Does the DWP have a case to answer in Access to Work fraud?

Nicky EvansNicky Evans is a BSL/English interpreter and the co-founder of the Stop Changes to Access to Work campaign (www.stopchanges2atw.com). The campaign was established in November 2013 to oppose cuts being made to the government’s Access to Work (AtW) scheme which provides the support Deaf and disabled workers need to access employment. 

Does the DWP have a case to answer in Access to Work fraud?

Before we get into it, I’d like to make one thing very clear: I do not condone fraud. It is wrong and the people involved must be held accountable for this and brought to justice.

But what of the DWP’s role in all this?

Here is a system that isn’t accessible (to an extent that the end customer (the Deaf Access to Work user) can’t always understand the forms and needs support completing these), relies heavily on the customer to do the bulk of the administration and where any contact with the DWP has become so stressful that they feel unable to ask for support or advice when needed.

Having been involved in Access to Work campaigning in various guises over the years, I have been continually frustrated by the DWP’s lack of response to our concerns over fraud. I have attended meetings over the past three years with various senior DWP staff/Ministers and have fed back the concerns of both the deaf community and interpreters. Information being provided by advisors is continually inconsistent and interpreters who work for three different clients could be paid using three different processes.

Three years on and several fraud cases later the claim system has seen little or no improvement. 

Interpreters have asked continually for improvements to be made to the DWP’s finance system: our remittance notice often doesn’t arrive (it is still usually sent by post) so we can’t check amounts received or know which clients these relate to; a remittance notice often doesn’t record our invoice numbers; and we can’t speak to AtW to sort any of these issues out (as we are told we have to go through the deaf person – adding to their stress and workload).

Only this year I have been overpaid by a large amount of money and have spent the past two months trying to return this – to no avail. I am not the only interpreter to be overpaid. Interpreters are regularly overpaid, underpaid, part paid, not paid at all, owed late payment fees (which despite being a statutory entitlement, the DWP don’t seem to think it applies to them)… I could go on….

All this raises the question: what role has the DWP had in recent fraud cases? 

There has been a failure to respond to concerns or develop tighter financial controls as a result of these. As I said at the beginning, I do not condone fraud, but I do feel that the DWP must accept some responsibility for this. Systems so open to abuse following several cases of fraud have remained wide open. For a government who continually tell us there is a need for austerity and to balance the books, they should perhaps start by examining their own internal processes.

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What to Watch out for in 2015

So 2014 has brought us… cuts, cuts and more cuts.

There was disparity in those cuts towards Deaf and Disabled people – see DPAC and Access to Work changes which mostly targeted the more “high-cost” users which included anyone who uses BSL interpreters.

The government announced quantative easing – pump money into the economy (by printing more) to make sure there is more to go round. What this actually did was made the rich richer. Everyone else did not feel any difference.

The economy is getting better, but only for the few (see above). For the rest… more food banks and zero hours contracts, no wage rises and more workers having to strike.

For Deaf people and interpreters? Access to Work chaos and news of a framework agreement for interpreting services UK-wide starting in 2015. Talk of interpreters earning £100k. Damaging, divisive and those that quoted it made themselves look ridiculous. All against a backdrop of excuses that there is no more money so we all have to endure more austerity. That despite the £95 million promised increase in AtW spend that never materialised. Why haven’t you heard about this more? Smoke and mirrors.

What to watch out for 2015…

The best campaign by far of 2014: Stop Changes to Access to Work including news of taking the DWP to a judicial review.

NUBSLI, the Union for BSL interpreters and translators. After only six months, membership is at over 20% of the profession. Membership of unions is usually higher than this amongst professions so there is a way to go before interpreters and translators are matching other professions. NUBSLI has been making headway with representations to the DWP concerning AtW and the Crown Commercial Service regarding the framework agreement. These are the two main political threats to the profession. Whatever happens it is certain that the work on minimum fees will do well to ensure that interpreting remains a viable profession. Without this there is little protection from cuts to fees, de-professionalisation of interpreting and to ward off a brain drain should threats get worse.

