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Our processes and management of translation services have obtained ISO 9001 and UNI-EN 15038 quality certification

We decided to certify the quality of our processes as a further guarantee for anyone looking for a solid partner to trust in total tranquillity.

We are ISO9001: 2008 certified for the management system and UNI-EN15038: 2006 certified for the quality of the core translation process and all other aspects related to the service, including quality control and traceability.

The certification is just one more step in a journey started on our first day of operations, over 10 years ago, in which the goal has always been to continue to outdo ourselves, refining our skills and those of our collaborators.

The ISO9001 standard defines a set of guidelines for the improvement and traceability of business processes, in other words it aims to increase efficiency and enable organisations that choose to adopt it to offer products or services more effectively. The standard is "democratic" in that anyone can choose to make it their own, regardless of sector or company size. The 2008 is the fourth edition of the standard; the first was in 1987, and today it is the globally recognised quality standard for the supplier-client relationship.

The choice of wanting to be certified comes from the desire to put ourselves to the test, to see for ourselves what could be improved, to "measure ourselves" with an instrument that would be the same for everyone.  The journey has been very stimulating and we have examined every little sequence of the process that starts with an e-mail from the client and ends with delivery of the work.  We have discovered many new aspects of our workflow, we have identified the steps that could be improved and even those that were unnecessary, consuming energy and complicating the provision of a linear, traceable and reliable service.

On the other hand, the 15038 standard directly concerns our sector. It defines a Translation Service Provider (TSP) as a Language Service Provider (LSP) which provides translation services.  It studies the translation process closely and outlines the practices necessary to provide a quality service, in addition to defining related processes such as, for example, traceability.

The European standard specifies the requirements for the human resources involved, as well as project management, technical resources, contractual issues and procedures for providing the service.  With regard to human resource requirements, translators must possess a degree in translation, or a degree in another field, plus at least 2 years of proven experience, or at least 5 years of proven experience.

In our structure, besides adhering to the requirements of the standard, translators must be mother tongue speakers of the language they translate into and they must have perfect knowledge of the language from which they translate.  For the most common language combinations, this aspect is ensured through a high-level translation test assessed by a highly experienced examiner.

The standard also calls for each project to be assigned to a Project Manager, that there be a workflow management tool in place, and that there be procedures for handling requests, studying project feasibility, preparing quotes, managing the documentation provided by clients, completing the contract between agency and client, billing and recording receipts, all tracked by special instruments.  There must also be a system for monitoring the quality of service provided and, where necessary, the willingness to make any improvements to the product and take corrective actions.

Here at Alpha Languages, ​​we use a management tool that enables tracking of each "step" of a project: request from the client, saving the documentation, preparation of a budget, processing of files, assignment to the project manager, assignment to the translator, delivery by the translator, assignment to the reviewer, delivery by the reviewer, delivery to the client, billing, project closure, payment of the translator and reviewer, and payment by the client.

The standard requires that the Translation Service Provider (TSP) completes all the preparatory work for translation, namely: acquire all possible information from the client regarding analysis of the document to be translated in order to identify potential problems and provide the translator with all tools necessary for completing the work with maximum efficiency.  Unlike the ISO9001, 15038 certification can be defined as a formality. Our organisation already complied with the standards set, and currently our mission is to go beyond the standards, offering increasingly better services to our customers and creating an increasingly easier working environment for our professionals.

A tough challenge but one that gives us the necessary stimulus to transform our sector from one that has always been considered static and unchanging into one that is alive, and to transform the collaboration with professionals from one that has often been criticised into a partnership that is as harmonious as possible and, above all, mutually stimulating.