COMMUNICATION SUPPORT

Qualifications in communication support for deaf people are necessary for CSWs and other people who work in a support role for education, or other environments. Our communication support qualifications have been developed to allow the learner to gain the knowledge and understanding to fully assist deaf people in a support role.

We offer a Level 3 qualifications in Communication Support for Deaf Learners and Modifying Written English Texts for Deaf People.

Qualification aim

This qualification is appropriate for specialist learning support practitioners who work with Deaf learners in for example an FE College, adult and community learning centre or learning provider and for those supporting work based training such as within voluntary, community, private and public organisations.

The aim of the certificate is to provide those who are learning support practitioners - Communication Support Workers (CSWs) - with the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills in order to effectively fulfil the specialist learning support practitioner role.

Qualification objectives

At the end of the qualification, learners will be able:

  • to provide a sound educational basis for supporting deaf learners in a wide range of learning institutions with in the Lifelong Learning Sector
  • to develop the necessary knowledge, skills and attributes for supporting deaf learners in a wide range of learning institutions with in the Lifelong Learning Sector
  • to promote personal and professional development
  • to promote evaluation and reflection on personal and communication support practice

Qualification structure

To achieve the full Level 3 Certificate in Communication Support for Deaf Learners, learners are required to achieve all eight units.

The Level 3 Certificate in Communication Support for Deaf Learners consists of mandatory credit only. The introductory unit, Preparing to Support Learning, should be delivered first. This could be combined with additional units to provide a particular focus for the introductory part of a programme. A holistic approach may be taken by centres with the remaining mandatory units.

Unit code QAN unit number Unit title Assessment
K311 L/504/0066 Preparing to Support Learning Portfolio of evidence
K312 H/504/2986 Learning Support in Lifelong Learning Contexts: Communication Support for Deaf Learners Portfolio of evidence
K313 K/504/2987 Principles of Learning Support: Communication Support for Deaf People Portfolio of evidence
K314 M/504/2988 Supporting Learning: Communication Support for Deaf Learners Portfolio of evidence
K315 K/601/9364 Reflective Journal Production of Journal
K316 Y/601/9361 Supporting Bi-lingual Access Portfolio of evidence
K317 D/601/9362 Clear Speech and Notetaking Portfolio of evidence
K318 H/601/9363 Accessible English for Deaf and Deafblind People Written paper

Suggested duration

The following table shows the recommended learning hours required to achieve this qualification.

Unit code Guided Learning Hours (GLH) Additional study hours Total learning hours Credit value
K311 30 30 60 6
K312 30 20 50 6
K313 30 20 50 6
K314 30 20 50 6
K315 10 20 30 3
K316 20 10 30 3
K317 20 10 30 3
K318 20 10 30 3
Total 190 140 330 36

Essential requirements

A minimum of Level 2 BSL is essential for candidates studying this certificate. Level 3 BSL is desirable. Candidates should also have English at a minimum of level 2. Candidates without Level 3 BSL at entry are strongly recommended to achieve BSL level 3 either whilst training or shortly after achieving the certificate. Those who work/intend to work in establishments where learners using BSL are the norm should gain BSL at level 3 alongside this qualification. This qualification is listed as appropriate for learners 19+.

It is recommended that all candidates undertake an initial assessment prior to commencement of the course. This should include an assessment of their BSL skills, and their individual needs with respect to the minimum core of language, literacy, numeracy and ICT. The minimum core is not required as part of the qualification, but to work as a Learning Support Practitioner (CSW), learners will need proof that they have met the standards.

Target group

Level 3 Certificate in Communication Support for Deaf Learners is suitable for those who work, or wish to work, in education; in schools, colleges and universities, supporting deaf learners to communicate with their teachers and other learners. CSWs work as part of the education team alongside other professionals, such as Teachers of the Deaf (TODs), Speech and Language Therapists (SALTs), and Audiologists.

