professional guidelines for translators, interpreters and translation companies

Global trade and the spread of ideas and knowledge would not be possible without the skilled work of professional translators, interpreters and translation companies. The following guidelines, created by members of the community to encourage a focus on quality and professionalism among buyers and suppliers of language services, may optionally be endorsed by professionals and companies using the site.

Endorsement and adherence to these guidelines is a requirement for participation in the Certified PRO Network (CPN).

Professional translators, interpreters and translation companies:

General guidelines

  • are courteous in their interactions with clients, potential clients, suppliers and colleagues
  • maintain adequate and secure computing and working environments
  • represent their capabilities, credentials and levels of experience honestly and accurately
  • accept only work that they have the knowledge, resources and time to perform in line with agreed-upon terms

Project guidelines

  • reach agreement with counter-parties, before projects start, on terms such as:
    • work to be delivered / performed
    • quality standard / requirements
    • data security and confidentiality requirements
    • method(s) of delivery
    • deadline(s)
    • payment amount(s), currency, method and timing
    • responsibility for any peripheral fee(s) related to payment, work delivery, etc.
    • permissibility of subcontracting
  • comply with agreed-upon terms, and endeavor to produce work that is free of defects, even when unforeseen problems are encountered
  • set their rates at levels sufficient to enable them to perform in line with project requirements on an ongoing basis

Outsourcing guidelines

  • screen subcontractors (if any) with the diligence required to help ensure that agreed-upon terms can be met
  • manage projects in such a way that subcontractors are given sufficient time to meet project requirements on an ongoing basis
  • exercise reasonable diligence to ensure the quality of source documents passed to subcontractors
  • provide reference materials, when possible, to support subcontractors in producing quality work
  • pay subcontractors at levels that make it possible to complete work in line with project requirements on an ongoing basis
  • accept responsibility for the quality of work they deliver to clients, whether or not that work has been subcontracted

Additional guidelines

  • handle documents and content that they produce in a manner consistent with agreed-upon terms
  • disclose, in a timely manner, any biases or conflicts of interest that may have relevance to a given project
  • do not bypass intermediaries to contact end clients or subcontractors without permission
  • attempt to resolve any disputes directly among parties involved
  • do not unjustly criticize other professionals and companies or their work
  • comply with the legal and financial obligations of their locale
  • strive to continually improve their skills and capabilities
  • capitalize on opportunities to further the industry as a whole

Professional interpreters additionally:

  • ask for clarification, and give it, when appropriate, making clear when they are speaking and not interpreting
  • do not interject their own feelings, opinions or advice (unless the client has explicitly authorized this)
  • do not accept assignments in which payment is contingent on the outcome of a case or proceedings

This is version 1.3 of the guidelines. It is the version currently in use.

Endorsement of the guidelines is a requirement for participation in the certified PRO network. Evidence of having acted in violation of the guidelines is grounds for dismissal from that program.

A total of 45323 professionals have endorsed the professional guidelines. (4 have endorsed over the past day.)

A total of 14845 professionals have endorsed this version. (4 over the past day.)