IBSL is a leading UK awarding organisation providing British Sign Language (BSL) and other qualifications linked to Deaf Studies. We develop our qualifications in partnership with teachers, Deaf community organisations and government to support BSL-related education in ways which enable all learners to reach their full potential.
Since its formation, IBSL has maintained an ethos where it is led and managed by Deaf people. It has an all-Deaf Board of Trustees and its management is Deaf-led.
The current IBSL Board of Trustees are:
- Jill Pearce – Chairperson
- David Duller
- Michael Stead
- Michelle Jones – Executive Director
From the beginning, IBSL has relied on a heavy input by volunteers to develop its portfolio and to run the organisation. Although it now has (and is still developing) a small staff team (which includes hearing people to administer day-to-day activities and answer telephones), IBSL continues to be reliant on volunteers for a lot of its work.
IBSL was originally an idea developed by the British Deaf Association created in 2004. It needed to become independent in order to achieve awarding body status, and therefore registered with Companies House as an independent company in March 2007. Company number: 6201561. It subsequently became a Charity registered with the Charity Commission on 21 September 2015, Charity no. 1163674.
IBSL (as an independent awarding organisation) was recognised and accredited by Ofqual, the Office of the Regulator for Qualifications and Examinations, in June 2009, and issued its first qualifications in April 2010.
Since then, it has developed a portfolio of accredited qualifications linked to British Sign Language. It is continuing to develop this portfolio to expand into Deafblind Communication, Deaf Studies and Interpreting qualifications.