16 01, 2019

Have you used our Discreet and Professional Remote STTR Service?

By |January 16th, 2019|Categories: Access to Work, Deaf Community, Services, Stories, Stories|0 Comments

About our Remote Speech to Text Reporting service

Here at Clarion UK we have been developing our Remote Speech to Text Reporting service with help from our dedicated and experienced team. The Remote STTR service is designed to help anyone who is hard of hearing to connect and engage conveniently and discreetly when in an environment that involves speech. For example, during a one-to-one review, a small meeting or large event with hearing colleagues.

How does it work?

If a hard of hearing customer requires this service, one of our reporters will give them a call. The customer will be asked to open the text viewing software on a laptop or tablet. Through this software our reporter can type a live stream of what is being said in real time.

We asked one of our new customers who works in finance some questions about how they found the service…

In what context do you use the Remote STTR service?

I use the remote STTR service for small meetings at work (less than 10 people). I have a personal laptop and we use a conference phone in the meeting rooms. I find that this is more than acceptable in picking up the audio feed for the reporter.

How did you find the set-up process?

Incredibly simple!! I am not a techie person by any means, but it was literally clicking on a weblink that the reporter sent me prior to the meeting and answering a telephone call. The reporter explained that I could amend the size / colour of the text received and highlighted some basic functions.

Did you have any difficulties with the service being remote?

None whatsoever, it was perfect. All the text was captured and nothing was missed.

Why is the service beneficial to you?

It made me feel a lot more confident in the meeting and I didn’t feel like I ‘stuck’ out so much. I was the same as everyone else, sat with a laptop in front of me. It was more economical time wise, as I didn’t have to meet a reporter in reception, wait for them to set up/dismantle and then escort them from the building. I felt more professional and more in control.

How do you find the technology, is it easy to use?

Extremely easy. I was really worried the night before the meeting because I thought it was going to be really complicated and I was going to look silly in front of my work colleagues if I did not get the IT aspects working. All I had to do was click on a hyperlink and provide a telephone number for the reporter to call.

How accurate and easy to understand would you say the text responses are?

The responses were perfect – we use a lot of acronyms and the reporter did not miss one during the whole meeting. I felt genuinely included in the meeting and confident that everything was being captured. I did not have to ask the reporter to clarify any of her typing comments.

Overall would you recommend the remote STTR service?

I would 100% recommend the service. It felt a lot more natural and I felt so much more confident without someone sat next to me typing. I felt like I belonged more and didn’t stick out as the deaf person as much. I will definitely be using the service again and Access to Work are more than happy to cover the costs involved. It does actually work out cheaper because there is not travelling fees involved.

If you would like to find out how we can help you, please get in touch with us at office@clarion-uk.comor see our website further information.

19 03, 2018

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: Free CPD training for Assessment Centres

By |March 19th, 2018|Categories: Advice, Deaf Education, Services|0 Comments

“No sales pitch, please” – The Clarion Approach to Training

Earlier this year, we were approached by a Needs Assessment Centre who asked us for “Not a sales pitch” but instead a “Warts and All” story, consisting of:

  • An accurate portrayal of a student’s journey with us.
  • An honest account of what it’s like for us as an agency.
  • Our ultimate aims and ideals for specialist provision, compared to the reality of the situation.

They told us that their staff already knew about specialist provision so they didn’t need to be told again and that they were tired of hearing the same slick pitches that had very little substance behind the hype. What they really wanted was to meet us, and hear the true (carefully redacted) stories. The good, the bad and the ugly.

Throughout Winter, we have been rolling out this new approach to training for Needs Assessment Centres and it’s gone down very well. Personal feedback from individual Needs Assessors has been invaluable. One example:

“This was a great end to the week and really refreshing not be sold a product, but to get some honesty. You made us all laugh as well.”

If you would like us to pay a visit and share your students’ authentic journey once they finish their studies, ‘warts and all’, we would be more than pleased to do so. Alternatively, we would also be proud to present our more traditional training for working with students who are Deaf and hearing impaired, just no slick pitches, we promise!

