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Quality

QUALITY STANDARDS

ISO 9001:2008 and EN-15038:2006 CERTIFICATIONS

In December 2010 SIRK understood the need to obtain the quality certificates that exist on the market today. For companies, these quality standards have become an indispensable means of promoting and facilitating client-service provider relations. Furthermore, they serve as an evaluation tool for service providers under contract, as well as ensuring that services adjudicated in tenders fulfil all of the conditions set out in the corresponding conditions. Finally, thanks to the audits that are required in order to preserve this certification, errors can be corrected and, above all, anticipated.

SIRK possesses an internal Quality Manual that systematically defines and brings together the Policy, General Objectives, Integrated Quality and Translation Service Management System, the Organisational Approach and Guidelines applied by SIRK, as required by the ISO 9001:2008 Standard. The company also undergoes an annual audit. 

SIRK also possesses specific EN-15038:2006 certification within the field of translation. 

The purpose of this standard is “to establish and define the requirements for the provision of quality services by translation service providers”, which is to say, it establishes the procedures that are required in order to ensure that a company offers its clients a high-quality service.

This standard encompasses everything ranging from the translation itself, which constitutes the core translation process, to all other related aspects, such as “quality assurance and traceability”. In this respect, “it specifies the requirements for the translation service provider with regard to human and technical resources, quality and project management, the contractual framework and service procedures”.

ISO 9001 Requirements

The ISO 9001 2008 Standard: This consists of a Quality Management System that establishes a series of requirements that companies who wish to obtain or maintain ISO 9001 certification must fulfil.

One of the purposes of ISO 9001 is to standardise working methods within an organisation. This objective is achieved through the development of a quality management system that fulfils all of the requirements set out in the ISO 9001 Standard itself.

ISO 9001 Certification

According to the Dictionary of the Spanish Language, certification consists of a guarantee that ensures the truth or authenticity of something.

ISO 9001 certification consists of a series of measures carried out by an independent body (in our case, APPLUS) regarding the interested party in which the inspector checks whether the organisation fulfils the requirements of the ISO 9001 Standard. If this is the case, ISO 9001 certification is issued accordingly.

DOCUMENTATION

In accordance with the ISO 9001 Standard, the quality management system documentation shall include:

  • A documented statement of a quality policy and quality objectives.
  • A Quality Manual.
  • Documented procedures.
  • Records.
  • Documents and technical instructions needed by the organisation to ensure the effective planning, operation and control of its processes.

The documentation and records mentioned above must be monitored in order to avoid the use of obsolete documents and records, guarantee that they remain legible and readily identifiable, ensure that they are periodically reviewed, etc. In this respect, it is necessary to draw up and approve a documentation control procedure and another procedure for the control of records.

ORGANISATION

The ISO 9001 Standard establishes the following requirements, among others, relating to organisation:

  • Company management must commit itself to the development and implementation of the quality management system by establishing a quality policy, defining quality objectives, ensuring the availability of the necessary resources, etc.
  • Management shall ensure that customer requirements are determined and are met with the aim of enhancing customer satisfaction.
  • Management shall ensure that quality objectives are established at relevant functions and levels within the organisation and that these are measurable and consistent with the quality policy.
  • Management shall ensure that responsibilities are defined and communicated throughout the entire organisation.
  • Management shall appoint a member of the management team who, irrespective of other obligations and responsibilities, shall take charge of the quality management system.
  • Management shall ensure that the organisation has the necessary communication processes in place in order to implement and maintain the quality management system.
  • Management shall review the quality management system at planned intervals, providing documented proof of these reviews.

RESOURCES

The ISO 9001 Standard establishes the following requirements, among others, relating to resources:

  • The organisation shall determine and provide the resources needed in order to implement and maintain the quality management system and enhance customer satisfaction. 
  • The organisation shall determine the necessary competences for personnel and guarantee training where necessary.
  • The organisation shall determine and manage the work environment needed in order to guarantee conformity to product or service requirements.
  • The organisation shall determine, provide and maintain the infrastructure needed (hardware, software, transport, communication, etc) in order to guarantee conformity to product requirements.

