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AtW Rates for booking interpreters, and sources of advice

Darren Townsend-Handscomb made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions

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Darren Townsend-Handscomb

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Frequently AtW Advisers have advised AtW users that there are set rates for AtW support for Communication Services, and that these are regionally based, and differentiated for booking though an agency or booking the support direct.

I’ve summarised a previous FoI request re this matter below:

FoI question: Please provide copies of all policies and other relevant
documentation that are used by Access to Work (ATW) staff in
relation to rates for the booking of BSL/English Interpreters (broken down by region as appropriate). (Made 27/5/14 through whatdotheyknow.com)

AtW answer: Access to Work teams decide upon appropriate grant levels, according to customer need and the precise nature of the support required, in individual cases and as such there are no defined or prescriptive rates, in guidance documents. Our delivery team does work to expectations of reasonable rates, as explained below. For fully qualified interpreters, we would currently expect maximum hourly rates of £45 in London, and £35 elsewhere.

FoI question: What is the rationale behind all rates imposed? (Made 27/5/14 through whatdotheyknow.com)

AtW answer: Awards in each case are awarded upon consideration of customer need and reasonable benchmark amounts, based upon the qualification level of interpreters. Our hearing impaired delivery team gathers information and discusses such levels, on a regular basis, with a range of appropriate organisations, ensuring our knowledge remains current.

This FoI request asks related but different questions. Can I ask for all written information at AtW / DWP re the following questions. If there is no written information, please confirm that, and answer the questions raised in your reply.

1) In your response to the previous FoI you say “Our delivery team does work to expectations of reasonable rates … For fully qualified interpreters, we would currently expect maximum hourly rates …”, and “reasonable benchmark amounts, based upon the qualification level of interpreters”.

What are your “expectations of reasonable rates”, “reasonable benchmark amounts”, and “expected hourly maximum rates” for the various communication services relevant to Deaf AtW users – including Registered BSL/English interpreters (RSLIs), Registered Trainee BSL/English interpreters (RTIs), Registered Lipspeakers, Registered Speech to Text Reporters, Notetakers, and Communication Support Workers; and if they vary regionally, what are they regionally? It would be helpful if this information could be provided in table format.

2) In response to the previous FoI, it said “our hearing impaired delivery team gathers information and discusses such levels, on a regular basis, with a range of appropriate organisations”.

From 1st January 2014 to date, which organisations or businesses have provided information? What information was provided by those organisations/businesses?

Yours faithfully,

Darren Townsend-Handscomb

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