So what is an IIDP? What does it stand for?

Well IIDP stands for (Individual Interpreter Development Plan) and in short, it is:

–      An approved development plan to allow you to continue your journey to Interpreter qualification, whilst receiving support and supervision from Registered Sign Language Interpreters (RSLI’s)

But you didn’t think we’d just leave you just with that shred of information? Of course not!


So you want to be a BSL interpreter? (We’re assuming I know but just roll with it) Awesome but now what?

We’ll start off with the qualifications:

Signature is an awarding body accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) who provide the following qualifications:

–          Level 1 Award (Elementary)

–          Level 2 Certificate (Intermediate)

–          Level 3 NVQ Certificate (intermediate)

–          Level 6 NVQ (Advanced)

IBSL (Institute of British Sign Language) also award language qualifications:

–          Level 1 Award

–          Level 2 Certificates

–          Level 3 Certificates

–          Level 4 Certificates

–          Level 6 Certificates

For those of you studying in Scotland, there is a Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) system for students learning British Sign Language. Currently there are 5 levels in the SQA system (continuing assessments):

–          SQA Introduction to British Sign Language

–          SQA British Sign Language Level 1

–          SQA British Sign Language Level 2

–          SQA British Sign Language Level 3

–          SQA Professional Development Award in British Sign Language Studies

Now let’s say you’re learning or have completed level 6, or the equivalent, in BSL.

What next?

Before you start, here are the two registration levels:

  • TSLI (Trainee Sign Language Interpreter)
  • RSLI (Registered Sign Language Interpreter)

TSLI status is available to those who:

–     Are undertaking an approved interpreter training course or an approved development plan leading to registered status

–     Meet all of the requirements set out in the National Occupational Standards for Trainee Interpreters (NOS TINT)

–     Are supervised throughout their training

A RSLI is:

  • A fully qualified interpreter. They have completed all the formal training in both language and interpreting technique to become a British Sign Language (BSL)/English interpreter.

IIDP (Individual Interpreter Development Plans)

A good first step in order to register as a TSLI is an IIDP. Learners will typically undertake an IIDP and gain the experience necessary to progress their studies further, working with a supervisor/registered interpreter (RSLI)

IIDPs help learners to register with the NRCPD. This is vital in becoming a TSLI and eventually a RSLI.

Following an initial assessment, you will meet up with your supervisor every few months. In these meetings you will review your development plan and create new goals. In between meetings you will be encouraged to complete tasks that increase your skills and knowledge.

It is a collaborative process that is led by you. You have access to your supervisor to discuss any future assignments or ethical dilemmas. Your supervisor can also be a valuable resource in helping you further your reading and have access to different training that is available.

The plan is designed to support you in beginning your Level 6 NVQ Diploma in Interpreting.

TSLI (Trainee Sign Language Interpreter)

The next stage would be to start training as a TSLI. To register as a TSLI there are some entry requirements, they are as follows:

–     Level 6 Certificate in British Sign Language (Already having completed Level 1, 2 & 3)

–     English skills at C2 standard (Level 7)

–     Work experience of interpreting BSL/English

There are fees involved to join the register – NRCPD

A TSLI is still training and on the way to becoming a RSLI and is strongly encouraged to work with a mentor. The types of interpreting they can work in are limited. A trainee will have either finished BSL language to Level 6 or will be still learning. They will not have completed the interpreter programme or training.

RSLI (Registered Sign Language Interpreter)

After completing your IIDP and level 6 NVQ Diploma in Interpreting, you are finally ready to register as an RSLI. Again there will be some registration fees involved.

A RSLI is identified as being able to work safely. They can work in any field of interpreting but are strongly encouraged to further continue training, if they wish to operate within a special area e.g conference interpreting. It is also mandatory to undertake Continual Professional Development (CPD) to maintain registration with NRCPD as both a TSLI and RSLI.

If You Need Some More Guidance

If you’re still feeling unsure or confused, don’t hesitate about getting in touch with us. Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to help!