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11 11, 2017

Partner Bulletin 13 – Audits & Compliance

By |November 11th, 2017|Categories: Partner Bulletin|0 Comments

2017 has seen an explosion of visits and assessments from our clients in the public sector. Fortunately, we passed everything with flying colours and now we are even more proud to be categorised as an accredited provider for the Department of Education (DSA-QAG)) and the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP).

We know there’s been more paperwork to fill out, so here’s a simple breakdown of the changes we’ve made and what they mean for you…

These changes require more effort and co-operation from everyone but it means we can grow our contracts and continue to work with you by providing interesting and rewarding work across the UK, whilst also upholding your Terms & Conditions.
We’re really proud of the whole team for Clarion UK gaining official accreditation with DSA-QAG, meaning that we are 100% compliant with their framework, the certificate is already framed and on our wall!

Thank you!

“Not only have I achieved NRCPD for myself but after years of battling, I have also set a precedent for other interpreters from English speaking countries! Two big milestones…from Lebanon, to New Zealand, to this, Who would have thought?…” Congratulations to Nadine, pictured here with her naturalisation certificate.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to keep up to date.

10 11, 2017

Partner Bulletin 12 – Frequently Asked Questions about Deaf Relay Interpreters

By |November 10th, 2017|Categories: Partner Bulletin|2 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. 

18 09, 2017

Partner Bulletin 9 – New Team Members & Role Changes

By |September 18th, 2017|Categories: Partner Bulletin|0 Comments

Are you ready for the new term? We’ve had a busy summer here and as a result there has been lots of new additions to our Clarion UK family to get ready for the coming academic year. Read on to meet the team and hear about changes in current members’ roles.

John Arthur, Finance & Operations Director

“I have recently joined Clarion UK as the Finance & Operations Director.  I have over 20 years’ experience in a variety of finance roles within different companies and having spent the last 6 years as Finance Director of Cambridge Online, I feel I bring a lot of beneficial experience to Clarion UK. I’m really excited to help drive us forward and put the processes in place to deliver our strategic goals”.


Rhianne Wright, Education Bookings Co-ordinator 

“I am one of the Education Bookings Co-ordinators and I deal with all of the in-lecture support. I’ve recently graduated from the University of Sheffield with a First in Economics. I’ve just returned to Clarion UK after 6 months of travelling around South East Asia.”

Barney French, Student Support Co-ordinator

“My main responsibility here is to welcome new students to our services and put the paperwork in place to get them on our systems so that we can find the best people to support them. Before joining Clarion UK I worked in the NHS for 5 years with a background in Recruitment, HR, and doctors’ re-validation. I studied Urban Environmental Studies at the University of Sheffield too long ago. In my free time I enjoy; eating a wide variety of cheeses; running; swimming; cooking; singing in a rock band; watching my awful football team (West Ham); and walking my chihuahua.”

Robert Rivett, Payables Assistant 

“I’ve been working on accounts since 2012 and here at Clarion UK I deal with the Partner Invoices as well as helping with various other tasks relating to our partners” Roberts role is invaluable and involves getting us bang up to date with partner payments and helping to manage the 600 people that we work with. During his spare time he is a big gamer.

Rasna Khanom, Student Support Co-ordinator

“I’ll be joining the Education Department at Clarion UK, working as the Student Support Administrator. I’ve been working for Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust HQ as an Administrator. I’ve worked within the Administration sector for 5 years now and I also do Support Work for young adults with learning disabilities, autism and mental health.”

Laura Bentley, Staff Interpreter 

“I’m a Staff Interpreter working primarily in London. I am originally from Cheshire and I recently graduated from the University of Wolverhampton where I achieved my level 6 in sign language and became TSLI. I’m soon to be starting my post graduate course at UCLan. “

Magdalena Singleton, Education Manager

“Last year, I worked as an Education Bookings Co-ordinator at Clarion UK. My role has recently changed to Education Manager, which means that I oversee the day-to-day responsibilities of all co-ordinators in the Education Team ensuring that every student receives the support they’re entitled to in a timely and professional manner. I love my job because every day I get to deal with a wide spectrum of professionals in Higher and Further institutions. I have recently got married to an English man and I am making the most of married life without kids – that may be on the cards next year.”

18 08, 2017

Partner Bulletin Week 5 – Training available for professionals

By |August 18th, 2017|Categories: Partner Bulletin, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Training available for professionals working with Deaf and hard of hearing people: Legal settings, lipspeaking, electronic note-taking & high-level strategies

Our values include only working with the highest quality of partners and staff as well as promoting and providing CPD whenever possible. We are therefore very pleased to bring together our latest collaborations with some of the “best in class” trainers in the UK.
Here you’ll find a comprehensive list of upcoming training events; either provided directly by ourselves or through trusted suppliers with bursaries available.

