(1) What are the pre-conditions to apply?

– Agencies submit commercial register
– Freelancers (translators/interpreters as OPE, One Person Enterprise) should meet at least one of the following criteria:

a) a recognized graduate qualification in translation from an institution of higher education;

b) a recognized graduate qualification in any other field from an institution of higher education, plus
two years of full-time professional experience in translating/interpreting;

c) Five years of full-time professional experience in translating/interpreting.
How long would the certificate be valid?

– 6 years for agencies, and 3 years for individuals, always by a yearly maintenance audit. However, it finally depends on the evaluation and estimation of the responsible Lead Auditor.
Very important: Freelancers should submit a certificate on project management, preferably in translation project management (online courses from Alison, Coursera or any other international providers can also be accepted).

(2) How long does the certification/re-certification/surveillance audit take?

– Agencies 2-4 h
– Freelancers 1-2 h

(3) What is the content of the certification/re-certification/surveillance audit?

– Just an interview to make sure the submitted documentation and qualification proof meet the prerequisites of the related standard. All aspects of the audit questions are listed in the certification scheme (see related link below).

(4) What are the steps of the certification process?

1- submitting an application form (use the link below) to the Middle East Manager and Lead Auditor, Dr. Mohamed-Ali Ibrahim:

[email protected] (in case the link does not work, kindly send an email)

Application Form

(After submitting the application and all qualification proofs you get from your Lead Auditor an answer within 48 hours, detailing whether you’re qualified for the certification audit or not. In case you’re qualified, your Lead Auditor starts the certification process and will communicate with you until you become ready for the on-site visit).

2- studying the certification scheme:

Click here

3- creating the handbook, gathering the needed qualification evidence and send all to [email protected]
The handbook includes your company profile, working fields and languages, authority registration sheet (or tax sheet) in case of a TSP, qualification and competences of all the team members, working procedures according to the points listed in the document “Certification Scheme”, which is created for your orientation on how to fulfill the standard requirements

4- contact the Lead Auditor who shall check the documentation and qualifications, and give his/her feedback. The candidate should modify the documentation accordingly, and re-send until an approval is obtained.

5- based on the approval concerning the submitted documentation, the Lead Auditor, suggests a date for the site visit

6-based on the site visit/interviews the Lead Auditor submits the audit report to the Certification Body recommending issuing the certificate, in case everything is OK

7-within 2-4 weeks the candidate receives his/her certificate from the certification body.

(5) Do I need to go through any test?

– Yes in case of OPE, some short translations to deliver a final proof of your professional qualification. The test lasts about an hour.

(6) What about the fees?

– Agencies: EUR 3500 – 5000 depending on the company size + traveling costs.

The final total costs depend on the real size of the company including management, administration, project managers, freelancers and in-house translators. You have to define the Number of those 5 groups in the application form. Your Lead Auditor will interview all of your team members and representatives of your freelancers.

– Freelancer: EUR 480 + traveling costs, if needed

These are the fees for the initial audit including registration, documentation check, site visit and certificate issuing fees. There’s a surveillance audit in the 2nd and 3rd years; fees are about 20% less than the above mentioned initial fees. Afterward, we conduct an initial audit again, etc.

(7) Can I get a preview of the ISO 17100:2015 standard?

– www.iso.org/iso/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=59149

(8) What are the benefits of ISO 17100:2015 or ISO 13611:2014?

– Those standards enable the state-of-the-art certification in the translation/interpretation industry from one of the biggest certification bodies in Europe. It’s a must for professionals in those fields to show the highest qualification level and providing absolute qualitative services, certified by a neutral and accredited third party. Further details in next separate posting on this page.

(9) Where to find a database on the LICS certified agencies, companies or freelancers worldwide?

– https://certificates.austrian-standards.at/search

(10) Does it play any role, which language pair I am translating or interpreting?

