Why does the Language Services Industry need ISO Standards?

International standards specifically relating to the language services industry aim to set the bar on basic requirements and quality expectations on services provided. Standards provide the criteria upon which the professionalism of language service providers (LSPs) can be objectively assured – and showcased to the rest of the world.

The ATC endorses the development of language services industry standards to enhance the position of the UK’s language services industry throughout the world by being seen to be at the forefront of both the development and the application of the emerging ISO standards for the industry and ensuring that they serve the purposes of its member companies.

Naturally, there are no “one-size-fits-all” solutions, and no standard will be relevant to or useful for all LSPs. The language services industry is in many ways extremely fragmented, and the sheer range of LSP types, sizes and operational setups means that it would be impossible to develop standards that everyone can – or should – be certified to.

But we have to start somewhere. Over the past 20 years, the language services industry has developed from a “cottage industry” to a serious, professional sector with its own processes, tools, and requirements, and now emerging international standards. What we want to aim at is the collaborative development of standards that LSPs across the world find useful and applicable.