One of the strategic aims we had when founding Ultimate Languages was to become ISO-certified as we felt sure that gaining the accreditation would boost our presence against more established language service providers. We were therefore delighted to be awarded ISO accreditation within a year of our company set-up.

As a process-driven project manager, 😊 I like to think that we always work in the most productive, efficient and compliant way, but it is always nice to have what you are doing endorsed from the outside!

Whilst working towards our accreditation what we discovered was that we were already taking most of the steps required, and the main part of the process was documenting already established workflows. One part of the process that we particularly appreciated were the remote audits which took place and highlighted any gaps in our procedures which ensured that by the time we had an on-site audit we were confident we were as prepared as possible. And as the audit covered our sales, operations and resources procedures we knew we were on track in all areas.

A crucial part of the process was engaging with our translators to encourage them to become ISO-registered with us; the majority were pleased to do so and we now have a database packed full of ISO 17100 compliant translators.

One of the positives of our audit was that our ISO auditor, Sam, in a comprehensive report gave plenty of helpful feedback which whilst not imperative for passing our audit demonstrated good practice and we have been able to roll out these ideas for all projects, ISO or otherwise.

Our aim now is to increase the number of ISO-certified projects by extolling to our clients, old and new, the ever-important revision stage of translation projects. We hope that soon the majority of our clients will be requesting ISO-style projects. We use a very simple suggestion to get this message across to them: would you print, publish or make public anything in your native language without first having someone else read it through at the very least?

To anyone considering whether or not to become ISO 17100 compliant I would say go ahead: there is nothing to fear and everything to gain!