• August 2012 (following 2012 AGM amendments)
  • (re-updated 3 May 2012 due to non-insertion of amendments)
  • (re-updated 17 Jan 2014 following EGM amendments)
  • (re-updated 21 Jun 2016 following AGM amendments)
  • (re-updated 23 September 2017 following EGM amendments)
  • (re-updated 07 July 2018 following AGM amendments
  • (re-updated 23 Nov 2019 following EGM amendments)
  • (re-updated 10 Oct 2020 following AGM amendments)
  • (re-updated 14 July 2021 following AGM amendments)
  • (re-updated 28 June 2022 following AGM amendments)
  1. NAME

1.1. The name of the Association shall be the COUNCIL OF IRISH SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETERS, hereinafter called “the Council”. It is also known as CISLI.

1.2. The Council is a non-trading, not for profit organisation. The Council is the representative body for Irish Sign Language (ISL) interpreters in Ireland and shall not be affiliated with, or pledge support to, any political party.


2.1. The aims of the Council are:

a. To advance the profession, rights and interests of sign language interpreters.

b. To work in close partnership with the National Deaf-led organisation for the future benefit of both Deaf people who use Irish Sign Language and professional interpreters, Deaf and hearing, whose working languages include a Signed Language. This coincides with the agreement set forward by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and the World Association of Sign Language lnterpreters (WASLI).

c. To support collaboration, cooperation and mutual, transparent communication between the Deaf community and Sign Language interpreters at international, national, regional and local levels.

d. To encourage best practice in Irish Sign Language interpreting by working towards:

  • Serving as the national representative body for professional Irish Sign Language interpreters in Ireland
  • Working in close partnership with Irish Deaf-led organisations for the future benefit of Deaf people in Ireland who use Signed Languages and the profession of interpreters whose working languages include a Signed Language
  • Supporting the development of CISLI Regional Committees to advance the profession of interpreting in their regions
  • Supporting and collaborating with programs designed to facilitate the education and training of interpreters
  • Provide support for professional development and for a national forum for discussion of issues pertinent to the field of interpreting
  • Upholding and promoting the Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Professional Conduct
  • Recognising the importance of evaluation of interpreters in Ireland whose working languages include a Signed Language
  • Develop, provide and promote the Dispute Resolution Process for CISLI members and the individuals they serve

2.2. The objectives of the Council are:

• To lead the development of a national registration process for Irish Sign Language interpreters through partnership with the national Deaf-led organisation, with the key stakeholders (sign language interpreter service providers and interpreter trainers)

• To provide advice and support to users and providers of interpreting services and other interested individuals and/or organisations.

• To represent the interests of the profession of Irish Sign Language interpreting to appropriate bodies

• To encourage and promote initiatives to improve standards of Sign Language interpreting and interpreter training on the island of Ireland

• To work to secure recognition of the profession of Irish Sign Language interpreting
• To develop an environment where the Council and its members work with each other collegially, respectfully and with professional integrity

• To be responsive to its members

• To do all such things to further the objectives of the Council of Irish Sign Language Interpreters


3.1. The membership categories of the Association are:

• Active Membership
• Associate Membership
• Student Membership
• Affiliate Membership.

3.2. Active Membership

3.2.1. Active membership is exclusive to Deaf and hearing professional Interpreters.

3.2.2. CISLI acknowledges the diversity of skills within the interpreting community and the current absence of a national statutory licensing system of individual Interpreter ISL interpreting skills. CISLI will endeavour to take the lead and facilitate the establishment of such by working towards the establishment and further development of a national statutory system of registration of sign language interpreters. Therefore, in relation to Active membership, CISLI recognises the individual interpreter’s level of professional competency and ISL interpreting skills as achieved through any/or all of the following pathways:

o A third level interpreter training qualification in ISL/English interpreting (National Framework of Qualifications QQI Level 7 or above)

o Sign Language Interpreting Service / Irish Sign Link Accreditation processes (1997, 2000, 2006, 2009)

o Continuous Professional Development Certificate in Deaf Interpreting, Trinity College Dublin

o Membership of the Register of Irish Sign Language Interpreters (RISLI)

o Membership of the Register of Sign Language Interpreters, administered by the National Registers of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind People (NRCDP) as a path for progression in the profession.

3.2.3. Furthermore, CISLI recognises the diversity of additional skills and educational qualifications that individual interpreters have which contribute to the enhancement of their knowledge in particular interpreting realms.

