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National Occupational Standard – Communication Support

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SFJAB3 – Facilitate communication using interpreters

Unit Overview

This standard is about communicating with clients with the help of interpreters to assist the communication process. Interpreters may be involved in directly assisting you to communicate with clients in a way that facilitates understanding. The standard is generic and is designed to include working with interpreters in a range of languages, including British Sign Language. It is important to note that it is not the role of interpreters to explain anything to clients.

The standard is not about the functions performed by interpreters. There are National Occupational Standards for interpreting. The standard is about the functions and actions that you need to help interpreters to do their job effectively.
There are three elements

  1. Establish and agree the communication support needs of clients
  2. Contract with, and brief, interpreters
  3. Facilitate communication through interpreters

Performance criteria

Establish and agree the communication support needs of clients

  • identify communication support needs of clients in line with organisational requirements
  • establish whether communication support is best met through interpreters, and:
  • agree this with relevant others
  • access sources of interpreters in line with client needs
  • establish any costs involved in contracting with interpreters in line with organisational requirements
  • access any sources of funding available to support working with interpreters following appropriate application processes

Contract with, and brief, interpreters

  • make initial contact with interpreters to establish their suitability for cases based on client needs
  • provide suitable opportunities for clients to establish rapport with interpreters
  • provide interpreters with appropriate information about the nature of the service you can offer clients
  • evaluate whether the physical environment is conducive to the interpreting process
  • agree working arrangements with interpreters in line with organisational requirements
  • agree cultural and ethical considerations with clients and interpreters in line with organisational requirements

Facilitate communication through interpreters

  • use language appropriate to clients’ needs
  • encourage interpreters to query aspects of interchanges they are unclear about
  • address clients rather than interpreters whilst performing your duties
  • assess clients’ continued satisfaction with the communication process according to their reactions during interchanges
  • identify opportunities for providing further support for clients in line with organisational requirements
  • record interactions and agreed outcomes in line with organisational requirements

Knowledge and Skills

  • how to establish the communication support needs of clients
  • different kinds of communication needs and ways of meeting them
  • when it may be appropriate or necessary to use more than one interpreter
  • ways of communicating with clients informally to establish their communication needs
  • how to access sources of qualified public services interpreters
  • why it is important to establish any charges that interpreters will make before contracting with them
  • how to access sources of funding that may be available to support the use of interpreters
  • what needs to be considered when establishing the suitability of interpreters
  • why it is important to enable clients to meet with interpreters before contracting
  • what kind of information you need to provide for interpreters and why this is important
  • what needs to be considered when setting up the physical environment for the interpreting process
  • organisational procedures for contracting with interpreters
  • ethical and cultural considerations for communicating with clients using interpreters, and;
  • why it is important to agree these with clients and interpreters
  • why it is important to use clear and unambiguous language when working with interpreters
  • why it is important to encourage interpreters to ask for clarification
  • why it is important to address clients directly rather than interpreters
  • ways of assessing clients’ satisfaction with the interpretation service
  • the importance of assessing clients’ satisfaction with the interpretation service
  • why interpreters may need rest periods and how to arrange these
  • what further support may be available to clients
  • organisational systems and procedures for recording interactions and outcomes
  • why organisational procedures are important