined and evidenced by the registrant, and based on the judgment and experience of the Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee.
The registrant will be sent a work practice exemption decision notice, which will contain:
- The decision of the Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee on whether to award a Work Practice Exemption, and reasons for the decision
- Details of the amended total of Work Practice Hours that the registrant now has to complete before the end of the current CPD Cycle. (Note: if the Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee has decided not to award an exemption, these will be unchanged from the standard Work Practice requirements)
Practice Breaks – less than 12 months
Registrants can take a break from practising but remain on the register, if the Practice Break is less than a twelve-month continuous period, and they are prevented from practicing due to one or more of the following reasons:
- Maternity or Paternity Leave
- Taking up of short-term employment contract elsewhere (unrelated to interpreting)
- Other issue deemed by the Registration Panel to warrant a practice break
A request for practice break must be submitted to the Registration Panel, stating:
- The reasons why the registrant wished to take a practice break, as per Section 9.1.1 above
- Evidence where applicable, e.g. copy of medical certificate, sick certificate, confirmation letters from other individuals or organisations, etc.
The Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee will make a final decision on whether to grant such a practice break. Decisions will be made depending on the circumstances outlined and evidenced by the registrant, and based on the judgement and experience of the Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee members. If a Practice Break is granted, the Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee will reduce the registrant’s annual CPD and Work Practice requirements accordingly, depending on the circumstances of each individual case. Decisions in this regard cannot be appealed.
The registrant will be sent a practice break decision notice by the Registration Panel
- The decision on whether to award a Practice Break, and reasons for the Panel’s decision
- Details of the total CPD and Work Practice Hours that the registrant now has to complete for the current CPD Cycle. (Note: if the Registration Panel and/or registration sub-committee has decided not to award a Practice Break, these will be unchanged from the standard registration requirements.)
Practice Breaks – more than 12 months
If a registrant seeks a practice break longer than a twelve-month continuous period, they should notify the Registration Panel in writing of the practice break.
In such a scenario, the registrant will be removed from the Register by the Registration Panel, as detailed above.
Interpreters wishing to re-register after such a practice break of more than twelve months should reapply to the Register under the process described above.
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 Please see CPD and Mentoring Policy for full details of hours to be completed, categories of CPD etc.
 There are subtle differences between voluntary and pro bono interpreting: “pro bono services are typically offered as professional services. An individual, business or organization would ordinarily have to pay the donor for this work… Volunteer services come from individuals who would not normally charge for their time and the skills they donate.” See https://www.thebalancecareers.com/are-pro-bono-services-the-same-as-volunteer-services-3515203