The new Framework for all interpreting services in the UK. First due to roll out from December, it has been delayed with tendering due to start this month. The Crown Commercial Service have done a good job of barely consulting with anyone bar agencies and government. Ignoring all calls for the removal of low level BSL qualifications (1-4), the ‘final’ draft was released and caused an uproar. There is much more wrong with the draft and NUBSLI continues its representations. Surprisingly there are some who still believe it will be a good thing: despite the MoJ, a framework being pushed through with only tokenistic consultation and certain large agencies involved with an interest in controlling the market. For that you should read more profit, lower quality, lower paid workers i.e. Interpreters, less choice and control for the end consumer i.e. Deaf people. Far from being a win/win/win situation this is more like large agencies (win), interpreters (lose), deaf community (lose). You could add the role of Signature/NRCPD/CACDP in this: backdoor statutory regulation and control of the market and training opportunities (big fat win/win/win for the three-faced organisation).

A new alternative register for BSL interpreters and translators.

There is a glimmer of hope for linguistic rights with Scotland’s BSL Bill. Anyone who has had any conversations with politicians will find talk centres around audiology, cochlear implants and Deaf people learning more English. And this from politicians that should know better. If the bill is passed in Scotland, we have a chance in the UK that organisations will have to think more about BSL users.

Not so much hope for school children with the so-called BSL Coalition and work on a CSW register. Whether a CSW register is held by NRCPD or another organisation, this is still a validation of the role and moves away from the potential to campaign for interpreters in schools and therefore higher standards and access to BSL for Deaf children for whom BSL is their main language. A backwards move by organisations who are supposed to be supporting Deaf children.

The UK appears to be the first country to have been investigated by the UN for violations of disabled people’s rights. Keep your eye on the disability sector for the latest. The Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance of 10 organisations has been compiling evidence for a shadow report detailing what the UK government needs to do to fulfil its obligations under the UNCRPD. The BDA’s appendix is available to read online.

The run up to the general election. The Tory/Lib Dem coalition have shown no regard for equality: the unlawful scrapping of the ILF, disparate welfare cuts, UN investigations. UKIP forget it. The Green Party? The media is too busy focussing on UKIP. Labour? Catch up please. The Deaf/linguistic/disabled community combined is worth 12.5 million votes. That’s surely enough carrot to sort out the above and make 2015 a better year for us all.

‘Access to work’ is making it impossible for a Norfolk man to do his job

It is good to see a public case study of the effects of AtW cuts on Deaf people and their jobs. There is an article on the DPAC website – Government initiative ‘Access to work’ is making it impossible for a Norfolk man to do his job. Read the article on the DPAC site.

PSA accreditation: It has nothing to do with the medical model

PSAThe NRCPD has sought answers from the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) as to whether they could apply as a voluntary register to be accredited. We still have no clear answer but is this really a move towards what some perceive as aligning interpreting to a medical model?

Our history as an emerging profession of Sign Language Interpreters has lead us from the DWEB (Deaf Welfare Examination Board) interpreters to CACDPs first register in the 1980s which mostly consisted of those already working with Deaf people – social workers and Teachers of the Deaf. In the late 1980s funding was sourced and the Citi Services course became the first training course for interpreters. We were moving away from the helper model towards a more professional route into interpreting.

At the same time models of Deafness went from the medical model to social model i.e. there is nothing wrong with the individual that needs to be treated but rather that it is society that causes barriers. Then to a cultural model in which Deaf people have their own culture and language.

If only the government saw Deaf people that way. What we have had since 2010 is an tidal wave of outsourcing of interpreting services which has seen the lowest bidder win contracts across all sectors. This has been especially bad with cash strapped hospitals, mental health trusts and primary care services. Many NRCPD registered interpreters can no longer get any medical bookings now. Many Deaf people are not provided with registered interpreters when attending appointments. The examples of interpreters being used are few and far between. Just see the Our Health in Your Hands work for surveys and, for real life examples, the BSL Act Spit the Dummy campaign. Contract holders often send BSL users to hospitals to interpret who then tell Deaf people they left their yellow badge at home (the NRCPD one).

Outsourcing contracts to providers who are able to get away with not using registered personnel is going back in time and it goes against the government’s health and social care agenda. The only antidote to this is to ensure that all medical services book a NRCPD Registered Interpreter for Deaf people at their appointments. We know the damage it does if they do not. See the RNID’s A Simple Cure report, the TEA report. See the current work by OHIYH. See SignHealth’s long awaited Sick of It report, launching soon.

To ensure only NRCPD Registered Interpreters are used in medical settings is not going back to a time when the medical model is the prevailing paradigm. Sign Language Interpreters will not have to change their behaviour whilst interpreting nor will they be recognised as only being used for appointments. It is merely a step towards providers only being allowed to book Registered Interpreters rather than the situation now where Deaf people sign consent without knowledge of what they sign, struggle to understand how to take medication, their diagnoses, their prognosis and any treatments prescribed.

