26 02, 2018

Partner Bulletin 16 – New Roles, Recruitment and Upcoming Training

By |February 26th, 2018|Categories: Careers, Legal, Partner Bulletin, Professional Development, Uncategorized|0 Comments

A Note from Sarah, your new Partner Manager

Some of you may know me from co-ordinating bookings across the legal, health and education sectors. My new role is Partner Manager and I am excited to be involved in the ongoing development of Clarion UK and looking to expand our freelancer team to meet the growing needs of our clients. In the next few months I will be:

  • Working with yourselves, keeping you up-to-date on the company, providing support in the required compliance needed for our audits and listening and acting upon your feedback.
  • Developing training to support you in your professional development.
  • Sourcing new freelancers; interpreters, language service professionals, CECs and support workers for our students in areas of the UK where we can’t currently meet the demand.

Recruitment – Win £50!

We are offering an incentive of £50 if you refer a friend to us who we place into an assignment. If you refer a friend, ask your friend to mention your name when they submit their application. Once they complete their first booking with us, I will contact you and £50 will be processed into your account.

We are currently recruiting for freelancer roles for BSL Interpreters and Deaf Relay Interpreters and continuing to recruit for our student support roles.

Please see below links for Job Descriptions:
BSL Interpreters

Deaf Relay Interpreters

Student Support Roles

Upcoming Training

Lipspeaking Training

Manchester Centre for Deaf Studies will be running a course leading to the Signature Level 3 Certificate in Lipspeaking in Manchester. It will be starting March 17th and 18th and will run for approximately 12 months. Attendance will be about 1 weekend per month and the course will involve study and practice at home as well as attendance at lipreading classes.

If you would like to have more information about this course please contact:

or visit:

Visit the Association of Lipspeakers (ALS) if you have a passion for communicating with deaf people and believe you can make a difference.

Police Interview Interpreting Workshop

A workshop designed for interpreters covering police investigative interviewing techniques.

Date: 21st March
Location: Birmingham
Price: £120

“The day, which will include inputs on both witness and suspect interviews, will finish with an interactive practical exercise covering topical issues drawn from live cases. This fully packed day will include time to network and will be facilitated by experienced police trained advanced interviewers with particular experience of working with interpreters.

Certificates for CPD will be provided following the event

Please e-mail for a booking form or for further information.

For more details at

Legal Interpreting Training

Mike Unsworth is running a Legal Training taster session in June, 2018. Mike has 20 years of interpreting within the legal domain. He has worked in all areas of Legal interpreting including Police; Magistrates Courts; Crown Courts; Coroners Courts; Royal Courts of Justice; The Old Bailey; Immigration and Extradition hearings.

Date: 23rd June 2018, 10.00 – 16.30
Location: Bury Town Football Club Ram Meadow, Cotton Lane, Bury Saint Edmunds IP33 1XT
Price: £75 per person
Lunch, tea, coffee and snacks provided.
Spaces are limited.

Please contact to confirm your place or read our blog for more information.

If you have any questions, you can contact me at:
01763 207903

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date.
26 02, 2018

Legal Interpreting Training: 23rd June 2018

By |February 26th, 2018|Categories: Legal, Professional Development|1 Comment

Have you considered further training on working as an Interpreter within the legal domain? Mike Unsworth is running a Legal Training taster session in June, 2018.
Mike has 20 years of interpreting within the legal domain. He has worked in all areas of Legal interpreting including Police; Magistrates Courts; Crown Courts; Coroners Courts; Royal Courts of Justice; The Old Bailey; Immigration and Extradition hearings.
Having interpreted the full spectrum of crime cases and within high security settings during his career, Mike draws on this wealth of experience in his workshops. He has been Head of Interpreting for a leading national Interpreting agency and has mentored and supervised a large team of interpreters whilst in that post.


Date: 23rd June 2018

Time: 10.00 – 16.30

Location: Bury Town Football Club

Ram Meadow, Cotton Lane Bury Saint Edmunds IP33 1XT

Lunch, tea, coffee and snacks provided.

Price: £75 per person

Spaces are limited.

Please contact to confirm your place.

