This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Guidance for AtW Advisers about Communication Support Workers (CSWs)'.

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) 
Central Freedom of Information Team 
 
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxx.xxx.xxx.xx 
 
Our reference: VTR3261 
 
Date: 5 August 2014 
 
 
Dear Mr Townsend-Handscomb, 
 
Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FoI) request received on 21st July 
2014. You asked:  
I would like to request the written information and any summary of training 
that is made available to AtW Advisers in order to allow them to assess 
whether a CSW is the appropriate support for a Deaf AtW customer, including 
but not limited to the following areas:  
Access to Work has specialist teams that focus on applications from those 
with Hearing Impairments. These advisers are trained via in house e-learning, 
workshops and case studies that highlight specific learning areas. Our Deaf 
focus teams hold regular meetings/knowledge days with deaf organisations 
such as Action on Hearing Loss, Microlink and Bee Communications. During 
these meetings barriers faced by Deaf customers are discussed and these 
sessions are used to help advisers better understand these issues. 
1.  What a CSW is. 
A Communication Support Worker (CSW) works with deaf people and 
those with others disabilities who require support with communicating 
spoken and written English. 
2. What their skills and competencies are. 
•BSL Stage 2 or equivalent functioning  
•GCSE English and Maths at Grade C or above 
 or  
•the BTEC/EDEXCEL qualification in Communication Support. 
3.  The criteria, issues or circumstances that mean a CSW is the appropriate 
level of communication support to award. 
In determining a reasonable and proportionate grant award, advisers discuss 
in detail the customer’s job role and daily working practices, with input from 
employers and any other relevant parties. During that process, the exact 

nature and type of support required is identified and agreed. Advisers make 
funding recommendations on the basis of information received. 
4.   The criteria, issues or circumstances that determine the proportion of time 
for which a trainee or qualified interpreter will be awarded versus a CSW.  
Access to Work is designed to assist disabled workers and their employers to 
overcome workplace barriers resulting from a disability or condition by 
considering a grant award to address minimum essential needs, within the 
wider context of potential solutions and adjustments. Customer circumstances 
and support needs are extremely varied and funding decisions are made on 
an individual basis. 
Yours sincerely,  
 
 
DWP Central FoI Team 
 
 
 
Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act 
 
If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing 
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxx.xxx.xxx.xx or by writing to: DWP, Central FoI Team,  
Caxton House, Tothill Street, SW1H 9NA. Any review request should be submitted within two 
months of the date of this letter.  
 
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you may apply directly to the 
Information Commissioner’s Office for a decision. Generally the Commissioner cannot make a 
decision unless you have exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information 
Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, 
Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF 
www.ico.org.uk/Global/contact_us  or telephone 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745