3.2.4. CISLI will endeavour to develop and provide a dispute resolution service to all members.

3.2.5. CISLI will represent and support individual interpreters within the individual interpreter’s professional parameters:

• Their third level interpreting qualification
• Their most recent Irish Sign Link / SLIS accreditation
• Their membership of NRCDP Register of Sign Language Interpreters

3.3. Associate Membership

3.3.1. This category includes

  • Those who have acted as Deaf relay interpreters as part of their professional working life, such as Deaf classroom assistants in schools / special units or Deaf Community Resource Officers.
  • Volunteer Deaf relay interpreters with experience of Deaf Blind interpreting within the Deaf community.
  • Those who have some interpreting and/or translation experience who have not yet received formal training or accreditation, but who are committed to undergoing assessment in the future.

3.4. Student Membership

3.4.1. This category is for individuals who are currently undergoing a recognised third level Deaf Studies / Interpreter training programme.

3.4.2. Student members of CISLI shall have their membership category changed to Active membership upon any change of their status to match the requirements in Section 3.2.2. The balance of fees for this change of membership shall be waived for the remainder of the year of graduation.

3.4.3. Upgrading from Student to Active member shall require confirmation of this change of status being forwarded to the Secretary.

3.5. Affiliate Membership

3.5.1. This category is for individuals and organisations who, though not interpreters, wish to support the aims of the association, such as ISL class participants.

3.6. The membership fees for CISLI as of 1 January 2019 are:

• Active €65
• Associate €30
• Student / Unwaged* €15
• Affiliate €10

*in receipt of means-tested Social Welfare benefit.

3.7. When membership criteria have been approved by CISLI members it will be written into the CISLI constitution.

3.8. Application for membership should be submitted to the Committee for approval. Applications will be acknowledged within one week of receipt, and applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application in writing within six weeks of receipt of application.

3.9. All Members are expected to adhere to the Council’s Code of Ethics.

3.10. CISLI’s policies and procedures are considered best practice guidelines for interpreters and all members are strongly encouraged to advocate for their implementation.

3.11. Membership fees are due on 1st of January each year. Fees paid by student members at the beginning of the academic year will be valid for the following year.

3.12. Membership is open to those aged 18 years and over.


4.1. The Committee members will carry out the day-to-day business of the Council.

4.2. The CISLI Committee aims:

• To reflect the working population of ISL interpreters in Ireland.
• To have 50% / 50% Deaf / hearing representation.

4.3. Committee members must:
• Be an active member with one of the accreditation pathways referenced in 3.2.2.
• With the exception of the IDS representatives; committee members must meet the minimum years of interpreting experience required as referenced in 4.6, where preferable, unless voted in with less experience by a majority of Active members at an AGM or EGM.
• Be able to demonstrate a wide range of knowledge in interpreting matters.
• Be available to listen and advise on what the complaints procedures are of the interpreting agencies in the event that such advice is sought from the Committee.

4.4. Committee members must not be:

• An ISL interpreting agency owner.
• An owner, board member or a person employed in the management, administration or supervision of interpreters in an ISL interpreting agency.
• Employed as a lecturer, or hold any position, other than that of interpreter, in a third level interpreter training programme.

4.5. Committee members shall be required to:

• Be competent in advising relevant stakeholders concerning the qualifications of interpreters.
• Attend and participate regularly in any and all meetings with relevant bodies to discuss the establishment of a national statutory registration system for sign language interpreters in Ireland.
• Support CISLI sub-committees in initiating and facilitating interpreter training opportunities for members and others.
• Participate in panel discussions during relevant conferences.
• Participate with interpreter test development initiatives.
• Liaise with local Deaf-led organisations and others.
• Continue to develop the remit and scope of the organisation leading on from the findings of the current steering committee.
• Be responsible for feeding back to the membership all developments in regards to the establishment of a national statutory registration system for sign language interpreters in Ireland.
• Collate and feedback working interpreters’ viewpoints to relevant bodies or mechanisms in relation to a national statutory registration system for sign language interpreters in Ireland.
• Inform the CISLI membership of all relevant conferences and developments known to them and to share participation of such with the membership where applicable.