Duties typically include:

  • Supporting deaf learners by enabling communication between spoken English and BSL, notetaking and lipspeaking
  • Supporting deaf learners with understanding and producing written material in class
  • Adapting learning materials so that deaf learners understand them more easily
  • Suggesting ways that the school or college environment can be improved to make it easier for deaf learners to use hearing aids or lipread

Progression routes

On completion of Level 3 Certificate in Communication Support for Deaf Learners, a range of further qualifications are available, including:

  • Signature Level 3 Award in Insights into Communication with Congenitally Deafblind People
  • Signature Level 3 NVQ Certificate in British/Irish Sign Language
  • Signature Level 6 NVQ Certificate in British/Irish Sign Language
  • Signature Level 6 NVQ Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting
  • Signature Level 6 Diploma in Sign Language Translation

Qualification aim

This qualification is suitable for those who wish to work with and for deaf people who may require support in accessing written English.

Qualification objectives

At the end of the qualification, learners will be able to recognise structures and discourse in English which can cause particular problems for deaf readers, and be able to modify it so it becomes more accessible without changing the meaning or intent of the original written message.

Qualification structure

To achieve the full Level 3 Award in Modifying Written English Texts for Deaf People, learners are required to complete two units.

Unit K318 is a theory unit and Unit T303 covers the knowledge and practical skills in English language modification.

Units may be taken separately, but it is recommended that K318 is taken before T303.

Unit code QAN unit number Unit title Assessment
K318 H/601/9363 Accessible English for Deaf and Deafblind People Written paper
T303 R/602/0654 Modifying Written Texts for Deaf and Deafblind People Portfolio of evidence and written paper

Suggested duration

The following table shows the recommended learning hours required to achieve this qualification.

Unit code Guided Learning Hours (GLH) Additional study hours Total learning hours Credit value
K318 20 10 30 3
T101 20 10 30 3
Total 40 20 60 6

Guided learning hours include assessment time.

Additional study hours include private study, homework, practice, etc.

Signature approved centres will deliver this qualification over agreed timescales.

Essential requirements

Candidates should have a qualification showing sound knowledge and command of English.

These could include:

  • GCSE or IGCSE English - Grade C or above.
  • Key Skills Communication Level 2.
  • AS Level English Language.
  • A Level English Language.
  • Communications Unit at Level 2 or 3 in a kitemarked Access to Higher Education course.
  • Scottish Certificate of Education - Standard Grade English - Grade C or above.
  • Scottish Certificate of Education - Higher Grade English - Grade D or above.
  • Irish Leaving Certificate - Ordinary Level English - Grade C or above.
  • Irish Leaving Certificate - Higher Level English - Grade D or above.

We recommend for candidates that don't have an English qualification other than the above, or no formal qualification in English to take the Functional Skills English at Level 2 assessment.

It is the responsibility of the course provider to ensure that this requirement is met before accepting a candidate for this qualification.

Target group

Those who work with and for deaf people who need access to modified English, including trainee teachers of the deaf, communication support workers, support staff within educational establishments.

Progression routes

On completion of this qualification candidates may wish to progress to the Signature Level 3 Certificate in Communication Support for Deaf Learners. Unit K318 - Accessible English for Deaf and Deafblind People is also part of this qualification.

Qualification aim

This qualification is designed is to provide those who are working or training as interpreters with the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills in order to effectively fulfil the role.

Qualification objectives

At the end of this qualification candidates will be able to:

  • demonstrate good practice in their area of professional activity
  • demonstrate their ability to carry out interpreting assignments to a professional standard
  • be fully aware of the role of the professional interpreter and the principles of professional practice
  • evaluate and reflect on performance
  • promote personal and professional development.

Qualification structure

To be awarded a Level 6 NVQ Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting candidates must achieve five units in total (four mandatory units and one optional) in order to be awarded the full qualification. Candidates will provide proof of their interpreting competence against the National Occupational Standards by compiling a portfolio of evidence covering the five chosen units. Signature approved centre internally assess and verifiy all units. External quality assurance is provided by Signature.

This qualification consists of five units. Four are mandatory: candidates choose one of the two optional units

Unit code QAN unit number Unit title Assessment
INT6A1 K/602/0479 Prepare for sign language interpreting assignments Written paper
INT6B1 L/602/0488 Interpret one-way as a professional sign language interpreter Interpreting assignment
INT6C1 R/602/0489 Interpret two-way as a professional sign language interpreter Practical assessment of skills
INT6D1 J/602/0490 Develop your performance as a sign language interpreter Practical assessment of skills
INT6E1 L/602/0491 Optional unit: Support sign language interpreting through sight translations of routine written documents Written paper
INT6G1 R/602/0492 Optional unit: Work with other sign language interpreters Practical assessment of skills

Suggested duration

The following table details the recommended learning hours required to achieve this qualification.

