(Originally Posted on July 16, 2015)
The Association of Language Company members are working hard to draft a standard for Language Services Companies through ASTM International. ASTM is one of the largest voluntary standards developing organizations in the world. ASTM’s members represent producers, users, consumers, government and academia from more than 150 countries and develop technical documents that are a basis for manufacturing, management, procurement, codes and regulations. Please see www.astm.org for more information. A technical committee in ASTM has been created for Language Services and Products catalogued as ASTMF43. Under F43, there are subcommittees that have developed standards for interpreting F43.01, training F43.02, translation F43.03, and testing F43.04. The subcommittee, which is now developing a Standard Practice for Language Service Companies, is F43.05
In April of 2015, the Standard Practice was sent to the full F43 committee for balloting. While there were negatives, the drafting group is diligently working with each individual voting negatively. Working with the individual who balloted the negative is an ASTM protocol and once the negatives have been addressed, the drafting group will re-submit for ballot.
It is critical we use the term Language Service Company or LSC in order to differentiate ourselves from the independent contractor linguist. With this in mind, we will now begin working on the documents for interpreting, translation, testing, and training. This is a very special time for LSC’s and we look forward continuing to make history in our industry.
The drafting group of ASTM recommends all language service companies become members of ASTM and active members of F43.05. We also urge companies to invite their clients to participate in this drafting, as a balance of producers and users is required under ASTM policy. The fee to join ASTM is $75 a year and you can register through ASTM directly at www.astm.org. If you have any questions, please contact Susan Amarino, Liaison Multilingual Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.