Whether PSA accreditation will actually get us a step closer to statutory regulation is unknown. Yet. PSA takes responsibility for both overseeing statutory regulators as well as voluntary registers. It requires registers to undertake audits, to make themselves more fit for purpose. The PSA can only improve the NRCPD and strengthen our position in getting ourselves seen as professionals and ensuring Deaf people have appropriate access. At medical appointments.

We will still work in the media, in courts, at police stations, at art galleries, at wedding and funerals, in work places, at conferences and anywhere else that Deaf people are present and want to gain access in a culturally appropriate way, in sign language. Let’s not confuse models of deafness with one of the areas in which we work. Or used to. With some work by the register we may well work in medical settings once more.

Tories Limit Access to Work

Sayce reportThe Sayce report stated the value of Access to Work (AtW) to Deaf and disabled people and the value to the economy of more people in work. Yet this is another area the Conservatives are attacking with cuts.

We have another move by government that will see interpreters again being undervalued, under-respected and underemployed. So far in the area of work that is publicly funded we have seen that Deaf people rarely get a registered, trained interpreter for any medical appointments. The next area to be hit was the courts and police stations. Were it not for work done by ASLI at the time we would have level 3 British Sign Language holders attempting to interpret legal jargon in courts or maybe even worse. Still, the way in which interpreter provision has proceeded via a monopoly contract has meant that problems have still occurred, fees are being squeezed and as a result less experienced interpreters are working in court. Now we have AtW as the next area hit by the latest round of cuts to Deaf people and interpreters.

The 38 degrees campaign continues. The BDA is doing some excellent work. Their report is available from their website. The only criticism of the report is that it states that interpreters will not take full time salaried jobs. Following on from the AtW policy that Deaf people with over 30 hours provision must seek a salaried interpreter and those that can not must take a rate cut equivalent to a salaried interpreter (less than half of a freelance rate, worse if you have been sourcing via an agency). It is not that interpreters will not, it is that many can not. Many interpreters do take salaried positions but those that do not have their reasons. We are a profession with many part time workers, many women, some of whom are mothers. We need variety, contact with many Deaf people, in many areas of work to maintain our skills in processing. It is an unworkable policy for many interpreters as well as Deaf people who prefer that variety, prefer to have two interpreters for some meetings and time when they do not have an interpreter present. Many DWP staff were claiming this policy had been created in consultation with ASLI. That was refuted by ASLI and DWP have since agreed and sent a message to all their advisors asking them not to make these claims.

Aside from interpreters, if Deaf people are expected to employ interpreters that comes with additional responsibility outside of their ordinary work that they should not be expected to bear. DWP have stated that on costs of employment are to be paid by AtW but that is not the reality on the ground. What employer is going to employ a Deaf person if they then have to employ an interpreter too with the additional risks of maternity leave, sick leave, absences, potential disciplinaries…? This reduction in flexibility and right of choice can only lead to even more discrimination for Deaf people.

So what now?

Many ASLI members are still writing to their MPs as well as responding to them after work done by the ASLI AtW group. Their AtW report coming out soon reporting on members’ experiences and the challenges they face in not being able to work confined by these unworkable DWP policies.

After the Deaf Lobby Day on Monday where many Deaf people attended parliament, an Early Day Motion has now been tabled against the discriminatory AtW changes. Please ask your MP to sign the EDM and stop the Conservatives from attscking more of those that use state services and support and the professions that facilitate these services.

The fight for rights continues…

Anyone with any link to the Deaf community in the UK can not fail to have noticed the activity surrounding the 10 year anniversary of the official recognition of BSL by the British government. The BDA held a live webcast on the 19th March. Discussions were frantically being had all over Facebook and Twitter.

There was a lot of campaign work which happened to get official recognition. That activity seemed to tail off as if the work was now done though in reality everyone knew this was just one step towards getting full recognition of Deaf rights in the form of full access to services, bilingual education and employment.

Over the last few years since budget cuts affected services on the ground it seems there has been a real sense of apathy in the deaf community. Often the first to notice failings in services, interpreters have been frustrated for years at a lack of interpreters in medical settings and social services. After that courts and police forces suffered at the hands of a large monopoly contract, the repurcussions of which are still in effect. The point is, interpreters see the lack of interpreters daily, not just because working conditions change but they pick up the pieces when they are finally booked.

