Qualification aim

This qualification is designed to teach learners to communicate with Deaf people in British Sign Language (BSL) on a range of topics that involve simple, everyday language use. They will gain basic skills and confidence in production and reception of BSL.

The specification has been designed using the UK Occupational Language Standards 2010 at Level 1.

Qualification structure

The qualification is divided into three units, each of which can be achieved separately. Learners who are new to BSL should cover 101 first, as units 102 and 103 build on this knowledge. Units 102 and 103 can be taken in any order.

To achieve the full Level 1 Award in British Sign Language, candidates must pass all units.

Qualification objectives

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

  • Understand and use a limited range of simple words and sentences in BSL
  • Take part in simple, everyday conversations in BSL
  • Give and follow simple directions or instructions in BSL
  • Give and follow simple familiar statements or descriptions in BSL.

Qualification aim

This qualification is designed to enable learners to develop their skills to communicate with Deaf people using British Sign Language (BSL) in a range of everyday situations. The qualification will allow learners to participate in longer and more varied conversations than at Level 1. The course will develop communication in BSL about real life, routine, and daily experiences. The learner will be able to deal with most routine communication and have enough understanding of grammar to cope with some non-routine communication. Learners should be taught a number of regional variations in sign language.

The specification has been designed to be consistent with the National Language Standards at Level 2.

Qualification structure

The qualification is divided into three units, each of which can be achieved separately.

The units can be done in any order at any time but it is recommended that the content of Unit BSL201 is covered before Unit BSL202 or BSL203.

To achieve the full Level 2 Certificate in British Sign Language, candidates are required to achieve all units.

Qualification aim

The Level 3 Certificate in British Sign Language (BSL) meets the learning needs of those who already have competence in BSL at Level 2 and are interested in developing their skills and knowledge. Successful learners must be able to demonstrate competence at Level 3 of the UK Occupational Language Standards (Instructus 2012). This means that the learner will be able to understand and use varied BSL in a range of work and social situations.

The learner will develop an advanced knowledge of the structure and function of British Sign Language and an understanding of the Deaf Community and Deaf Culture.

The assessment criteria is taken from the UK Occupational Language Standards at Level 3 (‘Varied’ language use). They are equivalent to those for Modern Foreign Languages at AS and A2 level. The qualification is at Level 3 on the Qualification & Credit Framework (RQF), Advanced Level on the Language Ladder, and Level B2 on the Common European Framework (CEFR). Application of these standards have been applied to the units within the qualification.

Qualification Structure

Candidates must demonstrate both receptive and productive BSL skills at level 3, and in all of the six topics that make up this qualification. Assessments may cover any of the topics listed in this qualification.

The natural context of using BSL is in two-way interactions (discussions, conversations, debates etc.), as well as one-way interactions (monologues, presentations etc.). The candidate is therefore expected to demonstrate receptive and productive skills in both two-way and one- way interactions. Signature recommends the best approach to teaching and assessing this qualification is by covering both receptive and productive skills together.

Qualification Objectives

Successful completion of this qualification can be used as evidence of the language skills needed in order to be able to operate independently and at an advanced level in the target language. It is useful for those who work on a regular basis with Deaf people (for example social workers, teachers of the Deaf, communicators, voluntary workers, workers within Deaf organisations, schools, etc), those who aspire to work in these contexts, and those who wish to expand their knowledge and skills in British Sign Language.

Qualification aim

The Level 6 Certificate in British Sign Language (BSL62) qualification will develop the learner’s language skills from Level 4 (B2) towards Level 6 of the National Occupational Standards for Languages (CILT 2010), or C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Upon successful completion of this qualification, the learner will be able to use and understand complex BSL in all types of social and professional interaction.

The assessment criteria for this qualification are based on the UK National Occupational Standards for Languages at Level 6 (‘complex’ language use). Upon successful completion of this qualification, learners will be able to demonstrate language skills equivalent to an undergraduate degree in Modern Languages.

The qualification is benchmarked at:

  • Level 6 of the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF)
  • Proficiency Grades 13-15 on the Language Ladder
  • C1 (proficient user) on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

Qualification Structure

Candidates must demonstrate both receptive and productive BSL skills at level 6, and in all of the eight topics that make up this qualification. Internal and external assessments may cover any of the topics listed in this qualification.

The natural context of using BSL is in two-way interactions (discussions, conversations, debates etc.), as well as one-way interactions (monologues, presentations etc.). The candidate is therefore expected to demonstrate receptive and productive skills in both two-way and one-way interactions. Signature recommends the best approach to teaching and assessing this qualification is by covering both receptive and productive skills together.

Qualification Objectives

This qualification may be used as evidence of full professional proficiency in BSL. It may be useful for those who already work, or wish to work, in a professional capacity with Deaf people, such as teachers of the deaf, social workers for deaf people, voluntary workers with deaf people and employees within a deaf organisation. It may also be used as evidence of proficiency in BSL for sign language interpreters and sign language translators.