4.6. The CISLI Committee shall be made up of:

• Chairperson (to have a wide range of interpreting experience in a variety of domains, including the legal and medical)- minimum of 5 years as a professional interpreter
• Vice Chairperson- minimum of 5 years as a professional interpreter
• Secretary- minimum of 3 years as a professional interpreter
• Treasurer- minimum of 3 years as a professional interpreter
• Two Ordinary Members of the Committee (5 years interpreting practice not expected)
• Member Care Liaison (5 years interpreting practice not expected)
• Two Irish Deaf Society representatives. The first should be an IDS staff member. The second should be a board member of IDS. However, if no IDS staff and/ or board member is available to take up the position, the board can nominate member(s) of IDS to represent on their behalf.

4.7. One of the first four positions – Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer – should be a Deaf interpreter whenever Committee composition allows.

4.8. The committee members will carry out the following duties:

4.8.1. The CHAIRPERSON will chair all Ordinary General, Annual and Extraordinary General Meetings of the Council and Committee meetings of the Council. The Chairperson will also serve as spokesperson and official representative of CISLI as instructed by the Committee.

4.8.2. The VICE-CHAIRPERSON will take the place and carry out the duties of the Chairperson when the Chairperson is unavailable, taking a leave of absence, or the office of Chairperson is vacant.

4.8.3. The SECRETARY will attend or be represented at all meetings of the Council and the Committee and shall prepare minutes of all such meetings for presentation to a subsequent meeting. The Secretary will conduct the correspondence of the Council as the Committee directs.

4.8.4. The TREASURER will be responsible for the financial affairs of the Council including the preparation of budgets, statement of accounts and balance sheets, as required for management purposes. The Treasurer will be responsible for the collection of all money due to the Council and all payments authorised by the Council. The Treasurer shall also keep the Register of Members.

4.8.5. The ORDINARY MEMBERS positions can be filled by an Active CISLI member who is a working interpreter with less than 5 years’ professional experience. Such members will act as a general administrative support to the work of the Committee. They will not be expected to represent CISLI to the media nor engage in dispute resolution.

4.8.6. The MEMBER CARE LIAISON will be responsible for liaising with both student and qualified professional members (of all levels of experience) with a view to advising the Committee about how CISLI can best respond to the changing and diverse needs of individual members of the organisation, and how CISLI can maximise the member experience.

4.8.7 The Public Relations Officer (PRO) will be responsible for monitoring, creating content and sharing relevant content on CISLI media platforms to help promote the organisation among its members, the Deaf community and relevant stakeholders.

4.9. The committee shall be elected at the AGM.

4.10. All nominations for the Committee must be received by the Chair four weeks before the Annual General Meeting.

4.11. Term of office:

a) The elected Committee members will serve for a term of three years.

b) If a Committee member resigns prior to the term of office, the Committee may co-opt a replacement until the following AGM, at which time the appointment may be ratified by the members.

c) Any retiring Committee member is eligible to stand for re-election, and where practical, should not take up the same position for a period of at least one year.

4.12. The committee will attend Committee meetings for a recommended minimum of five times a year.

4.13. All active members serving on the Committee shall have one vote. Where the vote is tied, the Chairperson shall have the casting vote.

4.14. A quorum for a Committee meeting shall be four members of the Committee, but at least one Deaf member of the Committee must be in attendance.

4.15. Outgoing Committee members must hand over all CISLI documents to the committee upon leaving office, including the transfer of bank accounts and signatories, within one month of the AGM.


5.1. All members will be entitled to attend a General Meeting which shall be held annually.

5.2. Notice of the AGM shall be circulated at least six weeks prior to the date.

5.3. The Agenda, Annual Report, Accounts and Motions shall be circulated at least 3 weeks prior to the date of the AGM.

5.4. The Committee shall be responsible for conducting the AGM, the business of which shall be:

a) To receive apologies for absence;

b) To approve the Minutes of the last AGM;

c) To receive the Annual Report of the Committee;

d) To approve the Statement of the accounts;

e) To announce the results of the ballot for the vacant seats of the Committee;

f) To debate and vote on motions from the membership;

g) To announce the subscription rates for the next membership year;

h) To consider any other relevant business as agreed with the Chair;

i) To announce the date and place of the next AGM.


6.1. As well as the Annual General Meeting, the Committee will also hold two Ordinary General Meetings during each year (in and around September / October and January / February), one of which will be held outside Dublin.

6.2. The purpose of Ordinary General Meetings will be to have general discussions with the CISLI membership about issues affecting working interpreters, to relay updates to membership on developments in the interpreting field, and to provide an opportunity for socialising and networking among interpreters.

