How to go about ISO 9001 and ISO 17100 certifications

Client satisfaction should always be top of mind. As should the desire to consistently be improving the quality of work your team provides. ISO certifications are one such way to commit to these goals. ISO 9001 and ISO 17100 are two reputable standards that guide organizations in the design of a process based Quality Management System (QMS). While both these certifications help ensure quality, they have key differences that are worth understanding. Below, you’ll find a video that illustrates the differences between these two standards.

Know the Standards

For those looking to pursue one of these certification processes, it is important to have a clear understanding of the concept of “quality”. A QMS needs to be designed as a system of continuous improvement. Designing this system requires a meticulous study of the processes that a company follows, so that you can then evaluate the best strategy for applying the requirements of the standard. ISO 9001 and ISO 17100 are two different types of certification that serve different needs. 

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In short, ISO 9001 is a type of certification that is not geared towards a specific industry. ISO 9001 generally regulates a company’s QMS, which includes a company’s regulation of responsibilities, processes, and workflows. The goal of this certification is to enhance customer satisfaction via the effective application of a set system. Unlike ISO 9001, which any industry can utilize, ISO 17100 is a certification designed for use in the translation industry. ISO 17100 establishes the requirements for language service providers and regulates the process that a team must follow during a translation project from beginning to end. The combination of these two standards leads to a quality-oriented translation service.

Find a Good Auditor

When pursuing ISO standards, it is important to find a good auditor to work with, either internally or externally. If you choose to work with an internal auditor for the internal audits, they will need to have first-hand experience of the organizational culture and its processes, as well as be flexible to recognize the application of the standard in the organization. 

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If you hire an external auditor, you will need to take into account the knowledge of the auditor of the country of operation of your company. One option worth considering, is working with a consulting firm. You should aim to work with a firm who has experience in certifying ISO standards. Ideally you will work with someone who is flexible and can help you create the QMS according to the standard, while keeping the organizational culture in mind. Looking for a firm that has certified other language service providers in your area is a good place to start. 

Whatever path you choose to take, preparing an audit plan with details of every aspect that will be audited is a smart move to make. Having a good communication plan internally to report how the QMS is advancing prior to the audit, as well as inform about results post-certification audit will also be helpful. 

The Impact 

Adopting an ISO certification can make a huge impact internally as it enables you to organize all processes and make proper documentations. Doing so can also affect your team’s mindset when it comes to quality and processes. Clients will benefit from certification as well as it shows your commitment to continuous improvement. These certifications can also serve as a selling point when engaging with potential clients. 

Adopt the Right Mindset

At the end of the day, pursuing any type of ISO certification is a team effort. Having a detailed communication plan to train your organization in the general knowledge of the standard you are pursuing, the quality management policy, and the impact of the QMS in the daily dynamic of the organization can help your entire team adopt the right mindset and put you on the path towards certification.

Terra Translations Recognized Among Latin America’s Top LSPs

Independent market research firm CSA Research has recognized Terra Translations as a leader in the global translation, interpreting, and localization industry.

Buenos Aires– People worldwide naturally prefer consuming information in their own language. Meeting this expectation − and sometimes the legal requirements to do so – fuels an indispensable multi-billion dollar global industry that provides translation, interpreting, and localization.  Based on validated and verified data from a representative sample of 462 LSPs, independent market research firm CSA Research has named Terra Translations as a leading provider of the global delivery of language services, ranking it fourth in the top LSPs in Latin America.

Terra Translations is a boutique language services company with global reach, specializing in English and Spanish translation. Based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and also located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Terra is growing rapidly and boasts both ISO 9001 and ISO 17100 certifications.

Dr. Donald A. DePalma, CSA Research’s Chief Research Officer, comments that “most people don’t recognize the value of interpreting or translation until they can’t understand something—and the absence of spoken or written content in their languages happens far too often. Language service providers and technology developers deliver essential translation and interpreting services.”

About Terra Translations

Terra Translations has been at the forefront of the modern work environment since our inception; based mainly in Argentina and the United States, our team is fully virtual. Terra’s global team allows us to better serve our clients by quickly responding to requests regardless of time zones, as well as localize for the world by leveraging talent from around the world.

Since Terra was first established over 20 years ago as a family-owned business, company leadership has worked diligently to embrace all employees as family. This very specific culture is nurtured by promoting a collaborative and supportive work environment, by empowering strong leadership at all levels of the organization, and by celebrating company successes.

