When hiring a business -- translation services or otherwise, we all want to make sure that we will get a good quality result for the money we spend. With guarantees from nearly every company that their service is top-notch, is there an easy way to assure, or as much so as possible, that the service or product we receive is good? This is where the ISO stand comes into play.
History of ISO 9001
ISO, or the International Organization for Standardization, is a 162-member global standardization organization that provides a framework for the accreditation of specific quality management processes. ISO is the world's largest standards organization and has provided international standards since 1947.
ISO 9001 was originally developed as BS5750 for UK manufacturing. In 1987, it was renamed ISO 9000 and established as an international standard. Originally, this standard mainly focused on the adoption of a standard and sticking to it.
ISO 9001 was updated in 2000 to move away from simple process compliance and focus more on business management, emphasizing customers, commitment and continuous improvement. In 2000, ISO 9001:2000 was created to combine ISO 9001, 9002 and 9003.
In 2015, ISO 9001 was updated again, ISO 9001:2015 is the latest form of this certification The ISO 9001:2015 standard is the most relevant for the service industry. Most of the changes in this latest update are intended to clarify previous standards and no significant changes have been made to the requirements.
What is ISO 9001:2015 certification?
Although ISO 9001 is not specific to the translation or localization industry, it recognizes a well-documented process. The company's certification focuses on establishing a Quality Management System (QMS)
The ISO 9001 certification certifies and controls the effective planning, operation and control of the company's operations, as well as the implementation and continuous improvement of the quality management system. The ISO framework provides a clear quality policy, a quality manual and documented procedures, as well as the organization, implementation and maintenance of documented records.
The ISO 9001 is designed to enable companies to focus on meeting customer needs, delivering on promises to customers and improving the overall quality of products and services. ISO 9001 aims at continuous improvement. When deficiencies or errors are discovered, a process is established to evaluate and correct the deficiencies so that the process can be continuously improved.
Idiomatic Translations is ISO 9001 certified, specifically bearing an ISO 9001:2015 certification.
8 Basic requirements for ISO 9001 certification
ISO 9001:2015 requires rigorous operational standards based on eight quality management principles, which include:
1 - Customer focus
Language service providers must understand the needs and customer requirements and then meet or exceed them.
2 - Management
To improve the business, management must clearly define and communicate the company's vision and strategy.
3 - Participation of people
The people of the organization must get involved and be responsible for the process and its improvement. The quality policy must be understood by employees at all levels and each employee works to achieve measurable goals.
4 - Process approach
All business activities are processes that must be managed for efficiency and improvement.
5 - Systems approach to management
All processes must be integrated into a single system to increase efficiency and success. A common system must be developed for all aspects of the process.
6 – Continual Improvement
Performance should be continually reviewed to further improvement processes. There must be a documented procedure for internal audits, and keeps records to improve the system.
7 – Factual Approach To Decision Making
Use predetermined metrics to collect information. Use this information to make decisions. All business decisions must be based on recorded data.
8 - Mutually beneficial supplier relationships
View clients and suppliers as partners for mutual benefit amongst all parties involved.
The ISO 9001:2015 certification must be renewed on a periodic basis. Advanced language service providers such as Idiomatic will review their operations quarterly via internal audits.
Why work with an ISO-certified translation company?
In many cases, a requisite of an ISO certification is that ISO-certified suppliers work with other ISO-certified suppliers. Given the ISO's focus on continuous improvement and stringent quality management, one can be assured that all parties involved are working towards a common goal of quality.
Whether you are looking for translations as an individual or business, an ISO stamp of approval is a tell-tale sign that your service provider takes pride in their work, and follows a detailed series of steps to provide the best quality service possible.
Need translation services from an ISO-certified supplier? Get in touch with Idiomatic here.