Code Of Ethics – Non-Spoken Communication Professionals

Service user guide to the Code of Conduct for Registrants and regulated Trainees

The Code of Conduct tells you how communication and language professionals who are regulated by NRCPD should act when they are working. It tells you what you can expect from them.

Communication and language professionals are sign language interpreters, sign language translators, speech to text reporters, lipspeakers, interpreters for deafblind people and notetakers.

We call the professionals we regulate

  • ‘Registrants’ if they are fully qualified; and
  • ‘regulated Trainees’ if they are still training.

All Registrants and regulated Trainees have agreed to do what the Code says. If they don’t do what the Code says you can make a complaint.

Ethical principles

The Code of Conduct is based on the ethical principles that Registrants and regulated Trainees should

  • do no harm or, in rare circumstances where causing harm is unavoidable, the least amount of harm;
  • make an effort to do good;
  • act justly and fairly;
  • be honest;
  • keep their word; and
  • respect the personal choices of people who use their services.

Must and should

If the Code says a Registrant or regulated Trainee ‘must’ do something, it means they have to always do it.

If the Code says a Registrant or regulated Trainee ‘should’ do something, it means we think it’s usually the best thing to do but it might not always be possible or appropriate.

The Code of Conduct for Registrants and regulated Trainees

1.  They must do what is best for the people and organisations who use their services.

They must treat you with respect.

They must not unfairly discriminate against you.

They must tell you if they make a mistake. If they can do something to put things right they should.

2.    They must treat information as confidential.

Sometimes they will get to know information about you that is private. Usually they must not talk about that information to anyone unless you say they can.

Sometimes they might have to talk to someone about it because the law says they must, or the law allows them to. For example, they might need to talk to someone about it to stop you or someone else being harmed.

Treating information as confidential doesn’t mean they can’t talk to other communication and language professionals about their work. They have to be able to do that so they can become better at what they do. But it does mean they shouldn’t talk about your private information.

They can also talk to other people to make sure they do the best job they can. For example, if they are going to interpret or take notes at your doctor’s appointment, they might meet with the doctor first to make sure they know any medical words that will be used or understand a medical process.

3.    They must only do work they have been trained for and have the experience to do.

They must only do work if their training, skills and experience means they are able to do it.

If they don’t have the right training, skills and experience they should refer you to someone who has.

4.    They must make sure they are doing the best job they can.

All Registrants and regulated Trainees have a qualification that gives them the right skills to do a good job and keep you safe. They must do their job in the way they were trained to do it.

Of course, people develop new ways of doing things that are better than the old ways. So they must know what their profession thinks are the best ways of doing things now. They must change how they work to make sure they are doing the best job they can.

5.    They must not allow their health to interfere with their work.

If they think their physical or mental health will stop them being able to do a good job, they must stop working.

6.    They must be professional.

They must make sure their behaviour encourages public trust and confidence in them and their profession.

They must not use their professional position for their own benefit.

They must make sure their own interests don’t stop them doing a good job.

They must make sure they advertise fairly and accurately.

7.     They must provide us with important information.

They must tell us if they accept a police caution or if they are found guilty of a crime.

They must take appropriate action if they think a communication and language professional they work with isn’t doing what they should be doing.

They must give a helpful and honest response to anyone who complains about their work.

They should cooperate with any investigation about their work or the work of other communication and language professionals.