Why is there a 3-hour minimum fee charged for BSL Interpreting?

This is a question that we are asked a lot and suppliers providing BSL Interpreting Services will most often charge a 3-hour minimum fee.  

This is because it is standard practice in this Industry for Sign Language interpreters to charge either a 3-hour minimum or a half day fee.

If an Interpreter had a two-hour booking in the morning and a two-hour booking in the afternoon and they were charging by the hour, they would only then be paid for those 4 hours, not for the whole day.

Due to the shortage of interpreters, travel is almost always necessary in order to cover two bookings in one day.

Here’s an example: 

If a morning booking was in North London at 10am – 11am, and then an afternoon 2 hour meeting was in South London from 1 – 3pm.  With travel time in between this shows that there is no opportunity for the Interpreter to attend any more bookings, and also ensures that the Interpreter can get to the bookings on time.

With University work in particular, the Interpreter needs to spend time preparing.  This means reading all of the lecture notes prior to the session. They will also read about the subject and learn any specialist terminology.  This time consuming work needs to be factored in when making bookings and allocating required time and supports the 3-hour minimum charge. . 

The 3-hour minimum charge for BSL Interpreting is Industry standard.  You you should find that suppliers will inform you of this throughout the quoting process and illustrate what needs to be and is included. 


Other Communication Professionals?

There are a wide range of Communication Professionals; Notetakers, Speech to Text Reporters, Lipspeakers.  They may have different minimum fees, ask the Supplier about these different terms.

See our British Sign Language Interpreting page for more information.


Need a BSL Interpreter?

If you would like to find out more about the British Sign Language Interpreting services, get in touch.