Translation agencies with in-house and / or freelance translators.

The ISO 17100 is comprised of nine procedures that need to be described. The content of procedures can be summarized. The documentation is dependent on the size of the company and the level of IT support. It is possible that manuals are in the form of prose, flow charts and mind maps.

  • Maintaining and upgrading required competences (relating to translation, governance, expert assessments, editing)
  • Analysing and processing queries, project feasibility, providing quotations, concluding contracts with customers
  • Documenting and passing on linguistic specifications
  • Project verification with respect to the specifications
  • Accounting and payment process
  • Archiving and compliance with all legal and contractual obligations
  • Customer satisfaction and corrective measures
  • Information security (listing sensitive information, analysing potential risks, creating an action plan) and secure storage
  • Determining whether or not the source-language content is suitable for MT and the subsequent post-editing
  • Checking the end product with regard to the specifications before delivery to the client
  • Feedback from post-editors concerning the performance of the MT system
A procedure is a description as to HOW individual standing operations are routinely performed. The level of detail includes steps that include employees, documents as well as hardware and software.

A process describes WHAT is being done and the detail is rather vague. Processes have defined output variables that are measurable.
Certification attests to the company’s ability to complete orders according to ISO 17100. If mention of ISO 17100 is included in marketing materials, a client assumes that services will be offered and processed according to ISO 17100. Exceptions are possible and require a clear description in the contract documents (for example, in the offer or order confirmation).
The ISO 9001 certification may be a prerequisite to access certain industries. ISO 9001 is the globally recognized standard for management systems and is well-known among buyers. The standard is based on the principle of continuous improvement and may be combined with ISO 9004 to provide for valuable synergies. On the other hand, the formal requirements posed by ISO 9001 are not necessary for pure translation services.

The certification in customer satisfaction is recommended for translation companies that have already performed thorough satisfaction surveys. With a rating for friendliness, commitment and reliability, sales activities are particularly very well supported by this certification and the translation company can also credibly emphasize its unique features in the market.

Both standards are well suited to joint certification. They are structurally similar and contain a detailed description of the qualification requirements for translators, editors and post-editors. ISO 18587 focuses particularly on the post-editors’ professionalism. Furthermore, both standards map out the preparation, production and follow-up processing in a similar way.

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