If so, please get in touch.

Sally Chalk 

Chief Executive Officer


Tel: 01763 209001

Mobile: 07976 939122

For more information visit:

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27 01, 2018

Partner Bulletin 15 – A Review of the Last 12 Months

By |January 27th, 2018|Categories: Partner Bulletin, Services|0 Comments

A Massive “Thank You” to all our Partners

You, our partners, are the lifeblood of our company. As BSL/English Interpreters, Language Support Professionals, Communication Employment Consultants and NMH (Education) providers, we really value what you do for us and our clients day after day, night after night and we couldn’t do what we do without you.

I am sure you have noticed we have been busier than normal and that we are making some changes to the way we work; for example, we are doing more communications on-line and we are asking you to fit in with the way we work more than before. I wanted to provide the context for these changes and also let you know what you have achieved as part of the Clarion UK team in 2017.


We delivered 19,546 bookings in the last 12 months, that’s an average of 85 bookings per working day. In November and December 2017 alone, we delivered 4249 bookings – an average of 106 bookings
per working day.


We worked with over 80 Deaf and hard of hearing students at over 50 Universities and Colleges around the UK. You helped us to provide over 25,000 hours of interpreting, notetaking and specialist support for Deaf students doing 65 different types of degrees or Further Education qualification. In total, if we include those students with mental health issues, sensory impairments, physical and specific learning disabilities we worked with 540 students and we needed a pool of 265 suppliers to do this. The DSAQAG accreditation has been difficult, by far the hardest project we have done and we have asked a lot of you –thank you for all your

Legal Work

We did 6,435 legal bookings during the whole year, an average of 28 assignments for each working day for Crown, Magistrates and County Courts, Tribunals, Prisons, Solicitors, The Probation Service, Police Authorities, Victim Support and The Crown Prosecution Service with an average of 99.5% fulfilment and no complaints. Our legal team consists of 150 BSL Interpreters, Deaf Interpreters, Lipspeakers, Deafblind Interpreters and STTR. In the first year of the MoJ contract, the quality is shining through.


We did 3,783 health bookings, 16 per day. Since the demise of Pearl, this has decreased to 13 per day but we have picked up other health clients. Delightfully, we have provided interpreters for 9 hospital births.


In total, during 2017 we worked with 908 different suppliers, paying them on time every week – we have paid 532 of these in the last two months alone. As a comparison,  in 2016 we worked with just 540 suppliers. This represents:

  • Total payments of slightly over £2,100,000
  • 11,700 individual transactions on…
  • 52 payment runs and…
  • 10 emergency ones for those that needed paying quickly

We know that this large increase in work has been significant and generally we have managed it without too much conflict or mistakes. When things do go wrong, we try to fix things as quickly as possible, apologise if we did make a mistake and negotiate to find a clear solution that satisfies all parties.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date.

16 06, 2017

Tell us How We’re Doing!

By |June 16th, 2017|Categories: Services, Uncategorized|0 Comments

We have launched a feedback form on our website and we would love to hear your opinions as Language Service Professionals working with Clarion UK – you can find it under the Linguist Zone (top right on the landing page) or you can find it here.
This will give you the opportunity to feedback to us on a number of issues that face you during your working day and for us to respond to you.  You can either submit anonymously or use your name – we really do genuinely welcome feedback and recognise that it helps us to provide great customer support.
26 05, 2017

Frequently Asked Questions about Deaf Relay Interpreters

By |May 26th, 2017|Categories: Services|0 Comments

Here we give information on Deaf Relay Interpreters and  their profession. This page contains details  about:

1. What does a Deaf Relay Interpreter do?

2. Are Deaf Relay Interpreters registered?

3. What is the Difference between Sign Language Interpreters, Deaf Relay Interpreters, Deaf Interpreters and Sign Language Translators ?

