ISO 17100 is the international quality standard for the translation industry which freelance translators and translation agencies are required to follow. It takes the place of the previous European standard, EN 15038.
ISO 17100 specifies the essential and primary process-related requirements for providing quality, professional translation services. These requirements pertain in particular to the qualifications and skills of the staff involved in the translation process, from the quote to the execution/delivery of the translation. All translation standards are essentially comprised of requirements from two areas – quality assurance and risk management. Quality standards originate from the spheres of company management and finance. They are designed for the types of processes in which an error can cost a company anything from major financial damage to a ruined reputation. ISO 17100 is extremely important for the quality of a translation. It stipulates that translations should be done by trained and specialised translators and reviewed thoroughly by at least one other independent specialised translator. Project managers who are not directly involved in translation also need to have extensive knowledge of all the processes, as well as IT and the programs used to produce translations.