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  ISO 17100 Certification
ISO 17100 Certification
Translation management certification services
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   Business Challenge

Language is Big Business

The language industry is big business. According to the report on "The Language Services Market: 2018" by Common Sense Advisory (CSA), the global market for outsourced language services and technology will reach US $46.52 billion in 2018. As organizations both large and small make their products and services available in more languages, CSA predicts that the language services industry will continue to grow and that the market will increase to US$56.18 billion by 2021. By any measure, the language industry is healthy and growing.
Since the European Standard EN 15038 “Translation services – Service requirements” was published in 2006, the market for certifying Translation Service Providers (TSPs) has been constantly developing. By 1st May 2015 EN 15038 was replaced by the International Standard ISO 17100.


Translation Service Providers gain a competitive edge with the new ISO 17100:2015 certification. ISO 17100:2015 is the internationally recognised standard for translation services and was created to respond to the market need for a universally accepted benchmark. It is a process standard and does not define the quality of work completed; it sets standards for achieving quality by following the translation process steps it defines. The standard does not apply to interpreters.

ISO 17100 was prepared by the International Standards Organization’s Technical Committee ISO/TC 37, Terminology and other language and content resources, Subcommittee SC 5, Translation, interpreting and related technology. The successor standard to EN 15038 has been available as ISO 17100:2015 since 1 May 2015. This means that the European standard for the certification of translation services providers has taken another step towards internationalisation. The ISO 17100 makes translation service providers comparable worldwide.


What Translation steps does the standard define?

  • Translation, including a translator's check of their own work.
  • Revision by a reviser, who needs to be a person other than the translator. Such a revision is an obligatory part of the process. Revisers examine the translation output for any errors and other issues, and its suitability for purpose. This includes comparingsource and target versions.
  • Review, which is an optional step, designed to assess the suitability of the translation output for the agreed purpose and domain, and recommend corrective measures.
  • Proofreading, as an optional pre-publication check.
  • Final verification of the project against specifications, and release.
As a new thing compared with EN 15038, the standard also requires having a process in place for handling client feedback for assessment of their satisfaction and any appropriate corrective action.
The Benefits to Translation Service Providers meeting the ISO 17100:2015 Standard?
  • Gives confidence that potential translators work to a recognised standard and are committed to maintaining those standards in the industry
  • Reduces the need to spend time checking qualifications and CPD records of freelancers to ensure they meet the standard

ISO certification increases customer confidence and gives reassurance that an Language Service Provider follows a recognized framework; these highly regulated businesses require the assurance of controls via a recognized management system. Certification against the standard should show the LSP’s capability to provide a quality service through a fully traceable system.

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