4. What are Clarion’s team numbers?

5. What is the system for checking quality? 

6. What are our plans? 

7. What are the Assessment Criteria for Deaf Relay Interpreters?

8. Why are we doing this?

1. What does a Deaf Relay Interpreter do?

Deaf Relay Interpreters are experienced, trained Deaf people who work alongside registered BSL interpreters with users who are Deaf but not fluent in BSL. It is a profession that is over 20 years old. They adapt what the hearing interpreter is signing into a variation of Sign Language for the client, and when appropriate, together with the client’s response for the interpreter. A Deaf Relay Interpreter will ensure that the client fully understands the message. There are about 40 in the whole of the UK. 

When a deaf client has specific or complex language needs they will need a Deaf Relay Interpreter.  The client requiring a Deaf Relay Interpreter may have learning disabilities, mental health problems or use a foreign sign language. Different Deaf Relays will specialise in these three different areas.

They work usually in mental health settings including tribunals and in many criminal justice settings including police, Magistrates, County or Crown Court. They also get requested by local authorities when working with vulnerable people who are also Deaf or in safeguarding settings.  They rarely get requested in health, education or corporate bookings.

2. Are Deaf Relay Interpreters registered?

No. There is no NRCPD registration category for Deaf Relay Interpreters.  The interpreting profession and Deaf and hearing Organisations have tried to get this working, but with no success. 

NRCPD has registration categories for the following: 

1. Sign Language Interpreters. As of May 1st 2017 there are 1016 (273 trainees) of these and we estimate that four of these are Deaf, although this is not recorded in their system.  It can take 7 years to train, and cost upward of £10,000.  These are not registered as Deaf Relay Interpreters. 

2. Interpreters for Deafblind People

3. Lipspeakers

4.  Speech to Text Reporters

5.  Notetakers and

6. Sign Language Translators. 

The register for trained Deaf Intermediaries sits with the Ministry of Justice. 

3. What is the Difference between Sign Language Interpreters, Deaf Relay Interpreters, Deaf Interpreters and Sign Language Translators?

We estimate 99.6% of Sign Language Interpreters are hearing and 0.4% are Deaf. Their role is to interpret between spoken English and BSL/ISL or ASL and back again. 

100% of Sign Language Translators are Deaf and their role is to translate written English into BSL and back again.

4 of the 1016 NRCPD Interpreters are also experienced and trained in Deaf Relay interpreting and, in addition, meet our requirements. These requirements include, but are not limited to availability, geographical closeness and work within our terms and conditions or vice versa. 

4 of the 11 NRCPD Translators are also experienced/trained in Deaf Relay work and, in addition, meet our requirements. 

34 of our Deaf Relays are experienced and/or trained.

Making a total pool of 42 Deaf Relay Interpreters that we would like to get assessed.

4. Clarion’s team numbers

5. What is the system for checking quality ? 

For categories 1-6 , the process goes.

NRCPD registration, although no ironclad  guarantee of quality, does mean that the person you get is  properly trained by

For Deaf Relay Interpreters it is:

6. What are our plans? 

As you can see, they are different systems. What we are proposing is formalising the assessment processes (stage 2) so that at the least, the hearing and Deaf clients have some measure of quality. This is not a training programme, but an assessment of their ability to function at a safe level. We are also keen that the importance of a registration category for Deaf Relay Interpreters alongside a functioning training and CPD programme can be re-awoken by the profession. This assessment counts as 6 CPD points. 

We hope in the future that NRCPD will recognise training so that there can be a professional route for recognition of the skilled and  challenging work done by our great Deaf Relay Interpreting team.. 

We can’t do this alone though…

We did approach Signamic 5 years ago but with no progress.  The training, CPD and registration stages (2,3 and 4) will need to be in partnership  with; NRCPD, VLP,  all specialist agencies, government procurement, , ASLI, BDA, the profession itself and anyone else who is a stakeholder. If you are interested in contributing to the leadership of this project, please get in touch with either myself or Byron Campbell.

After June 10th, we are intending  have a pool of 12 assessed Deaf Relay Interpreters and 4 who were assessed on the Sign Solutions/GO DIRECT course (back in 2006/12). They will be given priority for all our Deaf Relay Interpreter bookings across the UK.  We will be running more assessment days through the Summer and into the Autumn at central locations. 

