Overseas translation agency

Should my translation agency be ISO certified?

Sometimes we might ask ourselves how important it really is for a company––whatever the sector––to have ISO certifications. At the end of the day, what really matters to us as clients is the quality of the end product, often without giving much thought to the production process it must go through before reaching us.

Within the translation and language services industry, there are many ways to manage a project and each company may have its own processes and resources, not to mention that there’s a different purpose for each translation. 

Our industry comprises translation agencies of varying popularity operating domestically and abroad. Hence, there are international standards to which some of these companies adhere in order to standardise and optimise their internal processes, ensuring to observe the strict requirements of said standards, such as ISO 9001:2015 (Quality Management Systems) and ISO 17100:2015 (Requirements for translation services)––the two certifications held by Overseas Translations.

What does it really mean for a translation agency to be ISO certified?

As already mentioned, ISO certification means that a company optimises its processes and resources. The management procedure of each translation project must be recorded and follow the guidelines provided as regards:

human resources: translators, proofreaders and project managers must have their academic qualifications, expertise and minimum experience recorded according to the standard requirements;

project monitoring: the pre-production (thorough project analysis, language selection, preparation of supporting material such as translation memories or glossaries), production (monitoring of translation steps and project deadlines, internal quality review) and post-production processes (administrative closure and assessment of human resources employed) must be established and recorded;

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quality control: each translator proofreads their translation before submission to the project managers, who thoroughly revise every translation before it’s delivered to the client (they must first undergo training before they can perform the quality control independently);

management of complaints or client requests: these must be recorded, investigated and usually imply corrective action.

So what’s the difference between certified and non-certified translation services providers?

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Holding ISO certifications validates and guarantees the absolute observance of the strictest standards and internal processes established for each project, which optimises the final output and enhances translation quality, since both internal and external resources used must meet specific requirements. 

Certified companies that wish to maintain their certifications must undergo an annual audit that thoroughly reviews their processes and resources; they must invest certain financial resources and time into preparation, modification and updating of all relevant documentation and records.

At Overseas Translations, we are proud to hold ISO certifications since 2017, which strengthen our business relationships and guarantee that all our work adheres to ISO 9001 and ISO 17100 standards.

Put your translations in good hands!

Quality is key to your success!

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