Lately, there has been an attitude of ‘I didn’t get an interpreter the last time I went to the doctor, it happens all the time now’. What happened to righteous anger?

Well there’s nothing like an anniversary to take stock and look back at what has happened. Many are saying not much. That was the time to galvanise forces, to get a plan together and to take action. It seems that this anniversary will be the impetus now to renew efforts. There was a parliamentary reception, attended by BDA, RAD and Signature, held on the day of the anniversary of the recognition. 50 MPs so far, at the time of writing, have signed an early day motion for the government to report on its efforts and identify the barriers still in existence for BSL users.

In Scotland there have been complaints that throughout discussions on the BSL bill by parliament, the proposed act is becoming weaker and weaker. In England we watch with interest. There may be a BSL Act yet.

With more Deaf people empowered by technology than ever before it could be the perfect time. Recently a new group was set up on Facebook to campaign for a BSL Act in England.

Let’s hope more resources can be found to increase campaigning efforts and that the whole community comes out fighting. Now is the time for less sign and more action.

Get your MP to sign the motion now.

Anonymous Shopping: How Much Interpreting Agencies Really Charge

Submitted Anonymously

I decided a few weeks ago that what the profession needed was a bit of mystery shopping, so I contacted all the agencies on the list via email and requested a ‘signer’ for a small business conducting a recruitment interview for an apprentice, one of which was deaf. We were flexible on times, but needed the ‘signer’ for an hour in the morning. After getting a response I sent an email back with a confused query about qualifications and registration. You can see the responses for yourselves. All discussions took place via email and I have kept the responses should anyone wish to challenge the information provided. My personal opinion is that as a general rule, interpreter led agencies come out on top.