7. What are the Assessment Criteria for Deaf Relay Interpreters?

This is not an assessment for a qualification.  We will be running a brief assessment and interview process for the Deaf Relay Interpreters to ensure they understand the role and ethics of a professional interpreter and have the skills and abilities to provide a safe and effective service.

Our assessment criteria match the criteria taken from the National Occupational Standards for Sign Language Interpreters. We are not using the same level of detail as if they were being assessed for a qualification. 

Taken from Signature Qualification Specifications – Level 6 NVQ Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting, the skills portion of the assessment will look at their ability to fulfil the following criteria;

Interpret two-way as a Professional Sign language Interpreter

Carry out two-way interpreting assignments to a professional standard by:

  1. Interpret accurately the meaning expressed by users who are communicating with each other across two languages, with only minor omissions and inaccuracies that do not significantly affect the meaning of the base message in either language
  2. Reflect the language users’: register, attitude and tone as expressed through verbal and non-verbal communication
  3. Reflect the language users’ roles and relationships with each other
  4. Interpret consecutively and/or simultaneously/whispered
  5. Interpret factual information, concepts and opinions
  6. Paraphrase the meaning of complex terms and phrases, if the direct equivalent in the target language is not known
  7. Support effective communication throughout the assignment and take action if communication breaks down
  8. Explain the interpreter’s role on arrival, if necessary
    Use conduct consistent with the principles of professional practice and the relevant professional or registration body’s code of conduct

8. Why are we doing this?

Because we believe that providing a reliable, consistent and value driven service is very important for our hearing and deaf clients and for the specialist work that we do. Luckily, The Ministry of Justice contract gives us 100% control over the services provided in the criminal justice sector for up to 7 years. The quality of service provided by our Interpreters, Lipspeakers and STTR in the first 6 months is good and we are confident in moving forward with our training and development plans we will ensure the same consistency in our Deaf Relay team. 

If you have any more questions about Deaf Relay Interpreting please don’t hesitate to get in touch. 

30 09, 2016

Recent Changes to the Way we Communicate

By |September 30th, 2016|Categories: Services|0 Comments

I am sure you have noticed that the number of bookings we are sending out at the moment is high – 20% more than last September – and we are currently doing 80 bookings per day. As a result we have made some changes to the way that we work:

  1. Batching and timing our open bookings emails. We are now sending these out 2x per day, once around 10am and another at around 3pm. These will be sent out by region: North West, Eastern, Central, Scotland, Wales, South West, South East and London. Short notice bookings will be dealt with immediately. All replies to bookings from our interpreters and communication professionals will be responded to, whether the booking has been filled or not, but you only need to tell us if you can fill a job, no need to reply if you can't.
  1. Calling the office.  If you have problems getting to your booking and we can help or have a query that cannot be answered, please call the relevant bookings officer directly:
Team Bookings Officer Number
Education Magda 01763 207916
Education Rhianne 01763 207917
Health Gemma 01763 207915
Health Emily 01763 207919
Legal Sue 01763 207901
Legal Paula 01763 207908
Legal Sam 01763 207903
Employment Caroline 01763 207904
Operations  Lorna 01763 207906

If you call the main number – 01763 209001 #1 please be ready with who you would like to speak to, your client/team and precise details of your problem. 

  1. “Did not arrives” – the number of interpreters that didn’t turn up for their bookings was running high at the beginning of the year. However out of 1500 bookings this September, we only had 5 interpreters that did not arrive, signalling a great success in this area. It seems like our reminders are working and we will continue this way of working for the foreseeable future. We extend an enormous and heartfelt “Thank You” to those of you how turn up every day into unknown or challenging situations at far-flung outposts of the UK.
  1. Escalation Process in case of queries, problems or issues.  We try to operate as a SME (Small Medium Enterprise) with honesty, transparency and integrity – apologising when we make mistakes and sorting stuff out whenever possible. Sometimes we feel like a two headed Janus – facing our interpreting teams on one side and our clients on the other and all the fun that that entails.