Mike is freelance, specialising in all areas of the legal domain and regularly acts as Lead Interpreter facilitating for teams working high profile cases.

Having been involved in consultancy and training for several years now, he takes pride in putting something back into the profession. In doing so, Mike offers mentoring and is always happy to support colleagues within the profession as and when required.


Bury Town Football Club is conveniently located just 15 minutes walk from the Railway Station.

There is ample on site parking for 15 cars but should more parking be required the Rams Meadow Car Park on Cotton Lane, Bury Saint Edmunds IP33 1XT is just £2.30 for the day.

Please advise on booking of any special requests regarding buffet lunch requirements and we will do our best to accommodate these. As it is there will be veggie options available.

Tea, coffee and biscuits will be available before and during the day.

Agenda for the day

09.30 -10.00


‘I do solemnly sincerely…’
The Interpreter Oath – to Swear on the Bible or to Affirm…that is the question..?

Court settings and the roles of the Sign Language Interpreter?

Positioning for the Interpreter or a team of interpreters, the role of the Deaf Relay Interpreter and Deaf Intermediaries?

Assertiveness and control of the courtroom environment

Lunch 12.15 – 13.00

Jargon busting, understanding the intent and meaning of cross examination, nuances, subtlety, and ambiguity of Counsel?

Practical exercises ‘today your honour I’m going to be a Court Sign Language Interpreter!’ Q & A session and discuss options for follow up workshop.

Finish 16.30

For more information, contact

28 11, 2017

Introduction for Lipspeakers working in Courts and other Legal Settings

By |November 28th, 2017|Categories: Legal, Professional Development, Uncategorized|2 Comments

(This course has been approved by Clarion UK and has been designed to enable lipspeakers to meet the new Clarion UK standards.)


This is an intensive 3-day training programme aimed at lipspeakers.

The course will be run by Byron Campbell who has a long standing working relationship with lipspeakers. Byron works as a BSL interpreter in courts and elsewhere. He also currently works with Clarion UK as a consultant to run training courses for BSL interpreters who wish to update their skills so that they can meet the new Clarion UK requirements for court interpreting and legal work. (Clarion UK is the main contractor for all BSL interpreting and lipspeaking within HM courts and legal services. Clarion UK has recently reviewed its standards for all interpreters including BSL interpreters and lipspeakers wanting to work in courts and recommends they all have appropriate training to work in these areas.)

We are very pleased that Byron’s team will uniquely include a barrister and a solicitor as they will help to provide attendees with an excellent in-depth learning experience about lipspeaking in courts and in other legal settings. In addition, there will also be many opportunities for attendees to learn from each other by sharing their experiences of lipspeaking in courts and in other legal settings. Dilys Palin, who has a long experience of lipspeaking in this field, will be the lipspeaking facilitator.

Byron has now managed to find a court setting for this course which is extremely good news as this should provide a very appropriate learning environment.


Course Aims:

The aims of the course are:

To provide lipspeakers with an understanding of some of the issues and dilemmas that may arise when lipspeaking in courts and other legal settings and outline some of the coping strategies that may be available to them.

To help lipspeakers better understand and deal with court/barrister questioning techniques and styles.

To give lipspeakers an opportunity to practise their skills in a ‘live’ situation and get feedback on their work 2.


Course Structure

Day One

This day will be presentations on theory and issues in relation to working in court settings. We will focus on procedures, expectations and achieving the highest quality service for our clients.

Day Two

Participants will go through a series of simulated scenarios and exercises and be given feedback on their work from the barrister, solicitor and an experienced practitioner. All of the practical exercises will be video recorded and the course participants will then have a copy of their work for later analysis and reflection.

Day Three

This is a feedback day and the course participants will have an opportunity to gain feedback on the exercises from day 2 as well as discuss each other’s work with a view to developing and improving their skills and coping strategies.


Dates: Monday 26th – Wednesday 28th March 2018

Cost: This course is non-profit making course and will cost £300

Venue: The course will be held in Birmingham


Expression of interest:

Please reply to Manchester Centre for Deaf Studies as soon as possible to secure your place. It would be very helpful if you could let us know by 8th December 2017 if you want to attend this course.

