In Brief

EN 15038 is a quality standard specially developed for translation service providers. Through its international standard, this accreditation ensures consistency of the quality of the translation service offered. Any accredited organisation is subject to regular audits by the certification body. Should any discrepancy be found, accreditation is automatically revoked.

A Targeted Approach

For several years, many translation companies in Europe have felt the pressing need for a reliable method to validate the quality of their language services. Many pursued ISO 9001 certification in order to bolster their commitment to the quality of their service. However, ISO 9001 does not address the same industry-specific processes taken into consideration during the translation process. It is with this in mind that the CEN, the European Committee for Standardisation published the EN 15038 quality standard with a view to providing this niche market with a translation-specific quality management system.

It is interesting to note that the interpreting and service segments are not covered by EN 15038. While the committee involved in developing the standard recognised the value of interpretation, it felt that managing interpreting quality would simply make the development of this standard simply more complex.

What are the main differences?

The EN 15038 standard does not only introduce requirements for compliance with certain common procedures as in the case of ISO 9001. In this case, this targeted standard monitors the processes that have been specifically developed for the overall execution of the translation cycle that begins from the acceptance of the order all the way to its delivery.

In addition, EN 15038 also certifies the translation service itself unlike ISO 9001 that certifies the process management.

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