ISO 9001: What is it and how can your translations benefit from it

Trust is the glue of life, they say. Working with a translation company is no exception. After all, you’re trusting your language partner to convey your message in another language faithfully and mistake-free. But, is there a way to be sure you’ll get the quality you deserve? There is. And it has a name: ISO 9001.

What is ISO 9001?

The ISO 9001 standard focuses solely on quality. As defined by ISO itself, the guiding principles behind ISO 9001-compliant quality management are:

— customer focus

— leadership

— engagement of people

— process approach

— improvement

— evidence-based decision-making

— relationship management

The ISO 9001 standard focuses on the processes, not the final product. This makes it applicable to any industry, product, or service. 

Why is ISO 9001 important for your translations?

An ISO 9001-certified translation company must follow strict procedures covering the entire cycle: from quotation to final delivery. This workflow must be fully documented. At any given moment, anyone requesting to review a step must be able to access it. Documenting and updating these guidelines is vital for continuity. If there is a change of staff in the translation company, there will be no gaps or glitches in delivering the same quality of translations. Another major point is continuous improvement. A translation company wishing to get ISO 9001 must prove that it has set up methods that allow identifying the root cause of a mistake. By eliminating the source of the problem, there is a lower chance of the same bug presenting itself again.

Watch out: ISO-certified vs ISO-compliant

You could fast-track the ISO 9001 process by a self-certification or getting an “ISO-compliant” stamp. We didn’t take that route. To get our ISO 9001 seal, we hired a renowned external auditor and went through a rigorous inspection. With LingPerfect, you can be sure your translations are handled according to the highest standards set forth by the ISO committee.