As the legal team requires a large deposit before the course the deposit will be £100. This will not be asked for until we know that there are enough people.


For further information contact: Manchester Centre for Deaf Studies


Tel: 0161 832 0444


Postal address:

Manchester Centre for Deaf Studies

PO Box 319


M21 3DG


Office address:

Manchester Centre for Deaf Studies

Mauldeth House (Entrance via Nell Lane)

Mauldeth Road West



M21 7R

1 06, 2017

Specialist Training Courses for Interpreters Working in Legal Domains | Round II

By |June 1st, 2017|Categories: Legal, Professional Development|0 Comments

Clarion UK are pleased to announce our second series of high quality, specialist training courses for BSL/English interpreters working in legal domains. If you didn’t get a chance to apply when we first conducted this course last year, now you can. This course includes: Interpreting in Police Settings, Interpreting for the Courts and Interpreting for Mental Health Tribunals.

These intensive 2 and 3-day training programmes are aimed at interpreters with at least 3 years post-qualifying experience. Courses are being run in conjunction and with the support of Leicestershire Police, Barristers with a range of experience of working in criminal and family courts and professionals with extensive experience in the mental health field.

The aims of the courses are to;

  • provide interpreters with an understanding of police, court and mental health tribunal procedures and current legislation,
  • help interpreters better understand police and court questioning techniques and styles, and
  • give interpreters an overview of the roles and responsibilities of; the various people involved when working with the police, courts and tribunals.

In the police and court courses interpreters will go through a series of simulated scenarios and exercises and be given feedback on their work from experienced interpreters and others involved in the role-play scenarios.

The course participants will also have an opportunity to look at each other’s work with a view to developing and improving their interpreting skills and strategies.

All of the practical exercises will be video recorded and the course participants will then have a copy of their work for later analysis and reflection.

Court training courses will be provided by a variety of skilled and experienced interpreters led by Byron Campbell. There will be a range of other highly skilled and experienced professionals delivering the training, including barristers who have extensive experience of representing their clients in Court, such as Anne Williams.

In addition DS Emma Gilbert from Leicestershire Police will be working with us on a new Interpreter Police Course.

We will also be delivering Mental Health Tribunal Training in conjunction with St Andrews Hospital in Northampton who will allow us access to parts of the hospital used in a Tribunal situation and input from members of their staff which have many years’ experience of working with the Deaf in this environment.

Dates are as follows:

Topic Dates Venue Cost: 

Associate training reduced by 33%

4th, 5th, 6th October



Associate training reduced by 33%

18th, 19th, 20th October

Reading Magistrates Court (court room)


Associate training reduced by 33%

Mental Health Tribunals 




Associate training reduced by 33%




Associate training reduced by 33%


Deaf Interpreting, Lipspeaking, SSCAT, AIT and Employment Tribunals, Probation and Prisons, Deafblind interpreting are all planned and dates are to be confirmed.

Interpreters wishing to book a place on these courses should apply to Lorna Fairborn at Clarion UK and complete the required application form.  Places are limited on these courses so apply early.

7 12, 2016

Clarion UK – Our Christmas Present for BSL Interpreters

By |December 7th, 2016|Categories: Legal, Professional Development|0 Comments

A reduction in training fees of 66%.

Christmas is coming and while we all have our thoughts on turkey, nut roasts and stuffing, over on the other side of the festivities lies our flagship legal training course. It takes pride of place in central London, presented by acclaimed trainer and interpreter Byron Campbell and running over three days at the end of January. This course is being run in conjunction with various courts around the country and will include input from a range of legal professionals.
The aims of the course are to:
• provide interpreters with an understanding of court procedures and relevant knowledge in terms of roles of those involved in the court process,
• help interpreters better understand court/barrister questioning techniques and styles,
• give interpreters an opportunity to practice their skills in a ‘live’ situation and get feedback on their work.
Interpreters will go through a series of simulated scenarios and exercises and be given feedback on their work from the court officer/barrister, the deaf ‘defendant/witness’ and an experienced interpreter. The course participants will also have an opportunity to look at each other’s work with a view to developing and improving their interpreting skills and strategies. All of the practical exercises will be video recorded and the course participants will then have a copy of their work for later analysis and reflection. 27 CPD points will be awarded on course completion. For a limited period of time, as a Xmas pressie, we are going to offer this course at a significantly reduced price of £100 instead of £300. This offer is only available if you sign up before the end of the year and spaces are limited and already filling up .
If you would like any more information, please do not hesitate to ask Byron or contact us on 01763 209001 or Caroline Butcher on

