A new international standard for Healthcare Interpreting Services has been published by ISO.

ISO 21998 for Healthcare Interpreting Services

ISO 21998:2020 was published in December 2020. It includes requirements and recommendations for both spoken and signed communication. 

The standard designed to be applicable in all settings where healthcare interpreting is needed to treat a health-related issue.

This is the first ISO standard dedicated to interpreting services in the healthcare domain, and works independently or alongside ISO 18841 for general interpreting services.

The ISO 21998 standard defines a number of required competencies throughout the healthcare domain as well as formal qualifications which interpreters must evidence and keep on file.

In addition, requirements are placed on interpreting service providers to provide a quality interpreting service.

Healthcare Interpreting Supply Chain

While ISO 21998 is a new international standard, it is likely to become part of the healthcare supply chain, as buyers look for a way to distinguish interpreting service providers and manage risks.

Implementing the requirements as an interpreter or interpreting service provider could give you a competitive edge, while an assessment and certification of your processes can provide impartial assurance to stakeholders.

ISO 21998 Certification

The ATC ISO Certification Service will be developing resources and a certification scheme to support your organisation with ISO 21998. Please register your interest below:

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    Buy ISO 21998:2020

    You can buy a copy of the ISO 21998 standard from the ISO Shop and download it today.  

    ATC Members can get access to the standard as part of their membership, view at the ATC Members’ ISO Library via https://atc.org.uk/member-area-login.