Professional community and its stance vis-à-vis translation standards

Recently, ISO 9001 standard (a standard for quality management system) and EN 15038 standard (European quality standard for translation services) became a hot topic often discussed at translation conferences, in theoretical works and on the internet.
An often-expressed opinion is that ISO 9001 and EN 15038 are nothing but extra paperwork, an entirely bureaucratic workload and the only benefit one gets from implementing those is the right to use the “ISO 9001” and “EN 15038” logos, so it only benefits a company’s ads and PR.

It is quite clear that the mere marketing benefit is a disproportionately small gain considering the herculean amount of effort a company and its employees must invest into getting the ISO and/or EN certificates. It is clear as well, however, that the new ad logo is hardly the only reason translation companies are implementing those quality standards.

Any company of a certain size does indeed have its own quality management system whose aim is to achieve efficiency in control and management of its day-to-day operations and growth. This is exactly the purpose of ISO 9001. The standards must be seen as a tool that provides an increase in management quality and efficiency in control of the company, and these aspects do significantly affect the quality of the services provided by the company (in our case – the quality of final translation product). And it is beyond a doubt that implementation of the standards guarantees the sustainable growth for the company.


bulet GOST R ISO 9001 – a Russian standard
bulet Quality standards for translation services
bulet DIN 2345 – a German standard
bulet ASTM F2575-06 – an American standard of translation service quality
bulet Professional community and its stance vis-à-vis translation standards
bulet Some comments on «EN 15038: 2006 Translation Service – Service Requirements» standard
bulet Why translators need standards