Welcome to ISO 17100: 2015, the translation services – requirements for translation services.

This International Standard provides requirements for the core processes, resources, and other aspects necessary for the delivery of a quality translation service that meets applicable specifications. Application of this International Standard also provides the means by which a translation service provider (TSP) can demonstrate conformity of specified translation services to this International Standard and the capability of its processes and resources to deliver a translation service that will meet the client’s and other applicable specifications. Applicable specifications can include those of the client, of the TSP itself, and of any relevant industry codes, best-practice guides, or legislation. The use of raw output from machine translation plus post-editing is outside the scope of this International Standard. This International Standard does not apply to interpreting services.

ISO 17100:2015 Translation Services-Requirements for Translation Services was published on May 1, 2015. It was prepared by the International Organization for Standardization’s Technical Committee ISO/TC 37, Terminology and other language and content resources, Subcommittee SC 5, Translation, interpreting and related technology.

Since the European Standard EN 15038 “Translation services – Service requirements” was published in 2006, the market for certifying Translation Service Providers (TSPs) has been constantly developing. By 1st May 2015 EN 15038 was replaced by the International Standard ISO 17100.

ISO 17100 specifies requirements for all aspects of the translation process directly affecting the quality and delivery of translation services. It includes provisions for translation service providers (TSPs) concerning the management of core processes, minimum qualification requirements, the availability and management of resources, and other actions necessary for the delivery of a quality translation service. The use of raw output from machine translation plus post-editing is outside the scope of this standard. Neither does it apply to interpreting services.

Based on EN 15038, this standard transfers the original EN 15038 requirements to the ISO framework. For example, it defines resource types including human resources (such as translators, revisers, reviewers, proofreaders and project managers) as well as technical and technological resources. Translation steps including translation (including a check of translation by the translator himself or herself), revision by a second person, review (an optional step, designed in order to assess the suitability of the translation against the agreed purpose, domain, and the recommended corrective measures), proofreading (an optional pre-publication check) and final verification are defined by this standard. Besides the standard itself, there are six Annexes that help to explain certain aspects of the standard by providing examples or graphics so as to visualize the standard, e.g. Annex A visualizes translation workflow, Annex D lists pre-production tasks.

ISO 17100 is intended for implementation by TSPs of any size. Certification according to ISO 17100 requires all the provisions to be met, but the methods of implementation may differ depending on the size and complexity of the organization and, in some cases, on the volume and complexity of the translation service being requested of the TSP.

LICS® ISO 17100 certification is therefore suitable for:

– translation agencies (without internal translators),
– translation companies (with employed translators),
– individual translators who collaborate with others translators.

Here you can find a preview: ISO 17100 (PDF)

Minimum standards

The new characteristics of ISO 17100 compared to EN 15038 are: firstly, it sets minimum standards such as the requirements for translations to be subject to revision by a second person, which is an obligatory part of the standard.


Secondly, although widely and controversially discussed whilst in development, a new requirement regarding the appropriate qualifications in the subject area regarding the translation work is added in the standard as it prescribes that a translator should have “a certificate of competence in translation awarded by an appropriate government body”. “In this way, translator, proofreader and reviser all need to have sufficient knowledge in the field of the texts to be translated to understand and deal with any problems”.


Thirdly, the work involved in the pre-production processes has been extended considerably. In this ISO standard, the success of a translation project lies in the cooperation between clients and contractors, rather than completely a responsibility of the contractors. Meanwhile, all relevant requirements including quality of the target text, nature and scope of quality assurance, use of style guides should also be defined and agreed on in advance.

Feedback process

Fourthly, the standard requires a process for handling client feedback, which is used to find out the actual quality of translation and the satisfaction of client. Meanwhile, the translation service provider is also responsible for the archiving of translation projects.

Data protection

Last but not the least, ISO 17100 states that data protection requirements must be met as translations are sometimes confidential, involving sensitive information from the client

The ISO 17100 standard integrates terminology used in the translation field, by creating a standard structure for translation services. It simplifies the interaction between clients and translator in terms of their contractual needs.

Benefits to you:
– Ability to prove the company’s capability to provide a quality service through a fully traceable system, ensuring case files are fully backed up and retrievable and that important work is not lost.
– Increase client base by being able to tender for contracts that require a recognized management system.
— Ensures that client cases are managed, coordinated and scrutinized for accuracy by a qualified case manager, and suitably reviewed by a qualified colleague prior to finalization – eliminating the margin for error and / or customer complaints.

Benefits to your customers:
– Increases customer confidence and gives reassurance to the prospective clients that you follow a recognized specialist standard while under taking their translation requirements.
– Provides assurance that you employ appropriately qualified staff – both interpreters and translators are qualified to undertake the task in a professional and effective manner to the latest industry standards.

Benefits to your staff:
– On-going staff development- the standard helps to ensure that staff and contractors follow a professional development program, keeping them update with the latest techniques and dialects.
– Heighten morale and motivation as employees have defined processes and procedures that result in a quality and consistent service being provided.
– Proves that they work for an innovative and forward thinking employer.

The primary benefits to clients include:
– Top-notch quality assurance, with the minimum requirements set for translators, editors, and project managers.
– More confidence in the translation output, since the transition and revision phases are each overseen by different translators.
– Agreed upon expectations that delineate the standard procedures of how the project will be managed.
– Confidentiality assurance as a result of the mandatory data protection requirement.
– Precise translations due to the rigorous guidelines.
– Retrievable files, with all work being fully traceable.