29 11, 2016

BSL/English Interpreting in Police Stations – Paradigm shifts in training provision

By |November 29th, 2016|Categories: British Sign Language, Legal, Professional Development|0 Comments

Clarion UK held its first ever three day training course on BSL interpreting in Police stations and we waited with baited breath for the outcomes and feedback. This training was done in conjunction with Local Deaf actors, PC Emma Gilbert , Anthony Mitchell and Byron Campbell interpreter trainer and Clare Wade, a criminal defense solicitor.

The course involved the chance to interpret in “almost real situations” having a police sergeant, a Deaf person and a duty solicitor in an actual interview room and victim suites in role play scenarios. The participants were given information on terminology and jargon; which was very well received, as was the ability understand the processes and pressures impacting on the police. Participants said that they gained considerable insight into the challenges of working with interpreters and Deaf people from their point of view. There was also the opportunity for interpreters to be videoed and take clips away. Here are some of the comments from our first cohort of trainees:

“This training was really useful, really valuable being able to practise interviews in an actual police station for real life experience”

“Training is perfect for new and established interpreters”

“fantastic training, all days very valuable”

“The training was excellent”

“ I loved it…exactly what I needed”

Information on future legal  courses can be found here.

28 10, 2016

Clarion UK Values

By |October 28th, 2016|Categories: Legal|0 Comments

We have sent a great deal of information over the last few months on this contract that is due to start on Monday. You may have found it practical and useful or slightly boring at times or controversial at other times. For the last communication before “Go Live” next week I wanted to share our values and those that we are putting into action, whether in the courtroom, prison, probation office, tribunal or police station. 

Our values and behaviours are:

On an individual level:

  1. We dress “business smart” in court. If the legal setting isn’t appropriate for this, judgement should be used.
  2. There is a commitment to Continuing Professional Development and positive promotion of the profession to the best of our abilities.
  3. There is a commitment to regular supervision. As part of this, reflective practice is an integral part of professional development.
  4. We are meticulous about punctuality – plan to arrive early so that delays do not affect your arrival time. 

At a team level:

  1. Critically, there is an absolute commitment to the value and importance of the team.
  2. We promote the ethos of active support and that each language support professional is there for each other. We aren’t individual players with individual agency but we have a group agenda – the best possible service for the client, hearing or deaf.
  3. We promote the concept of non-judgemental support. This means any criticism should be positive and specific and be used for the professional development of the person.
  4. We review the day together – time should be taken after the court day to review what went well, what less so and improvements that could be made for the next day.
  5. We value transparency and Integrity  
  6. Our reflective practice should also be informed by listening to and learning from other members.

As part of the wider court service:

  1. To recognise that all staff, whether in the statutory, third or corporate sectors have busy agendas and days.
  2. To recognise that all staff, consultants and judiciary belong to different professions with different value systems, traits, constraints, regulations and guidelines as well as approaches to challenges and conflict.
  3. To adhere to a multi-disciplinary approach where all the different professionals are accorded equal status.
  4. To use tact, discretion and politeness in all settings
  5. To positively promote Clarion UK values in all your interactions

As an agency, we will:

  1. Build our teams from the bottom up, with the advice of the lead interpreter sought – “Who would you like to work with/recommend?”
  2. Approach those identified by key team members first.
  3. Make communication and preparation as easy as possible, for example by giving our mobile numbers (with permission) to the other team members.
  4. Provide Prep material whenever possible.
  5. Recognize, promote and uphold the wider values and standards of the differing professions that we work with.
  6. Recognize that without our suppliers, we would not be able to provide a service.
  7. Pay people promptly.
  8. Settle any issues in the spirit of negotiation and compromise.
  9. Deal with complaints quickly and transparently.

