(1) What are the pre-conditions to apply? How long would the certificate be valid?

– 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.

-3 years for individuals & entities, 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 in 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 4-6 hours
– Individuals up to 2 hours

(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 the 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:

austrian-arabic@aon.at (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- Create the handbook, gather the needed qualification evidence, and send all to austrian-arabic@aon.at
The handbook includes your company profile, working fields, and languages, authority registration sheet (or tax sheet) in case of a TSP, qualifications,s, and competencies of all the team members, and 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 it until 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) What about the fees?

-Agencies: EUR 2,500 – 5,000

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

– Freelancer: €900 for Initial, and €750 for Surveillance Audit

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.

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

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

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

– Those standards enable 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 provide absolute qualitative services certified by a neutral and accredited third party. Further details are in the next separate posting on this page.

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

Click here to check 

(9) 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 language you are dealing with. The submitted audit documentation and the qualification evidence must be in English or Arabic.

(10) 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. Still, 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 by 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 other peers.
Here you can find a preview of the original standard: www.iso.org/iso/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=59149

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

Should not exceed a limit of 6 months.

(12) 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, work environment, etc. Under specific circumstances, we can arrange for remote audits, especially for surveillance audits.

(13) 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)

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

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

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

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

(16) 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?

Freelancers and companies have the possibility to re-enter the audit three times within three months intervals. If still no success, then after a year.

(17) 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.

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

See the above answers.

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

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

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

As much as you can. common contents including personal data, time frame, job specification, and general statements in this regard.

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

Dealing with common CAT tools like Trados or MemoQ

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

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

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

The registration and certification process starts after being qualified.

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

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

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

Three would be the minimum.

(26) 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?

Your or our location, or even online in case of OPE (Freelancers), but at the official location in case of an entity. No test is required; All the questions of the audit (face-to-face interview) are based on your documentation, especially the handbook, your working procedures, and the certification scheme (link to download above).

(27) 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.

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

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

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

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

(30) What are the two parts of the audit?

The certification audit consists of 2 parts. The 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.

Have more questions?

For additional frequently asked questions (FAQs) or to submit your own inquiry, please fill out the form provided on our website. Our team will review your questions and provide you with comprehensive answers to help address any queries or concerns you may have. Thank you for your interest, and we look forward to assisting you further!

Please enter your name.
Please enter a message.

We're passionate about one thing... Your success

LICS Certification specialises in providing auditing and certification services for the language services industry.

From an initial FREE consultation call with one of our expert auditors to successful certification, LICS Certification adds value to your operations.

Ready to find out more?

Contact Us and book a strategic meeting to discuss the details of a Certification Audit.

This free meeting session is only for organizations, not for freelancers