The ISO 17100 standard is an international standard covering translation services. It constitutes the next step after the EN 15038 standard published in 2006 developing the rules and good practices of rendering linguistic services.
In practice, the implementation of these standards very often means a painful increase in bureaucracy.
All processes need to be well documented, the procedures require a certain number of reports, reviews, etc. The preparation and maintenance of the paperwork (archiving) required by the auditors seem to be very boring and time-consuming.
On the other hand, the rules, advice, and guidelines provided in the standard are useful in practice, and some customers expect that their language services providers (LSP) should have this third-party confirmation of the quality of their services.
Therefore many decision-makers need to find a good compromise between applying for the ISO certification and minimizing the level of bureaucracy.
An excellent solution for this “square the circle” problem is offered by modern Translation Management Systems.
A vast majority of the required traceability, reports, analyses etc. are already in place without any need to modify the existing mode of operation.
TMS systems make a possible automatic generation of different reports at any time, with definable frequency. As a result, a TMS-assisted implementation of the ISO standard does not cause a rapid increase in administration costs. Furthermore, the ISO auditors are always happy to see that the processes are continuously monitored by means of the system.
This solution builds good relationships with the ISO auditors, gives them confidence in your company and makes it easy to maintain formal auditing procedures.
Jurek Nedoma is also co-founder of the professional TMS software development firm XTRF Management System.