6.3. An Extraordinary General Meeting may be called at any time, either by the Committee or upon the written request of at least 25% (one quarter) of voting members.

6.4. Such a meeting must be convened within two months of receipt of the request by the Chairperson.

6.5. Notice of the meeting shall be circulated to all members at least three weeks prior to the date, and will include a statement of the reasons for convening such a meeting.


7.1. For all Annual, Extraordinary and Ordinary General Meetings, the quorum shall comprise 25% (one quarter) of the voting membership.

7.1.1. In the absence of a quorum, the committee and members present can choose to continue with the meeting following a unanimous vote.

7.2. Observers shall be permitted to enter an EGM or Ordinary General Meeting at the discretion of the Committee.

7.3. Any active member of CISLI may be the Chairperson of an Ordinary General Meeting.

7.4. Motions affecting the Constitution or policy of the Council must have been submitted to the Chair six weeks prior to the date of that meeting except in this the meeting adopting the Constitution.

7.5. At Ordinary General Meetings voting shall be as detailed elsewhere (Article 8) within this Constitution.

7.6. Those wishing to attend Ordinary and General Meetings must be paid members of the association, and can join CISLI on arrival. Membership forms will be available at each such meeting for this purpose.

7.7. Meetings may be moved to an online forum when required with the agreement of the committee, and those who participate will be considered as present.


8.1. In the case of Committee meetings, all members who serve on the committee shall have one vote.

8.2. In the case of Annual, Extraordinary or Ordinary General Meetings, only Active members present will be entitled to one vote.

8.3. Votes relating to constitutional and CISLI policy changes must be carried by no less than a two-thirds majority of the members present.

8.4. In the event of a tie, the Chairperson of CISLI, or the Meeting Chair, shall have a casting vote.

8.5. Voting at Annual, Extraordinary, or Ordinary General Meetings may be by secret ballot at the request of any voting member present.


9.1. The Constitution can only be amended at an AGM/EGM.


10.1. The Committee has developed a set of Standing Orders which set down practices and procedures for the conduct of meetings and CISLI business.

10.2. New Standing Orders shall be ratified by a majority of those voting at an AGM, or EGM.


11.1. The Committee may, at different times and for different durations of time, establish sub-committees of CISLI to fulfil specific tasks or to oversee, manage and work on areas of interest and important to the Council.

11.2. Sub-committees may be established by the decision of the Committee or by a petition of no less than two-thirds of CISLI Active membership.

11.3. Sub-committee membership can be decided by directly approaching CISLI Active members, by putting out a call for membership to Active CISLI members, or by other means.

11.4. Membership of sub-committees shall ideally consist of at least one CISLI Committee member. If no Committee member is present in the Sub-Committee, the Sub-Committee shall liaise with a designated member of the Committee to ensure up to date reports are received.

11.5. Membership of sub-committees shall consist of at least 3 individuals and be limited to at most 5 individuals.

11.6. Membership of sub-committees shall be limited to Active members of CISLI. If relevant expertise or skills are needed, the Sub-Committee may consult with other relevant professionals or bodies.

11.7. Specific terms of reference for new sub-committees will be drafted by the CISLI Committee, and adopted by the said sub-committees at that sub-committee’s first sitting.

11.8. Sub-committees shall meet no less than twice a year, and their members are expected to keep in contact with each other by means of email, SMS, telephone, video conferencing etc.

11.9. Sub-committees must liaise with the CISLI Treasurer in relation to any proposed spending of CISLI funds on Sub-committee events, activities, materials or any other purchases.

11.10. Sub-committees shall report back to the CISLI Committee every six months from the establishment of the sub-committee, and prior to the Annual General Meeting for reporting back to the CISLI membership.

11.11. All sub-committees in existence under CISLI shall be listed on CISLI’s webpage along with membership of those sub-committees.

11.12. CISLI sub-committees can be wound down by a Committee decision at any CISLI Committee meeting. This must either be preceded by a request for dissolution coming from the sub-committee in question, or upon completion of the sub committee’s work as laid out in its terms of reference, or after an extended period of inactivity.


12.1. If, when CISLI is wound up or dissolved, there is still (after all its debts and liabilities have been paid) any assets left, it will be given or transferred to the Irish Deaf Society as a partner of CISLI by the voting members present at the final general meeting.