About CSA Research

The rankings are based on confirmed revenue from 2019—CSA Research found that the market that year for language services and supporting technologies reached US$49.60 billion. CSA Research, formerly Common Sense Advisory, is an independent market research company helping companies profitably grow their global businesses and gain access to new markets and new customers. www.csa-research.com | @CSA_Research | media@csa-research.com

diversity and inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion: Why You Should Care

There has been no shortage of important lessons to learn in 2020 but a need for more diversity, inclusion, and kindness will forever be one of the most important lessons learned. With countless individuals and businesses promising to commit to allyship, now is an important time to consider what actions companies can take to foster a work environment that is habitable to diversity and inclusion.

What Does “Diversity” and “Inclusion” Mean?

While the terms “diversity” and “inclusion” may feel like buzz words at the moment, these are important goals that all companies should prioritize on an ongoing basis. In regards to office life, diversity and inclusion refers to having a staff that represents a variety of backgrounds, races, religions, genders, sexual orientations, and lifestyles. While hiring a diverse staff is a good step on the road to inclusion, it’s important that a work environment makes all employees feel welcome, supported, heard, and as if they are receiving fair opportunities for professional growth. Physical or emotional safety being put at risk due to discriminatory behavior should never occur in the workplace under any circumstances. 

Creating a diverse and inclusive work environment is not just the right thing to do morally, it’s also good for business. Having a staff that feels comfortable, appreciated, and safe is undeniably beneficial. Prioritizing these values can attract top talent, bring a valuable mix of perspectives and ideas to the table, and can help improve employee retention rates. And while financial gain should not be the primary motivation behind creating a diverse and inclusive workplace environment, on average, companies that fall within the top quarter for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to see financial returns that surpass industry medians. For companies that hire men and women equally, they’re likely to see a 41% revenue gain.

Creating Policies That Reflect Values

Believing in diversity and inclusion is not enough to deliver real change. Formal policies must be put in place either through a human resources, or diversity and inclusion department, that all employees, including senior management and c-suite executives must follow. While anti-discrimination policies are nothing new, many companies have their legal team draft them, but don’t have a process for properly enforcing them. 

Creating a well-crafted policy that addresses what the company’s values are and a plan for repeatedly making those values known to employees is a good starting off point. Ensuring employees that the company is committed to upholding anti-discriminatory standards and that whistleblowers will not be punished is of the utmost importance, because without that assurance employees will not feel the company’s anti-discrimination policies will actually be upheld. For example, the Human Rights Campaign reported that nearly half of LGBTQ workers believe that anti-discrimination policies won’t be enforced if they have a supervisor who is personally not supportive of the LGBTQ community.

How to Provide Fair Opportunities

Alongside hiring a diverse staff, prioritizing working with diverse vendors is important too. Working with a diverse set of vendors and company partners can help meet inclusion goals and establish a workplace environment that is welcoming to all. One way to ensure you’re working with diverse vendors is to pursue relationships with partners that have earned professional certifications that highlight their diversity. Certain certifications can signal to companies that they will be working with diverse vendors, which can help them meet their inclusion quotas. For example, as a women-owned and minority-owned business, Terra Translations is proud to be certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC is a leading advocate for women business owners and entrepreneurs) and by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC helps advance business opportunities for certified minority business enterprises). 

Every year we work towards earning certification again to maintain our standing with these organizations and to ensure that we’re creating a diverse and inclusive working environment where every one of our team members feels safe and supported.

Lead Linguist Bibiana Cirera’s View on Machine Translation

Machine translation has always caused controversy in the translation industry. According to Bibiana Cirera, Lead Linguist at Terra Translations, this is primarily because some translators and editors have firmly opposed the incorporation of machine translation into their work. Bibiana has witnessed this distrust of machine translation first hand, “I have heard many translators express concern about machine translation taking their jobs or stifling their creativity.” To provide more insight into this topic, we asked Bibiana for her honest take on machine translation’s role in the translation industry. 

Machine Translation is Here to Stay

Bibiana is aware that we live in a globalized and constantly evolving world. The adoption of machine translation is one change that she believes translators and linguists need to accept and not feel threatened by, “The truth is that a machine will never be able to completely replace human labor in the translation process, at least for now, and it will always take the touch of a translator or editor to deliver a verbose, meaningful, and error-free deliverable to the client,” Bibiana said.

Bibiana has found that machine translation is extremely effective in handling certain subject matters, such as those relating to medical, technology, and engineering industries. For subject matter that requires more creativity, such as marketing and advertising, she doesn’t feel machine translation can hit the mark. 

