There’s no question that the world is undergoing troublesome times. Even amid a global pandemic, the Terra team has managed to band together to continue our commitment toward providing quality work for our clients. This promise for quality is demonstrated through our recent accomplishment of passing the annual ISO audit.
What is ISO Certification and Audits?
ISO stands for the International Organization for Standardization that provides the framework to certify quality management procedures. This Quality Management System (QMS) improves the development of tools for process control, organizational performance evaluation, and continuous improvement. The formula has proven to generate a virtuous circle of continuous improvement through planning and verifying. In addition to ISO 9001 certified (process-based), we achieved ISO 17100 certification (requirement-based) in April of 2019. The rigid standards of ISO 17100 indicates an even further dedication to quality and timely translations.
“Being ISO 9001 and 17100 certified is so much more than a piece of paper for us,” explained Marina Ilari, CEO of Terra Translations. “Our team is truly invested in the continuous improvement of our processes and making sure we are always exceeding our clients’ expectations.”
In addition to the meticulous certification process, we must undergo annual ISO audits and recertify every three years. These certifications ensure our teams align with solid processes that meet international industry standards. These systems hit the needs of all key stakeholders that include our organization, collaborators, customers, and suppliers.
Passing ISO in a Global Pandemic
Our ISO audit was especially unique in that it occurred at the height of the quarantine and self-isolation. Until nearly the final hours, the Terra team did not know if an audit was possible. The certifying body and powers that be made an unprecedented decision: to conduct an audit completely virtual. Upon notification on the updated methodology, we quickly established the team that would participate. As a fully remote team, we were agile enough to quickly pivot.
The audit lasted two full days which is typically based on the size of the organization and scope of the services to be certified. Traditionally, the auditor surveys the data and verifies that the organization complies with the certified standards. In Terra’s case, the certified standards under review were ISO 9001 and the ISO 17100 fundamentals specific to translation services. According to the procedure, the auditor must set meetings with various members from the organization and ask specific questions on daily processes and compliance. The auditor will provide suggestions for improvement according to his or her experience. For Terra’s unconventional audit, the auditor adapted perfectly to the rare situation. Overall, the entire experience was both fluid and dynamic.
Passing the certification has only provided further confidence in the Terra team on the ability to provide outstanding service, even in arduous circumstances.
“It is a great responsibility that becomes an enjoyable task because I am part of such a committed and continuous improvement-oriented team,” said María del Carmen, Organization & Methods Manager for Terra. “I have been working with quality standards for 11 years and it is a subject with which I feel comfortable. With the day-to-day management solid and orderly, I believe that the certifications provide additional value to every project.”
With our credibility recognized by the translation industry’s highest authority, our clients can trust us. We take every audit as an opportunity to learn and improve our practices.
“My experience in ISO audits is extremely important to me. I have gained extensive knowledge and self-assurance from my participation in reviews over these three years,” said Natalia Atab, HR Generalist for Terra. “I am truly proud to be part of this certification, now more than ever.”