AGENCY QUOTE NOTES
Aditus £120 + travel + £30 admin fee Claimed to only use fully qualified and registered interpreters
Couldn’t provide anyone in house for the time requested, offered to find an alternative from their databases
Included full terms and conditions
Explained the registration process clearly.
Action on Hearing Loss £168 + travel Claimed all interpreters used were qualified and registered
(3 hr minimum)
appa RSLI – £50 per hour, CSW £45 per hour Offered to help me apply to ATW to cover costs – then their fee becomes all inclusive, they offer a free service to deal with AtW paperwork
First booking receives a 10% discount so charges would be Interpreter £45 per hour, CSW £40.50. No VAT added on travel. Explained the difference between interpreter and CSW as interpreter has level 6 BSL and CSW level 3 or 4, Recommended for an interview someone with level 6 BSL should be used
(2 hr minimum) Offered me an interpreter for the afternoon initially though I had requested the morning then later stated they had someone available
Applied Language Solutions Unknown Emailed. No response.
Bee Communications £250 + VAT + travel Offered advice on interviewing a deaf person
Try to offer fully qualified (level 5) called MRSLI
Said I probably didn’t need that level and could book a cheaper trainee
Later offered someone fully qualified and to lower the fee to £240 inclusive
Big Word £50 (3 hour minimum) Claimed that registered and qualified signers were only needed for ‘official representation’ such as courts, but not for job interviews
Total cost = £150 + VAT + travel time + expenses Offered to locate an interpreter local to me so as to save on travel costs
BSL Beam N/A Stated straight away that they were not an agency, but explained their position in the market
Offered some reputable specialist agencies local to the area
Offered a detailed and comprehensive explanation of the NRCPD registration process
Explained the risks of using someone unqualified
Provided an explanation of Access to Work
BSL Link4Comm £136.50 + travel Claim to only use experienced NRCPD registered interpreters
(3 hr minimum) Mentioned equality legislation and the impact of using unqualified people
Mentioned code of conduct
City Lit (Sign Here) Unknown Transparent – said they didn’t have anyone available until Sept
Redirected me to the NRCPD website – told me how to book direct to save money
Gave me an indication of industry standard fees to expect and pointed me towards information on working with an interpreter
Fully explained what registration and qualification meant – only organisation to correct my use of the term ‘signer’ and explain the difference
Outlined the legal ramifications of using a ‘signer’
Clarion £159 + travel + VAT Said “don’t necessarily need a fully qualified interpreter but you would want minimum level 3.”
(3 hr minimum) I asked if level 3 was enough, the response was that it depends
Codex Global Unknown Refused to quote without full information and details
Cohearentvision N/A No one available – pointed me towards the London Interpreters website
Communication ID £125 + VAT Explained the difference between RSLI and unqualified.
Claim to only use RSLI
Mentioned ASLI and NRCPD
Deaf Agency One off fee of £42 (first time customer) Said “We like to keep our costs down and try to be a flexible as possible”
Usually £126 + travel + VAT Claim all staff are registered
Deaf Direct Unknown Recommended booking an agency locally and offered some contact details
Mentioned NRCPD and recommended booking someone fully qualified, checking registration status and then explained why this was important
Told us we could save money by booking an interpreter directly from the NRCPD website
Explained ATW and provided a link to the website
Deaf Positives £145 + VAT + travel Claimed that a registered interpreter was required but not essential
Clarified what RSLI meant
Said “The other type of sign language interpreter is Registered Trainee Interpreter and they are trainees from approx level 1 to level 3.”
Deaf Umbrella £143.14 inclusive of travel and VAT Told me that MRSLI’s were more expensive
(2 hr minimum) Said ” Unless your candidate has specifically requested a fully qualified Interpreter, a lower level of sign support would be completely appropriate. “
MRSLI did not need to be booked unless client specifically requested one, but they take weeks to book in advance
They had a member of staff available to interpret
Suggested ATW as a way of covering the cost of interpreting and a member of staff could help
Diversus £162 + VAT + travel Pushy – kept requesting my full details and a confirmation
Sourced an interpreter before I’d even confirmed I wanted one
Essex Interpreting £120 + travel + VAT Claim to use only registered interpreters. Mostly qualified, some JTI
Femaura Unknown Said “Level 6 is full qualified”
Only really wanted to talk over the phone
Interpreting Matters £170 + VAT Claim to only use registered interpreters
Full explanation of NRCPD registration process
Price dependent on interpreter fee Explained ATW
Explained the ramifications of using unqualified people
Islington Council N/A Explained that they only cover council bookings in Islington
Recommended booking a registered interpreter
Mentioned ASLI
Offered a guide for industry standard freelance fees
Just Communication £210 + VAT Claim to “only use qualified registered interpreters”
K-International £250 + VAT
Language Empire £175 + travel + VAT Said “Interpreters with a Level 4 is the minimum qualification we use…”
(3 hr minimum charge) Fees are for ‘Special Disability Interpreting’ – Charges are the same for CSW’s and Interpreters, ‘Finger Spelling’, ‘Deaf Blind Manual’ & ‘Deaf Blind Hands On’ & ‘Lipreaders’
Language is Everything Wouldn’t state their charges Claim to use qualified & registered interpreters
Stated interpreter industry standard charges as: Clear about the legal ramifications of using someone unqualified – Mentioned DDA
£90-£130 + travel Referred me to ASLI
Language Line N/A Outsource all bookings to Clarion
Lexicon Sign Stream Unknown Explained the qualification and registration process in detail
Explained minimum charges and industry standard fees
Offered to source a local interpreter
Merrill Corporation £260 + VAT + travel Claim to only use qualified and registered interpreters
Mentioned NRCPD and safeguarding and standards