We will source guidance and advice from the following Stakeholders: ASLI, Lawyers, MoJ, and NRCPD as part of this development.

If you have any comments or questions, please contact Sally, Lorna or Paula. We look forward to working with you.

20 10, 2016

Quality Assurance

By |October 20th, 2016|Categories: British Sign Language, Legal|0 Comments

We are pleased to introduce you to The Language Shop, who are responsible for Quality Assurance for the Language Services Contract. This includes spoken language interpretation and foreign language translation provided by the Big Word, and non-spoken language services provided by Clarion UK.

The Language Shop have produced a document guide to the Quality Assurance Function, which you can find here:

Guide to quality assurance of the MoJ language services contract

The document will answer some of the questions you may have about the following topics:

  • The Register, including what information we need to include you on the list of linguists able to work on the MoJ contract
  • Assessments, including:
    • Mystery Shopping
    • Spot checks
    • In-Person Assessments
  • The Assessors, who will be skilled, experienced professionals, trained by The Language Shop in the specific assessment methodologies of the contract
  • Complaints, including which complaints should be directed to Clarion UK and which to the Language Shop.

If you have any comments or questions on the Quality Assurance function please do not hesitate to get in touch with Lorna or 01763 207906, or Sally on or 01763 207905.

Jaimin Patel

Jaimin Patel, Managing Director, The Language Shop

17 10, 2016

Counselling service for all our suppliers

By |October 17th, 2016|Categories: Advice, British Sign Language, Legal|0 Comments

From experienced practitioners to brand new interpreters, we will support you.

We have had a free counselling service in place for two years now, but we wanted to make sure that everyone knows about it.

It exists to make sure that people who are involved in Clarion UK bookings that are sensitive, complex or challenging are supported afterwards and are not left with unresolved or uncomfortable issues that may impact significantly on their private or professional lives.

Who is it for? It is available for anyone who supplies us with a service; whether on a freelance, associate or staff basis. You may be a BSL/English Interpreter or Communication Support Worker, a Speech to Text Reporter, CEC, trainer, Lipspeaker, Deafblind Interpreter, or Deaf Interpreter or foreign sign language interpreter.

How can I make sure they are right for me ? We have set up 3 different categories of counselling service. You may have a preference for someone who

  • can provide face to face or remote support, or
  • is outside the profession or also a BSL/English Interpreter or
  • is hearing or Deaf.

We have also set the list up to provide coverage for the UK.

The list is approved by us and only includes counsellors that are fully trained and accredited.

What are the next steps? Please remember that good and effective counselling is very linked to personal preference and ensuring a “good match”. A good strategy is to talk to three and make a choice depending on how you feel the conversation went.

If you want to see our UK wide list of counsellors or have more questions please do not hesitate to get in touch with Lorna or 01763 207906, or Sally on or 01763 207905.

Jill Guest, Counsellor, MBACP,  South West London.

10 10, 2016

Myth Busters

By |October 10th, 2016|Categories: British Sign Language, Legal|0 Comments

Sometimes, everyone likes to know what is going on and the internet is a delightful way to spread news quickly and information that is clear, accurate and “from the horse’s mouth” is always welcome. We would therefore like to take this opportunity to look at some of the questions that we have been asked about the MoJ contract and some of the rumours that we have heard. This is our chance to dispel any misconceptions that we have heard, answer those questions and shine a clear light on some of the issues and clarifications asked for.

Myth One. There are only 6 STTR being allowed to work on this contract.
Response. We have no idea where this has come from and is completely untrue. As long as you are NRCPD registered or belong to another organisation (BIVR or ASSTTR) that has equivalent value, and you have registered with Clarion UK, you will be able to work on this contract.

Myth Two. “Agencies only exist to make profit”.
Response. As a company that has no core funding from local government nor health nor grants we rely 100% on our clients and we have to make money. We have to pay rent, lighting, insurance, phone, internet and staff salaries.

