Certification to ISO 17100 mastered with minimal effort

by Reinhild Möller

Zertifizierung ISO1700

Mr Gundlach, the quality management at exact! has been certified to ISO 9001 since 2013. That demonstrates that exact! sets great store by its customer orientation and its quality awareness.

I believe that certification to ISO 17100 is particularly important for two reasons. On the one hand, because this standard is aimed at translation processes and analyses them more specifically than ISO 9001 does.

On the other hand, this standard has established itself among many companies as a quality seal for professional service providers, and so it is often stipulated as an essential framework condition in invitations to tender, for instance. We also wanted to live up to that requirement.


In its structure, ISO 17100 maps the typical process of a translation project.

At exact!, though, tried and tested processes and workflows have been established for years thanks to the company’s process orientation.

In which areas will this standard bring a breath of fresh air to translation services?

In the certification, we are required – among other things – to thoroughly review the quality assurance process, because we need standardised specifications both for our internal translators and also for the cooperation with external translators. That applies in particular to the four-eyes principle that we have used at exact! for many years for certain customers. It also entails expanded tasks for other jobs, such as carrying out a revision of the text.

The constant further education of the translators is a quality criterion to which we will pay even more attention in future. We ensure continuous further training for our internal translators, but we have not focused on that in the past with our external translators. We shall work together on that in future.


How did exact! prepare for the requirements of the standard?

In actual fact, we only needed minimal preparation. As exact! has already worked with established and sophisticated processes, including translating with the four-eyes principle, for several years, the adjustments were limited almost exclusively to formal aspects like terminology, such as the term “revision” in offers rather than “proofreading”.

However, we set great store in advance on involving the external translators at an early stage, with whom we have nurtured excellent collaborations over several years. We invited them to our office in the spring to discuss various issues, especially the pros and cons and the practical implementation of the standard four-eyes principle.


What will the new certification mean for the customers of exact!? What will they be able to expect?

As before, our customers should continue to expect translations with an extremely high level of quality in the future. We shall now always be providing these translations according to the four-eyes principle. We had not done so in quite the same way in the past.

It has also become evident that we were able to fully comply with the requirements of ISO 17100 from a standing start. That proves to me once again that we are actively putting our quality management into practice and that every employee is playing their part. Our customers expect correct and comprehensible translations — and we shall carry on providing them.


Many thanks, Mr Gundlach.

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