Code of Professional Conduct

Admission to the Association of Translation Companies (ATC) is conditional upon companies agreeing to adopt and abide by this Code of Professional Conduct, as evidenced by a signed declaration to this effect by the prospective member’s owner, director or a nominated senior individual. Breaches shall be referred to the Association’s Ethics Committee, whose decision shall be final.


The ATC expects its members to conduct business in an ethical manner that complies with all relevant laws and regulations and to do so with integrity, honesty and fair dealing to customers, suppliers and other members of the Association. This Code of Professional Conduct & Ethics sets out the principles that constitute the ATC’s way of doing business. 

The General Secretary of the ATC, together with its Council, and Ethics and Standards sub-committee shall be responsible for ensuring adherence to this Code and for taking appropriate remedial action should there be any breaches of the Code.

Any such breaches shall be immediately reported to the appropriate sub-committee of the ATC, for example the Standards and Ethics committee.


In the event of any conflict of interest, it is expected that Council Members and Officials of the ATC will:

1. Disclose any personal or business interests which may give rise to actual or perceived conflicts of interest.

2. Ensure personal or financial interests do not conflict with their ability to perform official duties in an impartial manner.

3. Not allow personal or financial interests, or the interests of any associated person, to conflict with the interests of the ATC.

4. Manage and declare any conflict between their personal and public duty.

In addition, the Council of the ATC will act in a financially responsible manner, applying due diligence to the scrutiny of all reports (financial, quality, operational) and any other relevant material that is presented to Council.

The Council also commits to reporting improper conduct or misconduct, which is brought to its attention either by Member companies, by clients or suppliers, and takes responsibility for implementing any appropriate remedial measures which may be required to address matters.


1. Quality and traceability: member companies of the ATC have a duty to ensure that the language services, which they provide (principally translation and interpreting services) are of a quality that is fit for purpose.

They must therefore ensure that the linguists they employ, or contract, to fulfil such language services are appropriately qualified and experienced.

Should the need arise member companies shall provide appropriate written confirmation of the competence of the linguist to satisfy a customer enquiry in this regard.

2. Member Companies have a duty to check the quality of a translation prior to its delivery to the customer. Such quality checks may consist of a simple review verifying the completeness of the translation, rising to a complete independent proofreading by a second linguist. The precise nature of the check will depend on what has been contractually agreed between provider and client.

3. In the case of an interpreting assignment, the member company shall verify the credentials, expertise, qualifications and experience of the linguist, and subsequently obtain written verification from the client that the assignment was executed in a satisfactory manner.  

4. It is recommended that member companies obtain the appropriate quality accreditation by a recognised organisation. Such accreditation could be the ISO9001 standard, or ISO 17100 (which replaced BS EN15038 translation standard). In the absence of such official accreditations member companies should demonstrate that they have a rigorous set of quality standards in place, or conform to ISO or the old BS EN15038.

5. Member companies must issue a Terms and Conditions of Trading with every assignment. Such T&Cs will set out the obligations of the member company in performing the contract to a specification agreed with the client in advance.

6. All member companies of the ATC must carry full Professional Indemnity Insurance to an appropriate level. Failure to do so will result in expulsion from the Association.

7. All member companies of the ATC must respect the absolute confidentiality of the client and, in all their dealings and must ensure that they make their contracted linguists aware of the need to preserve the same confidentiality. Members shall not disclose or use client confidences to the detriment or prejudice of such clients, or to their own financial or reputational advantage.

8. Member companies must demonstrate that they are familiar with the use, scope, and application of Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs).

9. Member companies should treat clients, employees and sub-contractors, colleagues with respect, courtesy, honesty and fairness, have proper regard for their legitimate interests and rights and act in accordance with the high standards appropriate to a professional body.

10. Member companies should not make misleading or unsubstantiated claims in their literature, promotional material or correspondence and take particular care when transmitting material via digital or social media.

11. At all times, member companies should uphold the provisions of this Code of Conduct in all their dealings.

12. Member companies shall agree to abide by the findings of the Association's arbitration service in cases of dispute between clients and members.

13. Member companies shall agree to abide by the findings of the Association’s Ethics Committee in cases of breach of this Code of Professional Conduct.

14. Any breach of this Code by any member may result in the immediate suspension or expulsion from the ATC.



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