E.g., 06/22/2018
E.g., 06/22/2018

ISO 17100: 2015 Translation Services-Requirements

Published in 2015, ISO 17100 is the current mainstay standard in the translation industry. There are hundreds of certified LSPs, including almost 200 that have attained certification recognized by Austrian Standards Institute (database). The ISO standard stems from an earlier European standard EN 15038: 2006, and transfers its requirements to the ISO framework.


A translation company implementing ISO 17100 needs to ensure that:

  • All translators are suitably competent. That means one of the following:
    • a government-certified person
    • a recognized graduate of a specialized high school
    • a translator with 5 years’ full-time professional experience
    • a translator with 2 years experience plus domain (medical, financial, legal) schooling.
  • All translations need to be fully checked. Review by a second competent pair of eyes before delivery to the customer is obligatory.
  • All information supplied by the customer must be protected and secured.

The standard defines human resources, translation processes (Translation, Check, Revision, Review, Proofreading, Final Verification and Release) and offers guidelines for contractual arrangements. Under this standard, the success of a translation project lies in the cooperation between clients and contractors, rather than being entirely the responsibility of the contractors. Clients should define quality, quality assurance and style guides in advance together with their supplier. Annexes to the standard visualize the translation workflow and list pre-production tasks.


Costs vary. A general guideline is from 1,000 euros to 40,000 euros depending on number of legal entities and offices, and the amount of preparatory work. Certification needs to be renewed via monitoring audits.

EN 15038: 2006 European Quality Standard for Translation Service Providers

This is an obsolete industry standard, replaced by ISO 17100 in 2015. Some companies may still retain EN 15038 legacy certificates, but most have switched to a newer version during one of their monitoring audits.

Released in 2006 by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), at the time of its publication EN 15038 was a ground-breaking work combining in one document five existing standards: UNI 10574, DIN 2345, ÖNORM D 1200, ÖNORM D 1201 and EUATC’s standard. It took six years to agree and complete. It offered unified definitions and requirements to translation services in 28 countries.


Translation Industry Standards