What are the advantages of certification?

1. Certification builds trust

An independent body certifies that your product, service, management system or employees meet the requirements of a specific standard and that their quality is continually monitored. This builds trust among your customers and also differentiates you from your competitors. In invitations to tender, in particular, certifications are frequently listed as a requirement or they give your company an advantage.

2. Evidence of the high quality of your products/services

Certification implies high quality. When you hold a valid certificate issued by an independent body, you demonstrate the high quality of your products and services to your customers and business partners.

3. Opening up new markets

Certification can also help you access new markets, win new customers and use alternatives sales and marketing channels. By applying standards and obtaining certificates according to them, you benefit from internationally comparable benchmarks in times of globalization.

What does the ISO Certification mean for you, as a professional TRANSLATION SERVICE PROVIDER?

1) All our Certified Translation Service Providers (TSPs) are registered in the official database of the Austrian Standards Institution, this is what your client should know:

2) We send to the Embassies of the states of the European Union every three months a valid list of our CERTIFIED TRANSLATION SERVICE PROVIDERS in your country.

In addition, as a certified TSP, you’re recognized worldwide
Contact us now and apply for a Certification Audit: info[a]iso17100me.com / austrian-arabic[a]aon.at

The Director and Lead Auditor of the Middle East region is Dr. Mohamed-Ali Ibrahim

Dr. Mohamed Ali Ibrahim is a Lecturer, Trainer, and International Expert in the field of business administration and international quality and risk-management standards since 1997. Besides focusing on the German-speaking countries, he has opened a number of Arab markets to the Austrian Certification Body and now he manages and supervises the relevant companies, partners, and institutions in the Arab region.

Dr. Mohamed-Ali Ibrahim is a Lead Auditor for ISO 9001:2015 / ISO 29990 / ISO 17100:2015 and ISO 13611. Dr. Mohamed Ali Ibrahim holds a Master of Philosophy in Languages ​​and Translation Studies from the University of Graz in Austria and EBC*L diploma „ EBC*L Certified Manager” as well.

The Ph.D. thesis was about the management of the risk and quality systems in the health sector. He was awarded the Austrian State Prize in 2013.

Dr. Mohamed Ali Ibrahim is a researcher, author, university lecturer, coach and consultant, in addition he’s active as a train of trainer for the European Business Competence License (EBC*L) in Vienna / Austria in the three training levels: Basic Principles in Economics and Finance / Middle Management, Project Planning and Implementation / Senior Management, Leadership and Challenges of Leadership.

Dr. Mohammed Ali Ibrahim wrote and published 25 books in business administration, quality and risk management and translation research in Arabic, German and English languages. Visit his amazon shop of books here: Amazon Store

He is also the author of the official training materials for the Arabic section of the (EBC*L). For more details: Mohamed Ali Ibrahim

LICS® specifies the procedure to certify a service provider in the standard specific certification schemes. Each ISO 1700 or ISO 13611 certification process involves the following steps:

Application: Submitted using the certification form provided by the local certification partner.

Documentation: The service provider must file documentation containing basic information about the company, along with a self-declaration describing how the service provider complies with the requirements of applicable standard.

The audit: The core of the certification process is the audit, the purpose of which is to gather evidences that the service provider meets the requirements of the standard. This evidence includes, for example, interviews with relevant staff, checking records and client jobs undertaken and monitoring activities. The audit is performed by a qualified auditor who has been trained specifically to conduct LICS audits.

Review and issue of the certificate: Following the audit, the auditor sends his/her report to Austrian Standards, which will then assess the audit report. If the assessment is positive, a certificate is issued that is valid for 3 years.

Surveillance audits: In order to maintain the certificate, surveillance audits shall be carried out on a 1-year cycle.

Thank you for your interest in our International LICS Certification System.

We offer combined certification audits for any of the following standards, or together (this saves time, efforts and money):

LICS Certification Services & TUV AUSTRIA cover the ISO Family For Translation & Interpretation Services as follow:

– ISO 17100:2015 (The Certificate will be issued by „ The Austrian Standards Institute“) Translation services — Requirements for translation services. For details: https://www.iso.org/standard/59149.html

– ISO 13611:2014 (The Certificate will be issued by „ The Austrian Standards Institute“)
Interpreting — Guidelines for community interpreting. For details: https://www.iso.org/standard/54082.html

– ISO 18587:2017 (The Certificate will be issued by „ The Austrian Standards Institute“)
Translation services — Post-editing of machine translation output — Requirements. For details: https://www.iso.org/standard/62970.html

– ISO 9001:2015 (The Certificate will be issued by „ TUV AUSTRIA“)
Quality Management System. For details: https://www.iso.org/standard/62085.html

For requesting a quote please send the – Application Form – Please note, that the calculation factors are (a) the kind of standard and the desired combination, if any, (b) the No. of team members, and (c) the No. of locations. In case of a combined audit, you pay traveling costs one time for any combination, this is depending on the location of your premises.

Our Mission


The mission is to provide independent, third-party conformity assessment services for the language industry (translation, interpretation and related services) based on International Standards.

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