Someone who has passed BSL Level 1, 2, 3 or 6, but has no interpreter training, is not an interpreter. They may be competent in the language, but they have had no formal training on how to interpret between English and BSL. This knowledge and skill must be learnt in the safe environment of a classroom.
In line with the Code of Conduct and to follow best practice, only professional interpreters with relevant qualifications should be used. Other individuals should not ‘help out’ a neighbour at the job centre because they know some BSL or ‘have a go’ with their friend at a doctor’s surgery. The consequences could be disastrous!
CSWs (Communication Support Workers)work specifically with Deaf learners in educational settings. CSWs or communicators (unqualified) may use BSL or other methods to support deaf students, but they are not interpreters. CSWs have their own association body. Please look at their website for more information http://www.acsw.org.uk/
Hopefully this information will be useful for understanding why interpreter training and registration is so important. We hope it has been helpful.