Introduction for lipspeakers working in courts and other legal settings

The course will be run by Byron Campbell.

The aims of the course are to provide lipspeakers with: 

  • An understanding of issues and dilemmas that may arise when interpreting in courts and other legal settings
  • An outline of coping strategies available
  • A greater understanding of and ability to deal with court/barrister questioning techniques and styles 
  • An opportunity to practise their skills in a ‘live’ situation and get feedback

Dates: December 2017

Cost: £300 

Venue: London

For more information contact


Electronic Notetaking to Support Deaf and Disabled People (OCN Accredited)

This course will be run by Note-Able Notetakers 

The aims of the course are as follows:  

  • The training equips you with the skills, knowledge and confidence you need to get started in a challenging and rewarding role
  • Learning with our experienced tutors in a friendly, supportive environment, you will be working towards a recognised professional qualification

Dates and venues: 

London: 6th – 8th September: Shadwell Centre E1W 3HP

Birmingham: 25th – 27th September (venue to be confirmed)

Sheffield: 16th – 18th October (venue to be confirmed)

For more information contact for advisory interview and skills assessment. This course is supported by the  Clarion UK bursary scheme.


Introduction for BSL Interpreters working in courts and other legal settings

The course will be run by Byron Campbell.

The aims are the courses are to provide BSL/English Interpreters with: 

  • An understanding of court and tribunal procedures and current legislation
  • A good understanding of police and court questioning techniques and styles
  • An overview of the roles and responsibilities of the various people involved when working with the Crown Prosecution Service, courts and tribunals

Dates:  4-6th October and 18-20th October

Cost: £300 

Venues: Thames Valley and South East. Bristol coming soon.  

For more information contact



These will be ran by Linguistpd (Wendy Ledeux) 

Psychological Games: 

When we play them and who we play them with

Presented by Jill Guest on the 14 September 2017

Occupational Therapy in Adult Mental Health

Presented by:  Jane Terry-Coy on the 12 October 2017

Voicing strategies for the interpreter’s toolbox:

What we can learn from a case study of International Sign interpreting

Presented by Brett Best:  9 November 2017


For more information visit

14 08, 2017

Partner Bulletin Week 4 – Important changes to our finance system & how you get paid

By |August 14th, 2017|Categories: Partner Bulletin, Uncategorized|1 Comment

As our partners, we are sure you are aware that we have grown significantly over the last two years – 33% more booking last year and 10% more bookings this year. Managing growth and our partners has had three important consequences. These are:

  1. Robert and Jill in the finance department are dealing with up to 120 emails per day each, with Jill raising up to 80 invoices per day.  
  1. There is a considerable delay between the booking happening and Clarion UK getting your invoice – up to 20% of partner invoices are significantly late and recently some have been up to 6 months late. This means we can’t get the money in the bank which makes it harder to keep it flowing to you.
  1. We are being audited much more – this year so far we have had visits from Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), MoJ and the Department of Education.  We have passed them all, however they are looking at all our processes from nose to tail and our finances particularly need to be streamlined and efficient. 
So what we are proposing is three solutions:
  1. All of our partners using our portal for invoicing by October 1st 2017. After this date, emails and paper invoices will be returned. If you are not already set up there are three easy steps to take: 
                 a. Email Robert at
                 b. Access the portal here:
                 c. Follow the user guide here.

                 If there are exceptional reasons for needing to email or post invoices, please get in touch with Robert at

  1. Invoices and time sheets in on time. These need to be sent to us within FIVE WORKING DAYS of the booking.  Anything longer than this will mean that you are paid what is on our system rather than any extra hours. Anything over 28 days late will not get paid – unless there is a reason such as long-term hospitalisation or illness, in which case get in touch. 
  1. Getting the details right. Terms and conditions need to match our clients. For example; mileage at 40p per mile and time sheets needs to be signed with a wet signature by yourself and the client – we will give out more information in the later weeks.  There’s no dramatic changes happening (cancellation charges will still be honoured, mileage paid, three hour minimums for interpreters), we are simply aligning ourselves with Student Finance England.

We will be bringing in a partner App and digital time sheets to make things easier in the coming months and your compliance with these new processes is greatly appreciated. 

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact RobertJill or John in finance.
31 07, 2017

Partner Bulletin Week 3 – Ministry of Justice

By |July 31st, 2017|Categories: Partner Bulletin, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Ministry of Justice Performance

We wanted to keep you up to date with performance of our contract for the justice sector across the UK, running since November 2016. These bookings are across all Courts, Tribunals, Public Sector Prisons, Probation and the Crown Prosecution Service in England and Wales.