– No. We do not certify your translating or interpreting language pair. We certify that you are doing this by fulfilling all the international standard criteria. No matter which languages you are dealing with. The submitted audit documentation and the qualification evidence must be in English or Arabic language.

(11) What is ISO 17100 all about?

Since the European Standard EN 15038 “Translation services requirements” was published in 2006, the market for certifying Translation Service Providers (TSPs) has constantly been developing. By 1st May 2015, EN 15038 was substituted 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 concerning the management of core processes, minimum qualification requirements, and the availability of resources.
The standard 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 freelance translators who collaborate with others peers.
Here you can find a preview of the original standard: www.iso.org/iso/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=59149

(12) Is there a time frame for fulfilling the requirements of this certification after application?

Should not exceed a limit of 6 months.

(13) Will the audit be conducted online or on-site?

Face-to-face interviews with the management and team members. A site visit must be arranged to inspect the infrastructure and work environment etc.

(14) What documents should I prepare/provide as OPE (One Person Enterprise)?

  • Resume
  • University certificates
  • Experience & recommendation letters
  • All certificates of professional training and CPDs
  • Handbook (the above points + following the certification scheme)

(15) Should I have a commercial office to be certified?

Not a must in case of OPE, but as a TSP, yes.

(16) Will a Tax ID be required for the certification?

Not a must in case of OPE, but as a TSP, yes.
In addition to purchasing a copy of ISO 17100 document, what are the fees required for other services (the audit, certificate, visits)? The total fees for all services of OPE € 430,00 including traveling costs (partly), registration fees, site visit and certificate issuing fee.

(17) If the result of the audit is not satisfactory and no certificate issued, when I can ask for re-audit, and how many times can I apply for certification?

The certification audit consists of 2 parts. First one is checking your documentation, but no way to move to part II if your documentation is incomplete. Part II is the face-to-face interview. Of course, you can retry if you fail.

(18) Are the audit dates preset, or I have the option of setting a date?

Upon completion of your documentation (theoretical part), we agree to arrange for an interview date according to the trip plan of the auditor.

(19) Is there a predefined schedule for the certification process?

See above answers.

(20) Should I provide the qualification of the translators I collaborate with?

Yes, best case is that your reviser(s) is(are) also certified.

(21) For the references, how many should I provide at least, and are there specific data should be included in the reference letter (a Template)?

common contents including personal data, time frame, job specification and general statements in this regards.

(22) What are the minimum software/hardware requirements should I have for the audit?

Dealing with common CAT tools like Trados or MemoQ

(23) About the documentation: Should I send the required documents along with the application or after its acceptance?

The required documentation to be sent along with the application to check and decide if you are qualified or not.

(24) About the registration process: Is it after or before Checking documents?

The registration starts if you are qualified, for checking your application you have to pay € 40. And How much should I pay the registration fees Only? Application fees: see above. After the registration you should settle a downpayment of at least € 200, rest amount at least 2 weeks before the audit date.

(25) About Training Certifications: are they a must, and which field is preferable?

( as I have a self-learning approach) It helps by the decision on your qualification, We need from you something in the field of project management, as a face-to-face training or even online courses from recognized online training providers like Alison or Coursera, which enhances your self-learning approach too.

(26) About Reference letters: Is there a minimum number of them I should provide?

3 would be the minimum.

(27) About Face to Face meeting: where will it be held? My location or yours? Both possible in case of OPE audit and is it including a test?

No test required more information about this stage will be appreciated. All the questions of the audit (face-to-face interview) are based on your documentation, especially handbook, your working procedures and the certification scheme (link to download above).

(28) About the reviser: Is it a must for the reviser (s) to be certified?

Best case your reviser is also certified, if not he/she must fulfill all requirements according to the standard.

(29) What are the most preferable certifications can be provided as references?

All recognized certifications, e.g., proz, ATA or the certificates of the National Translators Associations.

(30) Is the membership of internationally recognized associations counted?

Not as certifications of course, but will be considered by the evaluation of your qualification.