Interpreting quality, training and skills assesments

We have read with interest the recent discussions around quality, training, and skills assessments.  

At SignVideo, we have conducted skills assessments for anyone joining the team for many years. We know that having a yellow badge does not necessarily indicate suitability for every domain, or every type of assignment. Our skills assessment helps us to know not only that the interpreters working for us are suitable for the job, in terms of skills and experience, but that they also have an aptitude for VRS work in general. 

Under our Sign Language Interactions brand, we have run community interpreting services for over 20 years, and we are now launching community interpreting services in England and Wales under the Sorenson Interpreting brand. We want to show that we value community interpreting too. We have therefore revamped our skills assessment process so that it can be used for community interpreting as well as VRS. 

We have an in-house team of Deaf and hearing interpreters who are experienced assessors, and a standardised grading system to ensure consistency. We also have a conversation with each interpreter wishing to work for us, where a member of our management team can provide a friendly face of the company, as well as ask some questions regarding the domains an interpreter works in, and any additional training they have had. We think those two things combined gives us a sense of where someone will fit within our organisation, and what sort of work they really enjoy and thrive at.  

We think it important that the community has confidence to use our services, and that they will get an appropriately skilled and experienced interpreter. We also want the interpreting community to feel confident that they are the right interpreter for the job, and that their coworker will also be someone suitably skilled.  

We’ve had some really encouraging conversations with interpreters, who whilst knowing an assessment can feel a bit nerve wracking, are reassured that an agency is wanting to engage in a process such as this. 

We are committed to supporting the interpreters who work for us, whether in VRS or in the community, providing training, reflective practice, debriefing and a chance to feedback to us about what would help us to work with them more effectively. Feedback from the Deaf community is valued equally highly. We are particularly proud of the training we offer our team, both when they join, and on an ongoing basis. We know this can only enhance their own skills and so enhance the quality for the deaf community. We aim to be a responsible provider of interpreting and translation services, which involves support for experienced interpreters, as well as interpreters who are newer to the profession and we have exciting plans afoot to improve and increase what we are already doing in that area.  

 If you want to find out more about what we are doing, please do visit or contact us at [email protected]

 We are really reassured that what we believe is the right thing to do also seems to align with this ongoing discussion, and we will continue to work to enhance confidence, training, and quality in the UK.