This standard outlines the clinical assurance process for creating BSL translations of pre-recorded videos for the NHS. It also includes guidance on video production.
BSL and accessibility
Providing BSL translations of pre-recorded audio and video content is a WCAG 2.2 AAA criterion. The NHS is legally required to meet, at a minimum, Level AA. AAA is best practice.
Make sure your original video is high quality health content
Before you create a BSL translation, your original video must meet the requirements in the Standard for creating health content. This includes, for example:
- getting clinicians or other subject matter experts to review your content
- meeting relevant laws, such as data protection regulations
- focusing on user needs and, where possible, testing your content
Quality assuring the BSL translation
You must get BSL videos independently assured by a Deaf-led BSL supplier.
Your supplier must have sign language translators or interpreters who are registered with the National Registers of Communications Professionals Working with Deaf and Deafblind People (NRCPD).
The supplier should use 2 NRCPD registered translators to assure the video: 1 to translate it and the other to check their work. If this is not possible, they can use 1 registered translator and 1 registered interpreter or 2 NRCPD registered interpreters.
The translators or interpreters should be trained in medical translation and have experience in the healthcare field.
1 translator must present the BSL translation on video. The other translator must check that the translation is accurate and clear.
Record the details of both NRCPD registered sign language translators or interpreters including:
- their names
- their registration numbers
- evidence of current registration
- which translator or interpreter translated the content and which checked it
We are also looking into creating BSL-only videos. We'll share guidance when we've researched and tested BSL-only content.
Production guidance for BSL translations of pre-recorded videos
- Use a diverse and representative selection of presenters.
- There are regional variations of BSL but try to cater for a nationwide Deaf audience.
- Talk with the supplier to understand if there is anything in the script that would benefit from a graphic ("transliteration") on screen to help users understand it.
- Do not hide any key content. Make sure BSL users can see the presenter at the same time as any graphics, text or other visual elements.
- Place the translator or interpreter in the bottom right-hand corner of the video. The BSL presenter size should be at least 1/6th of the screen.
- Make sure the video is culturally appropriate by working with the BSL community, testing it, or getting feedback.
Find out more
- Follow NHS accessibility guidance on making videos and other multimedia content accessible
- See examples of NHS BSL videos on YouTube
Developing this standard
This standard was created by the NHS website team in collaboration with:
- the British Deaf Association
- NHS 24 (Scotland)
- the RNID (Royal National Institute for Deaf People)
It follows the process used for approving videos for the NHS website and NHS YouTube channel. It also aligns with the Accessible Information Standard implementation guidance (NHS England).
The standard is new and we're still testing it. Please feed back.
Would you like to contribute to this guidance?
Please let us know how this has worked for you and, in particular, if you have research findings to share. This will help us improve it for everyone.
Before you start, you will need a GitHub account. It's an open forum where we collect feedback.