At the end of the day, one of the benefits of machine translation in Bibiana’s opinion is client satisfaction, at least in regards to saving time. Some clients require a fast turnaround, especially if they handle large volumes of text, and they may not have time to wait for a human translation. By using machine translation, and then utilizing human labor for the post edition process, the client can have a deliverable of acceptable quality in a quicker time frame. The decision to use machine translation during the process depends on the quality expectations of the client and what their priorities are. “We have clients who have found these machine translation tools to be really high quality in the cases of highly technical translation projects. In many instances, we find practically no differences between what a person and machine translation can translate, when there is little room for creativity during the process. This tool even recognizes the client’s translation memory and glossary, which guarantees the correct application of both,” Bibiana said. 

Machine Translation Has Its Faults

Bibiana acknowledges that machine translation has its difficulties, which is why pairing it with a human translator, linguist, or editor can make all the difference. Four shortcomings that Bibiana is wary of include:

  • Complex formats. Most machine translation engines do not recognize formats such as bold, italics, underlined text, subscript and superscript, colors and the tags that are generated in a conversion.
  • Table headings. Machine translation tools often break the words from the heading. When translating, sometimes the order of the words must be reversed. This process cannot be recognized by an automatic translation tool and it translates the words literally.
  • Segmentation. When a program takes a source file, it may cut sentences, therefore in this case, the machine translation engine doesn’t recognize the cut sentence and translates it as two separate and meaningless sentences.
  • Inconsistencies. Machine translation engines are usually inconsistent with the translation of the same term and often confuse the indistinct use of informal or formal tone or verb tenses.

Bibiana urges against solely utilizing machine translation tools for the sake of saving money, as some tools may leave much to be desired without human intervention and the work may end up needing a complete retranslation.

Working Together is Key

Machine translation can not stand on its own and that should provide some comfort to linguists and translators that feel their territory is being infringed upon. “As we see it, in one case or the other, human work is essential,” Bibiana said. She believes that we can no longer continue to ignore and oppose the implementation of machine translation. She urges that we must make sense of it and acknowledge the many benefits associated with pairing machine translation with a skilled human touch.

10 Tips for Working From Home Securely

If you’re one of the millions of employees who rapidly transitioned from working in an office to working out of your home, it’s time to get your ducks in a row. More specifically, your security ducks. When you work in an office, there are often strong security measures already in place and a handy tech team that helps prevent cyber security issues. When you take your work home with you though, you’ll need to take extra steps to ensure you’re working securely and protecting your company.

1. Use Strong Passwords

Your home office likely doesn’t have the same level of preventative security as your workplace, which makes the need for a strong password all the more important. Avoid using common passwords such as “password” or repeating numbers that are easy to replicate. It’s also best not to use easily identifiable personal information such as your birthdate or a pet’s name to create your password. Make the password random and difficult to guess.

2. Implement Multi-Factor Authentication

Speaking of passwords, using a multi-factor authentication process can add an extra layer of protection that is more difficult for hackers to move past. Typically, multi-factor authentication requires presenting at least two pieces of evidence to an authentication mechanism such as entering a password and answering a personal question.

3. Invest in Antivirus Software

If you took your work computer home with you, chances are it came equipped with antivirus software, but if you’re using a personal computer or your company allowed you to purchase a new one, you should instal antivirus software to help protect your computer from malware such as viruses, spyware, rootkits, ransomware, and trojans.

4. Learn to Avoid Phishing Scams

If you ever encounter a link in an email, on an app, or on a webpage that seems suspicious, don’t click on it. Take some time to learn the signs of phishing scams. One quick trick to spot a phishing scam is to hover over links instead of clicking on them, doing so allows you to preview the link and see if it looks suspicious. Generic messages with attachments should be avoided as well.

5. Don’t Share Work Devices

Keep your family and friends away from your work devices as you won’t know what risks their activity may expose your work computer to. Not to mention, you may be violating company privacy policies by sharing work devices.

6. Keep Physical Workspace Secure

Whatever rules are in-place in your office for keeping your physical workspace secure should be followed at home. That may include best practices like never walking away from your computer while it is still logged on or physcially locking up a laptop at the end of the day.

7. Back Up All Data

Often workplaces have computers linked to a secure network that automatically backs up files, but at home make sure you frequently save your work to an external hard drive or cloud storage system to avoid losing valuable data during a system failure.

8. Avoid Risky Apps

Think carefully before you download any external apps onto your work devices and remove any that may put your network or devices at risk. If you don’t need an app, it’s best to remove it even if it seems safe.

9. Only Use Safe USB Drives

Do not use a USB drive unless you are certain of its origins and its contents. Using a randomly found USB drive may result in exposure to malware.

10. Plan Secure Meetings

The rise in popularity of video call meetings have led to new hacking opportunities. To keep virtual meetings secure, use a reputable platform, don’t share the meeting passwords with anyone outside of the meeting, and avoid sharing sensitive information during virtual meetings.

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