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ASTM April 2018 Update

Posted By Victor Hertz, Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

As I mentioned in last month’s ALC Update, the Language Service Company (LSC) standard has officially passed, and we must now look to the future.

In particular, our next round of standards will deal with the specific requirements for different deliverables, including, but not limited to translation, interpreting, transcription, voice overs, subtitles, language assessment and training.

To that end, there will be an ASTM meeting during the upcoming ALC Annual Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. That meeting will take place on April 25, 2018, from 1:00 pm–5:00 pm in the Alhambra 2 room.

Meanwhile, I want to take this opportunity to share my personal view on what we're trying to accomplish, both with this standard and the ones that are forthcoming.

For far too long, clients both in private industry and government (both within the United States and abroad) have stipulated that quality begins and ends with the certification of individual linguists. This trend shows no sign of abating, and has significant consequences for our industry and for LSCs in particular. We need to put forward the proposition that LSCs, which are held responsible and even liable for the services that are delivered, occupy the central role as the gatekeepers of quality among our clients.

To accomplish this, it’s imperative that LSCs be able to “prove” their competence and value-added expertise.

The standard recently passed, and the new standards yet to be written will provide the underpinnings for us to prove to our current and prospective clients that the quality they seek begins and ends with certified LSCs.

We've successfully put in place what I’ve dubbed “The Foundation Document” for this return to sanity, but much more still needs to be done. In particular, I'm looking for one or two volunteers to help me prepare an industrywide survey to aggregate information that would assist us in the next phase of creating and promulgating recognized standards for LSCs. If you're interested, please contact me at

Respectfully submitted,
Victor Hertz
Accredited Language Services

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