Provided an attachment outlining the roles of BSL interpreters, STTR & Lipspeakers (NRCPD registered) – all comprehensive and accurate
MLIS Unknown Claim to only use qualified translators and never trainees
Very non committal until had all of my details
Neal Communication (NCA) £150 + travel + VAT Asked about qualification levels but preferred to speak over the phone so no clear response
(3 hr minimum)
Newham Language Shop £120 + VAT Claim to only use qualified interpreters and do not ever use unqualified interpreters
Offered to email some advice on how to work with a “signer”
Onestop Agency £50 per hr, 3 hr min + travel Claim to only use fully qualified interpreters or trainee interpreters
Total £150 + travel Recommend not using level 3 NVQ signers and only use those on the register
Say their charges are based on interpreter 3 hour minimum charges
Offered a brief explanation of using a BSL interpreter
Pearl Linguistics £70 per hour Claim “we have access to more BSL interpreters than any other language agency”
(3 hr minimum) Fully explained the difference between a level 3 signer and what it means to be fully qualified and registered
Total £210 + travel + VAT Said “As to your situation, I believe you should be fine with a “level 3”.
Positive Signs Initially free – money accessed through government scheme Claimed to only ever use qualified or experienced personnel
Just said “variable”, has since disclosed fees as £37 RSLI per hour, CSW £32 per hour inclusive of travel + admin fee Free’ interpreters available through apprenticeship scheme, funded using public funds
Prestige £289 + VAT Said all their interpreters were BRCPD registered (could have been a typo) and explained that all people registered had to submit evidence of qualifications
Mentioned the code of conduct that interpreters were expected to follow
Mentioned the three hour industry standard minimum fee and their charges reflected that
Quick Lingo £250 + VAT When quote was challenged, the response was “we charge for the service which includes travel time, travel expenses, plus minimum interpreting time charge.”
Said “Level 3 is sufficient for this assignment and we can provide at least that.”
RAD £130 (2 hour minimum), £47ph thereafter, + travel, no VAT charged Stated full charges, on charge sheet clearly explained that only NRCPD registered interpreters were used.
Remark! £120 + £10 travel + VAT Very pushy, tried to sell me a BSL course
Offered a RSLI
Said “Costings for a qualified interpreter can be very expensive as there are not many qualified interpreters out there “
Sold themselves as deaf led and community focused. Profits fund activities in the deaf community.
Said they could only find an interpreter (in house) for the afternoon and no interpreters were available for the morning; did not offer to source a freelancer
I had requested a morning booking. Said short notice meant no other interpreters were available unless I wanted to change the date
Rosetta Translation £75 per hour No response when I enquired about qualifications
(3 hr minimum)
Half Day £300. + travel + VAT
Sign Language Direct £250 + VAT (3 hr minimum) Said “Since this regards an interview, the 3rd level shall be fine.” – in response to my query about qualifications
Half Day £300 / Full Day £450 (1 interpreter) Said that fully qualified interpreters were only ‘obligitory’ for police and social services
Half Day £600 / Full Day £900 (2 interpreters)
Sign Solutions £145 + travel + VAT Checked interpreter availability and quoted based on the interpreter fee – told me where the interpreter was travelling from
Offered to negotiate travel expenses
Signing Works £135 + VAT + expenses Explained industry standard booking half day or full day
Bristol based – offered a comparative fee.
Claim to only use qualified interpreters for job interviews
Advised about ATW
Explained the complexity of BSL levels and why it was specialist and required some who was qualified
Signs In Vision £35 per hr + travel + £15 admin fee Mentioned NRCPD & ASLI & recommended checking for badges
(3 hr minimum) Explained the NRCPD registration included CRB, insurance and qualification
Total £120 + travel Included a Deaf Awareness document
Included T&C with explanation of NRCPD & ASLI at the top
Silent Sounds £144 + travel Recommended a Trainee Interpreter for the interview
Highlighted the time involved with training
SL-I-D £120 including travel Mentioned ATW and reclaiming costs
(Half day minimum) NRCPD registered
Explained the ramifications of using someone unqualified
SLBF Unknown Emailed twice. No response.
Surrey Council £150 + travel + VAT Claims to only use registered interpreters
(First Point) (3 hr minimum)
Terp Tree £170 + travel + VAT Explained industry 3 hour minimums
(3 hr minimum) Claim to only use qualified and registered interpreters
Follow up email sent with client recommendations
(Will waive fee if unhappy with service) Mentioned ATW
The Sign Language Bank Unknown Emailed twice. No response.
Today Translations Said it can be fine for some signers to “freely pass on the meaning of spoken langauge” but as a general rule they won’t risk it.
Added that “Job interviews are stressful for everyone. If you add hearing problems on top of that…you can imagine how wrong it can go!”
Said “Most of sign interpreters grew up in a household were one or both of the parents were deaf”
Explained that becoming a sign langauge interpreter requires study and practise
Total Communication £200 including VAT and travel Told me the interpreter quote was for fully qualified. After I asked about level, I was told that they were “Level 6 , Trainee Interpreter. So it is above Level 3”
Ubiquis £300 + VAT + travel Claimed to only use fully qualified and experienced interpreters
Offered information about qualifications and registration
Stated that unqualified interpreters would charge less
Offered a local alternative to their company
UK Language Solutions £60 per hour + £30 per hour travel Said “A level 3 qualified interpreter may be acceptable for some interpreting assignments”
(2 hr minimum) But claim to only use qualified and registered interpreters
Veritas Language Solutions £164.60 + £32 VAT Aimed to source an interpreter close to the booking to save on travel
Said the interpreter had a two hour minimum charge, but would not state whether they were qualified even though I specifically asked
Wolfestone £75 + VAT Requested information about qualifications but received no response
Additional hours £50 per hour