Following our last adventure in statistics, my mechanical goblins found more treasure: a cache of CACDP/IRP data. I’m sharing it with you because sharing is caring.
(If you don’t know much about what was going on in the UK sign language interpreting world prior to 2009 and have never heard of the Independent Registration Panel, I recommend Jemina Napier’s 2004 paper comparing UK, US and Australian interpreter training and accreditation leading up to and just after the turn of the millennium.)
|IRP (2004-2008)||NRCPD (2009-2014)|
|Qualified interpreters|| +58.7 terps/year,
R² = 98.5%
| +83.5 terps/year,
R² = 97.9%
|Trainee interpreters|| +19.3 terps/year,
R² = 64.8% (?)
| +6.5 terps/year,
R² = 21.8% (!)
The main bullet point to take home from this is that the overall numbers of qualified interpreters are growing faster under NRCPD than they were under IRP, speculation about attrition remaining. As for registered trainees, there was growth under IRP (it was wobbly, and most of it happened in a surge in the 18 months from mid-2006) but there is no clear trend of registered trainee growth under NRCPD. You can eyeball all that on the graph anyway – these are just the numbers describing it.
Sources of data
- 2009-2014: NRCPD seasonal updates, found on the NRCPD website.
- 2004-2008: CACDP/IRP archives, found in an open directory on the old CACDP website.
- As before, I have lumped all pre-2012 trainees together regardless of registration category.
- The 2008-2009 hole in the data is because no IRP newsletters could be found for the 8 months leading up to their dissolution and NRCPD did not begin reporting until 11 months into their watch.
- The IRP was formed on 1 April 2002 but apparently did not start releasing statistics on registration until 2005, when they created the first newsletter which gave figures from 2004 (see Sources above). It is not clear whether these updates were intended for public release or not; the website hosting them has since been (inexpertly) taken down but the documents were left in place. I take the view that anything left lying around on the World Wide Web unsecured is in the public domain.
- In the early IRP era, registered professionals were referred to as HACs (“Human Aids to Communication”) which was very catchy and I’m surprised it never caught on.
- The IRP register was a subscription-only service for commissioners/consumers to begin with – you had to pay a yearly fee of £25 to receive access to an online directory and this might explain the lack of public archives for the 2002-2004 period (source: Wayback Machine archive of CACDP site).
- You could also pay separately for a paper copy of the IRP registers (source: Wayback Machine archive of CACDP site). In the 1980s and 1990s, the register and code of ethics were carved onto granite tablets which were delivered to your cave by brontosaurus.
- Almost no data for the pre-IRP era of CACDP administration of the registers (1982-2002) could be found (no previous internet archive for UK registers exists; WHOIS records indicate that the CACDP domain name was first registered in March 2002) except for two data points for 1982-1987 given in NRCPD’s “History of Registration” page. This states that the founding 121 interpreters on the very first CACDP register in 1982 (112 of whom were Deaf Welfare Examining Board qualification holders) were reduced to just 62 interpreters by 1987, apparently because of a requirement to pass a CACDP qualification within 5 years; “since then numbers of registered professionals have grown steadily” (well, -ish). We are missing data for 2002-2004 but given that the IRP updates begin with 166 qualified interpreters on 1 April 2004, we can use our fairly reliable trend of growth during IRP’s remit to extrapolate backwards just a little. We probably did not re-achieve 121 qualified interpreters until 2003, ie. it took 16 years to recover from that initial
massacrenecessary step in the evolution of professionalised interpreters. This really does put the 21st century Deaf Industry into context: the same increase in registered and qualified interpreters is currently turned around in 7 months.