Many mature professions, such as law, medicine, and construction, have long used certification of their specialists as a tool for self-regulation. Professional certification distinguishes professionals from non-professionals. Many professions are licensed by governments (in which case it is illegal to carry out the trade without a license), but in many other professions industry associations provide certification. Currently there are no universally accepted certifications for translators, localizers, or project managers. This issue makes it difficult to identify resources with the needed skills and qualifications on a global basis.
NOTE: Certification efforts will work with existing initiatives, such as ATA certification, to ensure that these efforts are complementary and collaborative.
As the largest professional association of language service providers and their clients, it is appropriate for the GALA Standards Initiative to facilitate professional certification of individuals for knowledge of tools, processes, quality requirements, project management skills, and other professional criteria. This action will help raise the value of professional industry knowledge, establish minimal service levels, and decrease the duplication of effort in individual companies to verify the level of professional skills and training.
For that purpose, the GALA Standards Initiative may work with educational and training bodies, and also establish its own programs to determine the necessary common knowledge, sets of skills and requirements, and possibly curricula for professionals in the industry, to make sure that a localization project manager trained in Shanghai, for example, is comparable with a project manager in Lisbon or Portland. Such global standards of knowledge would help ensure the quality, uniformity, and minimal required skill levels for human resources in the industry.
Making Standards Work for the Localization Industry
The GALA Standards Initiative is a non-profit effort organized by the Globalization and Localization Association (GALA). Information contained in these pages is subject to periodic update. Questions and comments may be sent to .