An Insider’s Guide to the Role of a Quality Assurance Manager

The key to any successful translation project is quality. Assuring the highest quality work is what sets Terra Translations apart from other language service providers. With quality as a cornerstone of our workflow, we designed a process that supports error-free deliverables. One of the essential steps in this flow is led by the Quality Assurance Manager (QAM). 

The Role of a Quality Assurance Manager

After the translation and editing process, the Project Manager (PM) assigns the translated project to the QAM for a final review. The primary role of the QAM is to check the accuracy of the edition. 

“I ensure that the text reads naturally and smoothly in the target language,” explained Celeste Moreno, QAM for Terra. “The reader shouldn’t notice that the text is a translation.” 

Accuracy includes grammar and style. The QAM may also compare the edition to the original text to ensure the sentiment and meaning remains intact. It’s important that the translator properly conveys the tone and register of the original text to the target market.

“We’re the last step of the quality control chain,” Celeste said. “So it’s a great responsibility.” 

In addition to this process, the QAM will use the quality assurance features offered by Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tools. The technology is leveraged by the QAM to catch mistakes and achieve consistency. The audit of the software provides another layer of quality assurance.

After the QAM reviews and finalizes the project, he or she sends it to the Account Manager (AM) for client delivery. The QAM will also send feedback to the translator and the editor. This step is valuable because, through this, the linguists have an opportunity to improve. Constructive feedback will enhance the overall quality of the team.

A Quality Assurance Manager’s Core Skills

Similar to a PM or AM, a QAM’s day is highly deadline-driven. The QAM must ensure that all assignments are reviewed and returned within the allotted timeline. This requires an individual both organized and self-motivated to remain on track. Another pivotal skill is attention to detail. Because some errors can be as minor as format consistency, the QAM must be precise and thorough when reviewing the edition as well as the original brief. There could be special instructions in the brief that were overlooked and need to be addressed. Lastly, an asset a QAM can hold is confidence. There are many moving parts to any translation process. Projects can quickly present unforeseen challenges and easily trigger stress. A proficient QAM will remain calm under pressure and tackle their work with certainty and focus. 

Why is a Quality Assurance Manager Essential?

The additional oversight the QAM provides is fundamental and should be a requirement for every translation project. Even one poorly translated word can affect the entire meaning of content. This, in turn, affects the credibility of what needs to be conveyed and audiences will never connect with the translation. Quality assurance is at the core of an impactful and meaningful translation project. 

“If a company doesn’t have a Quality Assurance Manager, an editor, or someone who reviews a translation, it could be a recipe for disaster,” said Celeste, “You always need an extra set of eyes on a translation.”