Deaf News: Mixed response to NRCPD Code of Conduct consultation (BSL)

Posted on December 17, 2014

NRCPD is making changes to its Code of Conduct and complaints process and wants to know what deaf people and communication and language professionals think.

The Code of Conduct says how communication and language professionals should act. It covers things like confidentiality, competence and professional development.

(Video translation by Stuart Anderson of Signamic)


If someone who is registered with NRCPD doesn’t do what the Code of Conduct says they should, then you can make a complaint. That’s where the complaints process comes in.

These documents help to protect the public by making sure they receive a high quality service. And if they don’t, something can be done about it.

The proposed new versions are available on the NRCPD website. There are also links to surveys that are open until Friday 2 January 2015.

The surveys aren’t the only way NRCPD is consulting. In early 2015 they will be holding events around the UK to find out what people think (dates and locations to be announced).

There’s also a new NRCPD page on Facebook. It means you can easily leave them a message in BSL. And of course there’s always Twitter for a quick message

There has been a mixed response to the proposed changes. The focus of deaf people is making sure the complaints process is accessible and helps to raise the quality of communication and language support.

David Buxton, chief executive of the BDA, said:

“It’s often the case that Deaf people don’t know where, or how to complain. The quality and standard of language and communication support is currently on the agenda and there is a critical need to address this issue through your feedback. This survey is accessible in BSL and provides the vital first step in seeking feedback from Deaf users on the quality of service they receive. I urge everyone to give their feedback and share how their needs can be better met.”

But communication and language professionals themselves aren’t sure the changes are the right ones. Some want more flexibility than they think the proposed new Code allows.

Lesley Weatherson, chair of the Association of Lipspeakers, said:

“The Code of Conduct appears to display a lack of trust in the communication professional and a rather patronising and subjective tone. Further consultation is needed before it becomes policy.”

logoThe Association of Sign Language Interpreters (ASLI) reinforced the importance of responding to the consultation:

“Professional interpreters accept and embrace the Code of Conduct because it shows the public we care about the work we do. It says we welcome any complaint if it is thought we have broken the Code.

“ASLI and its members are making sure they contribute and comment on the draft Code of Conduct at this stage so that it is written in a way that suits the needs of the public and the service expected of interpreters.”

Huw Vaughan Thomas, chair of NRCPD, said:

“We knew there would be mixed feelings about the changes we’re proposing, but we don’t shy away from a robust debate when public protection is at stake.

“That’s our primary concern, making sure the professionals people rely on for equal access are doing their job appropriately and to a high standard. But we also want a Code that is realistic and reflects the modern professions.”

If you are interested in attending an NRCPD roadshow event in early 2015 you can email

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