Our legal office also deals with Police bookings across the UK, has an Out of Hours service, Solicitors bookings as well as bookings for Victim Support, Cafcass and Crown Prosecution Services.

Our fulfilment target set by the Ministry of Justice was 96% for the first three months, then 98% after January 2017.

To break it down over the year, it is as follows:

This is one of the most crucial measures and we are pleased to say, we are hitting between 99.5%- 100% consistently.  This is calculated by looking at all the bookings we get, taking away those that are cancelled with no charge then working out the percentage of how many we filled. This gives us (and other suppliers) the fulfilment rate.  

Bob Marsh has been delivering Deaf Awareness Training to 24 bookings officers in London and we kicked this off during Deaf Awareness Week.  

Feedback has also been good, this was from one of the courts last month…

“Thank you for your services yesterday. I found the experience very positive; the speed of your response to our request was very good and was painless when speaking to your offices. Your focus on customer service was refreshingly driven”

And, critically, feedback about our legal partners, interpreters, lip-speakers, deaf interpreters and STTR has been positive. Typical feedback is…

“The interpreter’s confidence in delivery, situational awareness, management of emotions and professionalism was all excellent and their fluency & coherence was good. So all in all the clerk and Judge were impressed by the way the interpreter handled themselves”.

It is fair to say that we are pleased with the way this significant contract is going, and in the largest part this is down to the professionalism, skill and dedication of the teams that go out day after day in all weathers, at all hours, to deliver for clients.  

However, there is still work to be done, as a team we need to:

a)  Improve getting our partners’ bills and time sheets in on time.
b)  Improve our Deaf Relay Assessment so that it is available for all who want to work in the legal sector, within a reasonable time frame.
c)  Continue with our training, development and mentoring. 

If you’re interested in joining our legal team, contact

(Image: Recent court training with Byron Campbell in Cardiff)

What is Mystery Shopping and how does “Lot 4” work ?

Mystery Shopping was brought in after the first contract in order to bring quality control to the whole of interpreting in the justice sector.  It is ran independently by Newham Language Shop and they are responsible for the quality of work with Deaf people (Lot 3) as well as all language interpreting (Lot 1) and translations (Lot 2).

Newham Language Shop hold the register on behalf of the Ministry of Justice of all approved suppliers. If you are on it, it  means you have passed all the basic,  mandatory checks including NRCPD registration (where relevant), references, Enhanced DBS and proof of address to be able to work for the Ministry of Justice.

They have two assessors for BSL, qualified and experienced BSL/English Interpreters  and “mystery shop” about 1 BSL assignment per week. There are currently no assessors for lipspeakers, STTR, Deaf Relay Interpreters or Deafblind Interpreters. You can see more information here: and here is an overview of how the mystery shopping and assessment process works.In conclusion, this is a new way of working and any feedback would be gratefully received.  We would also like to thank all our partners, stakeholders and internal staff for their dedication and hard work at making this a success. 

For more details, please contact or Newham Language Shop. 

14 07, 2017

Partner Bulletin Week 1

By |July 14th, 2017|Categories: Partner Bulletin, Professional Development, Stories|0 Comments

Thanks to all our suppliers and partners, Clarion UK is having its busiest year, driving sustained growth of over 100 bookings per day with a 24 hour turnaround time and with 98-100% fulfilment.  We have also had three audits from the Ministry of Justice, Department of Education and Department of Work and Pensions.  Now Summer is here, we have time to turn our heads to the Autumn and plans for future growth. 

In order to achieve our vision and dreams, we need to improve the way that we communicate with you and what we ask of you.  We will therefore be sending out on a weekly basis; news about the company, new contracts that we have won, company and contract performance,  training, information about average charges, pay rate increases in some areas, supplier fees changes over the years and how we are using technology to communicate and deliver our services.   We will also be letting you know about what we need from you to ensure that we

  1. Have the best vetted and experienced team and
  2. Have a finance department that runs at full throttle – with money in the bank so that you get paid on time throughout the year. 

We need feedback from yourselves as well and we take it very seriously.  You can contact us through all the normal ways and also through our feedback site here – its’s just 6 easy clicks.

Finally, we will be changing the way we talk about you.  We have all these different terms: 

And, frankly, for a company with clarity at the heart of what we do, we are getting more and more confused and so are our clients.  From now on, when we speak to people, you will be, simply, our partners. As a result of your service, flexibility and professionalism we hope we can take our partnership from one that is good, to one that is best in class.  Thank You and here’s to the future.