Myth Three. Small/Medium Enterprises are not winning places on framework agreements.
Response. A “small” company has less than 50 staff with a turnover less than £8 million per annum according to current EU definitions. In three framework agreements (Ministry of Justice, Shared Business Services and Crown Commercial Services) for the “non-spoken” interpreting lots, this is the breakdown:

Framework SME Larger Businesses
MoJ  1/1 places 0/1 places
CCS   4/7 places 3/7 places
SBS 5/7 places 2/7 places 

Myth four. There is no accountability; deaf or hard of hearing people have no ability to complain, control, choose, feedback of change their language service professional.
Response. It is true, there is a ceiling in terms of the extent to which clients have a right to ask for exactly who they want or how many times they can change their request. Sometimes their named, preferred language service professional may not be available, the travel costs may be too much or their hourly costs may just be too expensive. That given, most specialist agencies have complaints procedures in BSL, have bookings staff that have level one, two or three British Sign Language, hold user forums, use SMS, email, live chat or VRS to communicate directly with their deaf users. They are dedicated to pulling out all the stops to provide a service that both matches their deaf users needs as close as possible and is as flexible and tailored as they can get. 

Myth Five.“Agencies don’t know what they are doing”
Response. Most specialist agencies are run by interpreters, ex-interpreters, Deaf people or were founded by interpreters. A few closed their doors 3-5 years ago (Just Communication, Lexicon and BSL Communications) and most of those that remain are now have decades of experience and knowledge. They know how to manage sensitive, complex and short notice bookings. Sometimes:

  • The clients has complex needs – with last minute changes, complicated and demanding timetables and requirements, cancellations, venue changes or technical changes.
  • The interpreter gets lost, isn’t able to meet the client or cannot find the Deaf person.
  • The client is lonely, worried or confused.
  • The customer needs NPPV, BPSS, EDBS, DV or SC vetted interpreters
  • The customer doesn’t know the difference between a Deaf intermediary and Deaf relay and Deaf interpreter or Deafblind Manual, Hands On or Visual Frame, the difference between registration, qualification, membership, experience or just “the right person for the job”, the difference between a Speech To Text Reporter, Palantypist and Stenographer.

Most specialist agencies do know the answers to these problems and that’s sometimes why clients use agencies, it's their job to know, and all specialist agencies use staff that are trained, experienced know how to provide the right service to the best of their abilities.

Myth Six. Trials with Deaf defendants have a lack of continuity with the interpreters with no coherent teams.
Response. According to the Clarion UK booking guidelines and our values, for trials we organise one team of interpreters/language service professionals that is the same, consistent team all the way through the trial. All our staff are trained in these guidelines and adhere to them as much as is possible. However, there are two caveats to this: Firstly, if the booking is very short notice – say we get a two week booking in with one days’ notice, we may not be able to get the same team for the whole two weeks and may need to compromise. However, now that we have direct control of the contract we hope to get keeping the number of short notice bookings down to the absolute minimum and therefore ameliorating this risk. Secondly, if the trial is unexpectedly extended by one or more weeks, the interpreter may have unavoidable appointments (for example, a holiday booked) necessitating another interpreter as a replacement. 

Myth Seven. Agencies are driving down prices.
Response. We have seen, since 2012 a 10% increase in our supplier prices and a maintenance of 2/3 hour minimums and standard cancellation rates. In the future, we will be publishing more information on fees paid, broken down by geography and specialism. As an agency doing about 100 BSL booking per day, we now have large amounts of data and are in a good position to be transparent about this in the future.

Myth Eight. If we allocate a replacement booking for a cancellation, you can be sent to the other side of the country. Refusal will mean that we won’t pay you. 
Response. The principle behind replacement bookings is that they need to be a similar travel distance and level of complexity. We can’t replace a GP appointment with a mental health assessment (unless you are skilled and experienced at mental health bookings and want to do it) nor a booking in Newcastle Upon Tyne with on in Newcastle Under Lyme. In the real world, your bookings officer may be slightly cheeky and ask if you will go significantly further than your original booking – this is because they will be keen to fill a booking and it will be short notice – however you will be perfectly entitled to refuse this and still get paid.

In all negotiations we aim to be as reasonable and conciliatory as possible. You are the experts and we 100% recognise that we cannot function nor exist without you. We hope that this communication is useful and are keen to respond to any questions or issues as swiftly and efficiently as possible. As such, please do ask if there is anything you would like to see addressed.