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UPDATE: National Framework Agreement draft

17 December 2014

Transcripts from BSL video:

Hello.
 
I am here to update you about the Draft National Framework Agreement – a big interpreting contract to cover all of the UK, with interpreters provided by one or two companies.
 
As we’ve told you, the BDA had concerns that the draft framework allegedly stated that the appropriate level of qualification for BSL interpreters is NVQ levels 1-4, meaning that potentially under qualified people could act as interpreters.
 
In our previous update we told you that in response, the BDA wrote a formal letter to the the Minister for Disabled People, Mark Hooper expressing the BDA’s serious concerns over the BSL levels required for interpreting services in the UK.
 
Just now, the Minister’s representatives have written back to the BDA and have said the following. 
 
I now quote this from their letter:  
 
"The Framework Agreement itself, incorporating the terms and conditions, has not been issued to the market and will be issued with the full suite of tender documentation in January 2015.
  1. The qualification “levels” have been  removed and the others altered in accordance with the National Registers of Communications Professionals wording. The specification does provide the NRCPD web link for suppliers to understand the level required for each type of language and communication support
     
  2. The specification has always stipulated NRCPD registration or equivalent.  We are currently looking at including SASLI in the specification.
     
  3. The specification clearly states that Level 6 only, is to be used within the Criminal Justice system and the Police stakeholders have always supported that line.  
Part of the CJS also wanted the level of security vetting to be higher hence their wish to “specify minimum standards”.
 
The BDA has confirmed its request to be an industry stakeholder and we have now been formally registered on their contact list. 
 
This means that now the BDA can give you updates on the procurement timeline and any other information.
 
Their letter finally says, I quote:
 
"The evaluator panel will consist of a cross section of CG and WPS stakeholders who will have the appropriate subject matter expertise for the criteria that will be evaluating and included on this panel is a NHS colleague Deaf sign language expert.”
 
Keep an eye on our website and Facebook for more updates.