Certification according to ISO 17100:2015 certifies that you, as a translation service provider (ÜDL), work in accordance with internationally valid standards. It testifies to the high quality of your work processes and your employees. Many details are evaluated in the certification process. This detailed list of your work processes can help you improve and optimize your own structures.

The main areas of certification are:

  • Human resources
  • Workflows
  • Security of customer-related information
  • Technical infrastructure
  • Invoicing

The more precisely you know the details of the requirements of a DIN ISO 17100 standard, the better able you are to improve internally and accelerate the certification process.

You can reach us by phone on +41 44 552 66 19 or send an email to Mr. Markus Kukla, head of the certification body. We look forward to hearing from you!

These are the most common challenges with certification

In order to prove the quality of the translation, you need competent employees who can also demonstrate their specialist knowledge. As a rule, they have completed a specialist degree or have similar training. These certificates are important and must be presented during an audit according to the ISO 17100 standard. This must also be proven for native speakers.

Proof of competence with external specialists

When it comes to freelancers and other external service providers they use for projects, their qualifications are often forgotten or not listed sufficiently. It may also happen that they are not integrated into the work processes according to the same guidelines as permanent translators.

An example: Freelancers are listed in the project management software, but for whom there is no NDA document or for whom the corresponding diplomas and CVs are not archived.

You should also make sure that the freelancers' qualifications are current and complete. In the case of critical specialist areas and specialist knowledge, it must be explained why the freelancers are suitable for this. This is particularly important for legal and medical translations.

Sometimes it happens that freelancers are used for projects that they have already worked on before, without the qualifications being checked and proven again. This will later be criticized in an audit for ISO 17100 certification.

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ISO 17100 requires secure information

Kunden vertrauen Ihnen wichtige Informationen an, Verträge, Patentschriften und andere vertrauliche Schriftstücke. Sie müssen davon ausgehen können, dass Sie höchste Sicherheit beim Umgang mit diesen Informationen walten lassen. Die Zertifizierung nach ISO 17100 legt großen Wert auf diesen Bereich.

These security-related errors are common among translation service providers

As part of our audit work, we repeatedly find certain errors and omissions that do not meet the requirements of the DIN ISO 17100 standard when it comes to information security.

A directory of assets is required, all of which have a risk assessment. It often happens that this directory does not exist or that the risks have not been adequately assessed.

Even if you already have “Information Security Management” in your company, it may happen that it is not fully implemented. Data and information security plays a role here in the event of system failures. What happens if all systems fail at once? How can they maintain operations? What crisis scenarios did you run through?

Crucial security measures are:

  • GDPR compliance
  • Information security procedures with risk assessment of the IT infrastructure
  • The concrete implementation of the GDPR is clearly regulated
  • Information is graded by class

Such classes for information worthy of protection are:

  • Order-specific customer documents
  • Confidential documents
  • Customer documents classified as highly confidential or secret
  • Customer master data
  • Personal Data
  • Internal personnel data

You can reach us by phone on +41 44 552 66 19 or send an email to Mr. Markus Kukla, head of the certification body. We look forward to hearing from you!

The workflow according to the specifications of ISO 17100

A professional translation should always follow the same pattern: an offer is checked for feasibility, a proposal is presented and agreed upon, then resources are allocated to the project. This is followed by an initial – sometimes machine – translation and then the document is edited. Finally it is approved by the project manager. Any complaints will be processed promptly. The invoice is issued according to the offer.

Deviations that often occur

In real life, however, often unintentional deviations in these processes can occur. High quality is particularly important when editing. ISO Standard 17100 requires that, in agreement with the project manager, the editing person must either correct any errors found in the translation or recommend corrective actions to be taken by the translation service provider. The latter can also refer to the selection of translators. If this is the case, there should be feedback to the project management. However, this is not always the case and can be objected to.

Negligence is sometimes the reason for a lack of internal quality assurance in the workflow. Every translation must be evaluated internally at least as part of a final approval.

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This is how ISO 17100 certification helps you optimize

The deviations from the ISO 17000 requirements described above are quite common. In most cases, the reason is that these companies are not yet certified and do not have to implement any requirements.

Advice on the pre-audit for ISO 17100 certification

We advise you to carry out a preliminary audit for your initial certification. We first look at your processes and documentation and give you advice on which areas need to be improved in order to be compliant with ISO 17100. This is not yet the formal part of the certification.

The big advantage of this first preview, but also of the certification itself, is that you learn to optimize workflows, resource descriptions and documentation. This not only helps you with the audit, but also with internal quality assurance.

It should not be forgotten that the error and complaint rate decreases with standardized work processes. Not only will you have happier customers, but you will also save time and money on troubleshooting.

The topic of IT security is often underestimated. It can cost the future of your company if you don't plan for the worst case scenario and prepare accordingly. Every day that they can't work because of a server failure and a forgotten backup costs them money. And: customers lose confidence in their technical performance.

Start optimizing according to ISO 17100 today

Start organizing your company according to the international ISO 17100 standard today. Get a free quote using our contact form or simply give us a call. In just a few weeks you could have an ISO certificate in your hands!


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