Unit code Guided Learning Hours (GLH) Additional study hours Total learning hours Credit value
INT6A1 130 70 200 20
INT6B1 200 100 300 30
INT6C1 200 100 300 30
INT6D1 160 80 240 24
INT6E1 160 80 240 24
INT6G1 160 80 240 24

Guided learning hours include assessment time.

Additional study hours include private study, homework, practice, etc.

Signature approved centres will deliver this qualification over agreed timescales.

Essential requirements

Candidates are expected to have language competence in both languages for which they provide evidence for this qualification. This should be:

  • the equivalent of Level 6 in their first language. At Level 6, candidates can understand and use complex and specialised language*. Candidates can deal with all work situations, both within and outside candidates' area of professional expertise
  • the equivalent of Level 6 in the second language. At Level 6, candidates can understand and use complex language and express themselves fluently. Candidates can deal confidently with most work situations.

It is the responsibility of the Signature approved centres to ensure that the above languages requirements have been met before accepting a candidate for this qualification.

Progression routes

On successful completion of this qualification candidates can apply to become a NRCPD Registered Sign Language Interpreter. For further information about registration requirements please visit the NRCPD website.

Qualification aim

This qualification is designed to provide those who are working or training as translators with the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills in order to effectively fulfil the role.

Qualification objectives

At the end of this qualification candidates will be able to:

  • demonstrate good practice in their area of professional activity
  • be fully aware of the role of the professional translator and the principles of professional practice
  • evaluate and reflect on performance
  • be aware of own capabilities/limitations and develop skills where appropriate
  • promote personal and professional development.

Qualification structure

To be awarded a Level 6 Diploma in Sign Language Translation candidates must achieve five units in total in order to be awarded the full qualification. Candidates will provide proof of their translation competence against the National Occupational Standards by compiling a portfolio of evidence covering the five units. Signature approved centres internally assess and verify all units. External quality assurance is provided by Signature.

This qualification consists of five mandatory units.

Unit code QAN unit code Unit Title Assessment
PTRA1 M/504/1145 Maintain skills and systems for managing translation tasks Portfolio of work
PTRA2 T/504/1146 Manage new translation assignments Portfolio of work
PTRA3 A/504/1150 Translate written texts from one language into another Portfolio of work
PTRA4 M/504/1212 Develop your performance as a professional translator Portfolio of work
INT6E1 L/602/0491 Support sign language interpreting through sight translations of routine written documents Portfolio of work

Suggested duration

The following table details the recommended learning hours required to achieve this qualification.

Unit code Guided Learning Hours (GLH) Additional study hours Total learning hours Credit value
PTRA1 130 70 200 20
PTRA2 200 100 300 30
PTRA3 200 100 300 30
PTRA4 160 80 240 24
INT6E1 160 80 240 24

Guided learning hours include assessment time.

Additional study hours include private study, homework, practice, etc.

Signature approved centres will deliver this qualification over agreed timescales.

Essential requirements

Candidates are expected to have language competence in both/all languages for which they provide evidence for this qualification. This should be:

  • the equivalent of at least Level 6 in their first language. At Level 6, candidates can understand and use complex and specialised language. Candidates can deal confidently with most work situations, both within and outside candidates' area of professional expertise
  • the equivalent of Level 6 in the second language. At Level 6, candidates can understand anduse complex language and express themselves fluently. Candidates can deal confidently with most work situations.

It is the responsibility of the Signature approved centres to ensure that the above languages requirements have been met before accepting a candidate for this qualification.

Target group

This qualification is appropriate for people already working in the field of translation. This will be people working mainly in the media or web interface but may also be in a number of other areas where translation fr om English to BSL is required.

Progression routes

On successful completion of this qualification candidates can apply to become a NRCPD Registered Sign Language Translator. For further information about registration requirements please visit the NRCPD website.