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What are ISO 17100 and ISO 18587?

ISO 17100 and ISO 18587 are very closely related, which is why we have included them on the same page. ISO 17100 is the international standard for translation services management systems (TSMS). This is an industry-specific standard that focuses on translation service providers. ISO 18587, meanwhile, is a standard that focuses solely on human post-editing of a machine-translated output.

Who needs ISO 17100 or ISO 18587 certification?

Unlike the vast majority of ISO standards, ISO 17100 and ISO 18587 are only needed by businesses or organisations that provide specific translation services. Either one of these standards provides eligible entities with a stamp of approval and validation that their services are provided to a very high and international level.

Here are a few examples of how ISO 17100 or ISO 18587 can benefit different businesses and organisations:

Translation Providers

In an increasingly globalised world, the need for accurate translations continues to increase. Whilst this is good for business, it comes with a greater need for standardised quality. Being ISO 17100 certified can help the business win over new customers and stand out from a crowded market.


Language service providers who implement ISO 17100 are better equipped to provide consistently high-quality services that are free of errors or inaccuracies. This, in turn, builds their reputation and international standing as reputable providers who deliver projects within the agreed timeframe and budget.

Post Editors

Organisations providing post-editing of machine-translated content, including translation service providers, can benefit from the additional seal of conformity brought about by ISO 18587. This standard is very limited in scope and is only applicable to content processed by machine translation systems.

What are ISO 17100 and ISO 18587 all about?

Governments, courts, banks, educational institutions, and other businesses are increasing their demand for reliable translations. Legal or consequential documents hold value and must therefore be translated with great accuracy. ISO 17100 and, in cases of human post-editing of machine translation systems, ISO 18587, can help achieve this vital requirement.

ISO 17100 requires certified entities to:

  • Implement a data protection system that helps keep information secure
  • Create mechanisms that measure client feedback and customer satisfaction
  • Set out personnel mandates that apply to all involved translators, proofreaders, and revisers

In order to safeguard the reputation of the translation services industry, ISO 17100 seeks to standardise the way in which translators and proofreaders provide documentation that verifies their qualifications. The standard also sets out a requirement that all translators have a minimum of five years of full-time experience along with a government-issued certificate of competence in a defined area.

The next step

If you would like to find out more about becoming ISO 17100 or ISO 18587-certified, you should get in touch with us today.

One of our experts will be able to answer your questions and provide you with a thorough explanation of the entire process.

    Aries Ltd offers management systems assessment and certification services in compliance with international ISO standards for businesses, government bodies, and NGOs.

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