What you'll learn

Several recent market changes have impacted the BSL interpreting profession, threatening to or succeeding in diminishing wages and working terms and conditions of interpreters. This presentation identifies commoditisation as the economic phenomena driving these developments.

Commoditisation is the market force exerted when efficiencies are sought and lower costs become a primary differentiating factor in service provider selection. It is different from the concept of commodification, a distinction which will be explained during this presentation.

Far from just providing definitions, however, this presentation will analyse the response of the profession at large in dealing with commoditisation, and strategic responses drawn from the literature will be applied for recommendations for further action. These strategic recommendations will encompass both the abilities of interpreters to guard against or reverse commoditising market forces on an individual level as well as presenting strategic collective responses for the profession as a whole. Becoming more aware of the market dynamics and proactively engaging in strategic responses now, both as practitioners and as a profession, enables us to ensure the best possible future for BSL interpreting and continuation of quality services to clients.

Learning Outcomes:

Participants will be able to:

  1. Define commoditisation
  2. Describe examples of commoditisation in the interpreting field
  3. List at least one individual response to commoditisation
  4. List at least one collective response to commoditisation


  • This qualifies for 2 structured points

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