Understanding quality and CREDENTIALs


In the language services industry, all providers will claim to deliver quality, at least implicitly. The truth is, you can find anything on the market, from tailored excellence to shoddy work that puts your organization at tremendous risk. Claims of “guaranteed results” and about certified translation services can be misleading, sometimes citing certifications unrelated to the translation industry, unsuitable processes or irrelevant case studies. When it comes to localization and translation quality standards, your reputation and success are at stake. Make sure you understand the issues and pick the right partner.


The quality of multilingual communications goes beyond the written word. It is defined by a host of factors that help you meet your goals in all target languages and markets. These many factors fall under two categories:

Quality of the message

Quality consistent with the standards of each language

  • Grammar
  • Spelling
  • Structure and logic
  • Terminology
  • Language levels

Quality consistent with the standards of your organization

  • Your messages
  • Your concepts
  • Your terminology
  • Your tone and style
  • Your culture
  • Your brand

Quality of project management

  • Hiring processes that ensure all experts are competent, reliable and productive
  • Optimal assignment of each project to the most qualified experts
  • Meeting all deadlines
  • Cost management, control and avoidance
  • Proven and certified quality assurance processes
  • Strategic and discerning technology selection and management
  • Comprehensive and sound risk management
  • Stringent security and confidentiality measures
  • Customized billing
  • Detailed, ongoing tracking of results
  • Continuous improvement of processes and operations


In an industry where you can find excellence, mediocrity and everything in between, there’s no shortage of risks. Protect yourself by understanding the five main areas of translation and localization where your language services provider can fail to deliver.

Poorly defined quality

Quality assurance is based on both objective and subjective criteria. Make sure your language partner understands your expectations.

No dedicated experts

Your provider may have few or no in-house language professionals, and may resort to casual freelance translators from anywhere in the world, based solely on who is available at the lowest rate.

Unrealistic savings claims

You may be presented with unrealistic prices and discounts only made possible by the use of unqualified resources and automated translation not overseen by language professionals.

Automation without professional intervention

Some providers will push technology over professionals, with services such as unrevised or minimally revised machine translation. The end results can be catastrophic.

Lack of security

You may need to entrust confidential information to your translation and localization provider. Beware of companies with global, unsecured networks.


The translation industry has its own official quality standards, which any serious professional should meet by earning certification from designated organizations. Generic credentials or unrecognized, in-house standards are no substitute for these industry-approved standards and the title of certified translator.

Relevant standards

  • Official quality standards specific to the translation industry and requiring certification from designated organizationsExamples: ISO 17100 and CAN/CGSB-131.10-2017
  • Official standards defined and enforced by associations of language professionals
    Examples: Those of the CTTIC or OTTIAQ in Canada
Standards with little
to no value
  • Generic standards that apply to any industry and don’t take sector-specific requirements into account
    Example: ISO 9001
  • Standards that language firms
    create to certify their own products and processes, with no guarantees from designated industry organizations


Our experts understand all the components and standards of quality that can make your multilingual communications effective at the best possible cost, turning your investment into a competitive advantage. We are also keenly aware of what can jeopardize quality and pose a risk to your organization. Versacom is not in the business of giving worthless or misleading assurances. Our approach is one of total honesty. As professionals, we provide all the facts, making value and reliability refreshingly straightforward.