At LUNA, we’re committed to providing high quality language services and making improvements to our systems consistently. This commitment to our clients led us to pursue certification for ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 17100 standards earlier this year. The process is rigorous and lengthy, but the value added is well worth the effort.
What are the ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 17100 Standards?
Let’s start with what the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) means. This global network of bodies and experts develops standards that are applied across a variety of industries around the world. To learn more about ISO and the impact of its work, watch this informative video What ISO standards do for you.
There are thousands of different ISO standards, but the ones most closely related to our work in the translation and interpreting industry are ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 17100. These standards help ensure quality in two different ways.
ISO 9001:2015 regulates an organization’s Quality Management Systems (QMS). An organization must design and implement its QMS, which focuses on design and implementation of quality processes to ensure that a company meets its clients’ needs as effectively as possible. ISO 9001:2015 is not specific to an industry because it focuses on designing quality management processes in any type of organization. The focus on risk reduction and custom workflows ensures consistent processes, with the ultimate goal of client satisfaction.
ISO 17100 is specific to the translation industry and its details and requirements are built to ensure high quality written translations are being delivered. This includes processes, workflows, resource qualifications, and other aspects of translation.
What Certifications Mean for Our Clients
The requirements of ISO 9001 and ISO 17100 ensure that the highest standards in the industry are applied to every project. From the initial discovery phase to the final completion of a translation project, clients can rest assured that we’re following workflows and cross-checks that provide accurate and timely translation.
ISO 17100 includes the following process:
- Translation by qualified translators who also review their effort for accuracy and consistency.
- Editing by a second translator who reviews the source and target text checking for document errors and other issues.
- Proofreading of any edits made and final check by the translator.
- Final Verification by the project manager who assures that the translated document aligns with the client’s translation objectives.
Along with annual internal audits, an audit performed by a third-party auditor occurs every three years to ensure that LUNA is compliant with the standard.
Path to Certifications
While most of our processes and procedures were already following many of the requirements laid out by ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 17100, it took a major team effort to achieve full compliance and understanding required by the standards and our auditing body. A crucial first step was designing a QMS specific to LUNA. We assessed existing processes, audited gaps in our processes and the standard’s requirements, addressed any gaps, and trained our entire company on both the standard and new workflows.
A significant aspect of ISO standards is the emphasis on corrective actions and continual improvements which assure that processes are always focused on the client’s best interests and satisfaction.
Once the QMS was in place and our teams were trained, LUNA underwent two rigorous ISO audits. Our internal audit (performed annually) is a requirement for the external audit that confirms our compliance with the standards and issues the relevant certifications. All documents related to our systems were reviewed carefully to verify compliance. In addition, team members were interviewed individually by the auditor to ensure everyone was following the requirement laid out by the QMS and had a full understanding of procedures.
Achieving compliance with ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 17100 and passing our audits was a powerful team experience. We found new ways to improve our services and created an extensive documentation process to meet or exceed standard requirements.
Our next audit is in 2023, but until then we’re thankful for this opportunity, and the new strategies that will carry us through the next 3 years.