Title Protection in B.C.

July 7, 2011: Occupational Title Protection Granted to WAVLI Members

The Westcoast Association of Visual Language Interpreters (WAVLI) is the provincial professional association of interpreters who work between spoken English and American Sign Language (ASL).  WAVLI holds its members to a Code of Ethics and provides Guidelines for Professional Practice to govern its members.

WAVLI promotes the professionalism of its members, both linguistically and ethically, to employers and consumers of service alike. Over the past decade, WAVLI has engaged in a process of clarifying the difference between qualified professional interpreters and lay-persons, who have no formal linguistic training, yet self-identify as ‘sign language interpreters’. On July 07, 2011 that process was strengthened by the granting of Occupational Title Protection by the BC Provincial Government.

WAVLI now holds three protected titles: (1) Registered ASL/English Interpreter, (2) Registered Sign Language Interpreter, and (3) Registered Visual Language Interpreter which are restricted for use by WAVLI members only.

Any interpreter in BC using one of the three granted occupational titles must meet the educational requirement stipulated in the WAVLI bylaws which states that an applicant must be currently providing interpretation services and have graduated from an acceptable visual language interpreter training program. 

Having title protection assures the public that, when hiring an interpreter who is using any of the three protected titles, that person is qualified to provide ASL-English interpreting services.


For further information on Occupational Protection of Title, visit the AVLIC FAQ page (specifically What is Occupational Protection of Title?).