ASL Version:

English Version:

TITLE
RID Criminal Conviction Policy

ACTION REQUESTED
Review and provide comments by 11:59 PM EST on July 15, 2016 to compliance@rid.org. Comments may be submitted in ASL or English.

PROPOSED EFFECTIVE DATES
February 1, 2017 – Candidates for RID Certification

July 1, 2017 – Candidates for Recertification (Certification Renewal)

CONTACT
Julie Anne Schafer
compliance@rid.org
571-414-0039 (VP)
703-838-0030, ext. 237 (Voice)
_______________________________________________________________

Purpose

The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) is seeking comment on a Criminal Conviction Policy (CCP), which is being adopted in an effort to safeguard the public from individuals who, in practice as RID-certified interpreters, might conduct themselves in a manner inconsistent with the RID Code of Professional Conduct or their professional role as interpreters. In establishing this policy, the RID is carefully weighing its duty to safeguard the public through inquiry into past criminal behaviors of potential relevance, while providing appropriate processes for candidates for certification and recertification who may have histories of such behaviors. The policies and procedures adopted attempt to recognize relevant circumstances that might be associated with specific criminal histories and aim to provide a means for those who have been convicted of an applicable felony or misdemeanor to present information as to why they should be granted certification or recertification by RID.

Background

The need for a policy stems from requests from Commissions/Offices for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and consumers to have a policy in place to include a criminal background disclosure as part of the certification and recertification process. During the March 2016 face to face meeting of the RID Board of Directors, a felony policy was unanimously approved to be included in the Ethical Practices System (EPS) policy manual. After researching similar policies in other organizations and consulting with RID’s legal counsel, a draft policy was again reviewed by the Board. RID subsequently met with Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of the Deaf (HEARD), which lead to additional revisions to the policy. The Board again reviewed the policy, sharing it with the Board-appointed Councils for input and feedback. RID believes that the meeting with HEARD and other contacts received by RID about the policy reflect a desire of members and the community to provide input before the policy is finalized. Typically, members do not vote on administrative policy, but this policy is unique in that it impacts application for certification and therefore member input is being sought.

Abstract of Policy

  1. The CCP will apply to both candidates for certification and recertification.
  2. There are three categories of criminal convictions that must be disclosed:
  • Any felony conviction;
  • Any conviction (felony or misdemeanor) involving moral turpitude, as defined above; and/or
  • Any conviction (felony or misdemeanor) related to the provision of interpreting services.
  1. The effective date for candidates for certification is February 1, 2017.
  2. The effective date for candidates for recertification is July 1, 2017.
  3. Candidates for recertification must disclose relevant criminal convictions as part of their annual renewal. Only convictions that happened since the last renewal must be disclosed.
  4. The CCP will be administered by the Standards and Practices Department.
  5. When a candidate discloses a criminal conviction pursuant to this policy, the Director of Standards and Practices, along with legal counsel, will review the disclosure.
  6. Candidates who disclose a criminal conviction related to the provision of interpreting services will be denied credentials but may request review by an EPS adjudication panel.
  7. All other relevant criminal convictions will be referred to an EPS adjudication panel for review.
  8. Once convened, the EPS adjudication panel may request more information to facilitate their review. The panel will considered factors such as the severity of the crime and whether the candidate has multiple criminal convictions.
  9. The EPS adjudication panel may impose a temporary or permanent denial of a credential. The RID Board of Directors will automatically review any permanent denial of a credential

Implementation requirements, Costs, and Operational Impacts

There are no expected financial costs for implementing the Criminal Conviction Policy. RID’s Standards and Practices Department will utilize existing resources to provide administrative support to applicants while a team of EPS Adjudicators will review disclosures of applicable convictions.

Request for Specific Comments

In addition to comments on the policy as a whole, RID is interested in comments on the following:

  1. The proposed “Criminal Conviction Policy” aims to balance safeguarding the public from individuals who, in practice as RID-certified interpreters, might conduct themselves in a manner inconsistent with the RID Code of Professional Conduct or their professional role with providing appropriate processes for candidates for certification and recertification who may have histories of such behaviors. What, if any, changes could be made to the policy to help us more fully realize our goal?
  2. Should RID consider expanding or narrowing the convictions to be disclosed pursuant to this policy? Why? How will this positively impact upholding professional standards while promoting access to qualified interpreters?
  3. What impact (positive or negative) will this have on the pool of interpreters eligible for certification? Where possible, please cite statistics or other information that supports your assessment.

Comment Review and Next Steps

The RID Standards and Practices Department will review and assess comments submitted before the close of the comment period. Late submissions will not be accepted. A summary of the comments received and recommendations, if any, for revisions will be submitted to the Interim Executive Director and the RID Board of Directors for review and consideration shortly after the comment period closes. The final policy will be published on August 1, 2016.

Attachments and Links

The text of the proposed policy is at: http://www.rid.org/criminalconvictionpolicy/
The ASL version of the proposed policy is at: https://youtu.be/QiFfdvCrLV8