PRODUCTION / SERVICE PROVISION

The ISO 9001 Standard establishes the following requirements, among others, relating to production or service provision:

  • The organisation shall determine and plan those processes that fall within the scope of the quality management system, as well as the sequence and interaction of same, monitoring methods, measurement and analysis, etc.
  • The organisation shall determine the requirements specified by the customer, the legal requirements and any other requirement that the organisation may deem necessary.
  • The organisation shall review the requirements relating to the product or service prior to its commitment to supply the corresponding product or service (sending of quote, contract, etc.).
  • The organisation shall guarantee appropriate communication with the customer with regard to all aspects relating to the product or service.
  • The organisation shall plan and control the design and development of the product.
  • The organisation shall ensure that the products it is going to purchase fulfil the requirements specified.
  • The organisation shall evaluate and select suppliers based on their ability to supply the product or service in accordance with the organisation’s requirements.
  • The organisation shall plan and carry out production and service provision under controlled conditions (availability of information and work instructions, appropriate work teams, etc.)
  • Where appropriate, the organisation shall identify the product by suitable means throughout the entire production process. Where traceability is a requirement, the organisation shall control and record the unique identification of the product.
  • The organisation shall determine the monitoring and control to be carried out regarding the product or service in order to provide evidence of the product’s conformity to the established requirements.
  • The organisation shall ensure that non-conforming products do not reach the customer, by means of the appropriate identification and monitoring processes. A documented procedure shall be established to define requirements regarding how to deal with non-conforming products and services and the corresponding responsibilities.

MEASUREMENT, ANALYSIS AND IMPROVEMENT

The ISO 9001 Standard establishes the following requirements, among others, relating to measurement, analysis and improvement:

  • The organisation shall determine, plan and implement the monitoring, measurement, analysis and improvement processes needed to demonstrate conformity of the product or service and to improve the effectiveness of the quality management system.
  • The organisation shall evaluate customer satisfaction with regard to the product or service.
  • The organisation shall carry out an internal audit at least once a year regarding the implementation of the quality system. An internal audit procedure must be documented and the corresponding records must be completed.
  • The organisation shall apply suitable methods for the monitoring and measurement of quality management processes.
  • The organisation shall monitor and measure the characteristics of the product or service to verify that product and service requirements have been met.
  • The organisation must take measures in order to eliminate the causes of non-conformities and potential non-conforming products. A procedure for corrective and preventive measures must be established.

The European Quality Standard EN-15038:2006

EN 15038:2006 is a specific European standard for translation services, which “covers the core translation process and all other related aspects involved in providing the service, including quality assurance and traceability”. Furthermore, it establishes and defines the requirements that a translation service provider (TSP) must fulfil with regard to human and technical resources, quality management, project management, contractual relations with clients and suppliers and service procedures. The standard requires the translation service provider (translation agency or company, team of translators, etc) to have a documented procedure for the management of translation projects and it briefly describes the different stages of project management, which range from monitoring and supervision of the preparation process to validation for final delivery.

EN-15038 was approved by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) on 13th April 2006 and was officially published in May 2006. CEN members are the national standards bodies of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. 

Translation + Separate Review 

Broadly speaking, the standard’s most outstanding features are, firstly, that it defines the translation process, where quality is guaranteed not by the translation, which is just a phase in the process, but by the fact of the translation being reviewed by a person other than the translator; and, secondly, it specifies the professional competences of each of the participants in the translation process, mainly translators, reviewers, revisers and proofreaders.

Any translation service under EN-15038 must include, as a minimum, translation and review. 

  • Translation and checking. A translator with the appropriate competences translates the documents and, after finalising the initial translation, checks his/her own work. 
  • Review. A person other than the translator reviews the translation. The standard defines review as “examining a translation for its suitability for the agreed purpose, comparison of the source and target text, and recommending corrective measures”. 

Professional Competences of Translators and Reviewers

Translators who take part in translation projects under EN-15038:2006 must demonstrate the professional competences specified in the standard by meeting at least one of the three requirements. 

  • Advanced translation studies (recognised qualification). 
  • Equivalent qualification in another specialisation, plus a minimum of two years’ documented experience in translation. 
  • At least five years of documented professional experience in translation. 

Reviewers, in addition to complying with one of the three requirements indicated above, must have translation experience of the subject in question. 

Revision and Proofreading 

The EN-15038:20006 Standard defines revision as “examining a translation for its suitability for the agreed purpose and respect for the conventions of the domain to which it belongs, and recommending corrective measures”, which is to say, review of a document translated by an expert. As far as proofreading is concerned, the standard establishes that the printing proofs must be revised before the translation is published.