Buying language services can be a challenge. How do you differentiate between prospective suppliers? How do you ensure that the supplier you choose will deliver the high quality of service you require?
What to Look for When Buying Language Services
There are multiple factors to consider when buying language services and selecting the right language service provider for your organisation. These range from the qualification of translators and interpreters to the competence of project managers, but above all, the language service provider’s overall process for managing your assignments.
This is where specialist ISO standards, backed by impartial certification, can give you – as a buyer – the assurance that the services you are buying:
- conform to the requirements of international standards for the industry;
- are of a high quality and specification; and
- have been independently audited by industry expert auditors
Language Services Standards
The Association of Translation Companies (ATC) has played an active role in the development of international standards for translation and interpreting services with the ISO.
There are now a number of international standards covering the provision of language services in general, and within specialised domains such as legal and healthcare.
- ISO 17100 – Translation Services
- ISO 18587 – Post-Editing Machine Translation Output
- ISO 20771 – Legal Translation
- ISO 18841 – Interpreting Services
- ISO 20998 – Legal Interpreting
- ISO 21998 – Healthcare Interpreting
- Further standards in development
These international standards drive improvement throughout the language services industry, however, as the adoption of these standards remains voluntary, the emphasis is on the service buyer to evaluate its current and prospective suppliers, and to satisfy themselves of the quality of their processes.
This is why the ATC and ATC Certification promote the use of specialist ISO standards within the language services industry, throughout the supply chain, to encourage uptake and to promote continuous improvement.
Certification of Language Services
In 2017, the ATC set up the ATC Certification Service to provide an impartial audit and certification process for language service providers, and in 2021 this became an independent body under ATC Certification Limited.
There are few ISO Certification Bodies in the market who offer certification to these specialist translation and interpreting standards, and even fewer who have the depth and breadth of industry experience that ATC’s auditors have.
This is the unique service we provide at ATC Certification:
- Expert language services auditors
- Two-stage remote audit process
- Impartial auditing & certification decisions
- Global client base
Language service buyers can trust the certificates we issue knowing that the language service provider has undergone an evidence-based audit, renewed annually, assessing their compliance with international standards and driving continuous improvement.
Manage your Supplier Risks
When you are next procuring language services for your organisation, look for specialist ISO standards backed by a trusted certification body such as ATC Certification.
To find out more about specialist translation or interpreting standards, or to confirm an ISO certificate we have issued, please contact our office.