In addition to ISO 9001 and ISO 13485, Excel Translations has obtained another ISO certification: ISO 17100.
Whereas ISO 9001 and 13485 deal with the requirements of a stringent, but general quality management system, the brand-new standard (ISO 17100-2015 was just released recently) applies specifically to translation services.
ISO 17100 sets requirements for the processes and resources necessary for the delivery of quality translation services that meet client specifications. Below you will find the core elements of the new standard:
- ISO 17100 is an international standard. The standard’s predecessor, EN 15038, was a European norm and as such applied only to Europe. ISO’s incorporation of 17100 into its renowned and globally recognized regulatory arsenal means that clients and Translation Service Providers (TSP) alike can now compare quality levels around the globe.
- ISO 17100 specifies the necessary resources that are key to a successful outcome. A major part of any translation service success, naturally, lies in the involvement of qualified linguistic resources, such as translators, revisers and proofreaders, but the new standard goes beyond this. It also spells out necessary administrative, technical and IT resources and conditions that directly influence the quality and delivery of translation services.
- The Client-TSP relationship is a core meme of the standard as it describes the interaction and flow of information between the two stakeholders: from the initial request and subsequent quotation, through the life cycle of the translation project, and all the way to post-production activities.
- The standard emphasizes the need for documented procedures in translation services. ISO 17100 requires TSPs to have verifiable processes in place for handling translation projects, contact with the client, quality assurance and compliance with the client–TSP agreement.
ISO 17100 makes life a little easier for clients that are just starting to enter overseas markets. The new standard will allow them to apply a fast and effective initial filter in selecting a foreign language provider to translate their product software and documentation: only utilize TSPs on the short-list that are ISO 17100-certified –not just compliant, but verifiably certified by an independent standards company like Excel Translations’ auditor BSI.
This is no small thing as many translation companies have yet to achieve this significant milestone. Certification to ISO 17100 ensures that the TSP adheres to the rules set out in the standard. The TSP has demonstrated to an objective third-party that it has measures in place to assure the quality of its work. It can lay claim to not only an expected high quality of the translation itself –by the use of skilled and competent resources– but also to the quality of the translation processes, thus increasing the chance of repeated successful outcomes.
This last element of ISO 17100 may be its most profound one:
Certification to ISO 17100 will instill customer confidence in a TSP and provides reassurance that a translation provider follows an internationally recognized infrastructure of managing translation projects.