Certified translations – getting it right
When public authorities need a certified translation of a document that is not in English, it is important to choose a qualified, registered translator or translation company. This expectation is clearly set out in https://www.gov.uk/certifying-a-document.
Public authorities can reduce the risk of error or omission by only using a translator or translation company with a clear affiliation to a recognised professional body or association such as the Association of Translation Companies (ATC), the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL).
ATC, ITI and CIOL maintain easily accessed public registers of accredited companies and translators:
As per government guidance, the translation document is best annotated or accompanied by a certificate with at least the following information:
- The translation is ‘a true and accurate translation of the original document’
- The date of the translation
- The name and contact details of the translator or a representative of the translation company
Businesses, public service and UK Government agencies can take confidence in the quality assurance processes of ATC member companies (Accredited), and in the accreditation processes for experienced professional translator members of the Chartered Institute of Linguists (MCIL and FCIL) and the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (MITI, FITI and Corporate LSP Members). All three organisations endorse each other’s guidance for certifying a translation.
ATC Certification Stamp
The ATC’s Certification Stamp is awarded to Accredited ATC Member companies.
Translations certified with the ATC’s Certification Stamp signal to the recipient that the translation has been carried out by an Accredited Member of the Association of Translation Companies. It demonstrates that the company has passed the ATC’s strict membership vetting process, including checks on financial stability, quality management processes, client and supplier references and also holds suitable professional indemnity insurance.
Accredited ATC Members’ membership can be verified via the ATC’s Member Directory, available at https://atc.org.uk/member-directory/.