We take feedback through any source including Twitter, Facebook and Linked In but we do find that a quick a phone call is often the best way to resolve any issues that you may have. In terms of our more formal process, this is as follows.

For a Legal bookings: Paula 01763 207908 For Education bookings: Magda 01763 207916
Health:  Gemma 01763 207917 Employment:  Bob Marsh 01763 207900
Then:  Lorna 01763 207906 For a problem with your invoice or any questions about the supplier portal: Tim Roke 01763 207902

Anything else: Sally 01763 207905

I hope this is useful information. If you have other information or questions that you would like to see in these weekly updates, please let us know.

18 02, 2016

An (Open) Day to Remember!

By |February 18th, 2016|Categories: British Sign Language, Deaf Employment, Employment Training for Deaf People, Services, Sign Language|0 Comments

Shaw Trust, one of the prime providers on the Government’s Work Choice programme, teamed up with Clarion, bringing the City of Stoke-on-Trent a fantastic Open Day showcasing the services provided for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.

The effort for the organisation paid off with a fantastic turnout from Deaf organisations, dDeaflinks and Deaf Vibe, DEAs, and Deaf individuals themselves. A raffle was held to win prizes donated from Clarion and Shaw Trust including a meal voucher for Frankie & Benny’s! And of course… lots and lots of cakes, made especially by a local school.

Our very own dynamic duo, Bob and Tanya, traveled up North to show support for Shaw Trust’s efforts in supporting their Deaf and Hard or Hearing peers and had this to say:

“It was a real privilege to be invited to Shaw Trust’s Deaf Open Day and to see so many Deaf and hard of hearing customers attend to sample the benefits of how we can help the region’s Deaf community. The event was so well organised and promoted and we were honoured by the special appearance of former Hollyoaks actress, Rachel Shenton. Our partnership with Shaw Trust spans many years and this was the culmination of our success in reaching out to my fellow Deaf peers in this area. I sincerely hope we can do the same in other areas with Shaw Trust to reinforce the message that we are here to help. Sincere thanks goes to everyone at Shaw Trust and our Lead CEC, Penny Wilkinson for making the day a complete success”

Bob’s ‘celebrity’ status was overshone by an extra special guest appearance from Rachel Shenton before she jetted off to LA to shoot the next season of Switched at Birth!

Bob and Rachel just couldn't resist being papped!

Bob and Rachel just couldn’t resist being papped!

Penny, our lead CEC who helped organise the event commented saying:

“I want to say a huge thanks to Shaw Trust and the team at Stoke-on-Trent for all their hard work and support, they are truly an amazing group of people.”

Dominic Jeffreys, Team Leader at Shaw Trust after the event had this to say:

“It was the first time we had put on an event like this for the deaf community so we were all nervous but excited. It was important for us to do this so we could show we’re a centre of excellent and how our strong links with passionate organisations like Clarion and dDeaflinks help us improve our expertise. To have Rachel take time out of her busy schedule to see us was great, it created a really good vibe and she was very friendly. Thank you to the Shaw Trust team in Stoke and Penny from Clarion has been amazing in helping us come this far. We’re now going to start planning our next event, which will focus on employment opportunity for clients who are deaf or have a hearing impairment.”

We look forward to the next Deaf Open Day event – Hope to see you there!

12 11, 2015

VRI on Video

By |November 12th, 2015|Categories: British Sign Language, Services, Sign Language, Technology, Video Remote Interpreting|0 Comments

Here at Clarion, we offer Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) and a Video Relay Service (VRS) to Deaf and hearing clients across the UK. They are new innovative services that help break down day to day language barriers at the click of a button.

We are very proud to share with the world, our new promotional video, filmed at our head office in Cambridge.

Thank you to Oggi Tomic for the fantastic filming, Ashleigh Chalk for the editing, Jason Ellis for presenting, Debbie Watkins who did the BSL interpreting, and everybody else that contributed. What a fantastic team!