Access to work advisers are required to look at each case individually and identify the most suitable and cost effective solution in agreement with the customer and their employer. Advisers use a number of standard questions to determine both the number of British sign language interpreters required and what their minimum qualification level should be.
[holding answer 18 December 2006]: For appointments lasting between two and three hours, advisers are asked to look at the structure and length of the meeting, including any breaks, to decide whether the provision of one or two interpreters is most appropriate. Policy guidance has recently been strengthened and it is now standard practice to provide two interpreters for meetings over three hours in length.
[holding answer 18 December 2006]: There are no formal qualification requirements for access to work advisers. Any adviser posts are filled through a competency based system in line with any other Department for Work and Pensions vacancies.
New access to work advisers are required to undertake a training programme consisting of a four-day course specifically about access to work and a two-day module covering general disability awareness and how to work with customers with specific disabilities and health conditions.