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Told off by the Association of Translation Companies - a great reason to reiterate our credentials

Updated: Apr 11, 2021

We follow the UK government’s guidelines for certifying our translations, which means that all of our freelancers are members of either the Chartered Institute of Linguists or the Institute of Translation and Interpreting, or, are suppliers to/employees of member companies of the Association of Translation Companies. Since we are all individual freelancers, we can’t be members of the latter ourselves, as membership is only open to companies. By ensuring at least one of these criteria is met, our freelancers comply with UK government requirements and are therefore able to certify translations headed for the Home Office, Passport Office, other government departments, or similar. Since these requirements set the bar at a high level, we find that our certifications are accepted by all other UK institutions - from universities to banks, and from insurance companies to law courts. In an attempt to advertise and explain this fact, we write extensively on our website explaining our own credentials and how they are sufficient for practically all certified translations. In order to help highlight this fact, we had also used some visual aids on our website, including the logos of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, the Institute of Translation and Interpreting and the Association of Translation Companies. Well, that turned out to be a mistake. We recently received a rather snotty email from the Secretariat of the ATC claiming that we were “portraying yourselves or your employees as our Members” and that we were “passing yourselves off and claiming an association when there is none.” The email contained a threat to report us to Trading Standards by the end of the day if we didn’t “cease and desist from using all Logos [sic] and remove all reference to ATC … with immediate effect”. Now, we can see that it may have been unwise to use their logo and we did immediately remove it, however, the Secretariat’s claims were untrue, as we made every effort to be open and honest about the way we ensure that we comply with the UK government’s guidelines for certifying translations. Since one of their criteria is that a translator works for an Association of Translation Companies member, we find it extremely relevant to refer to that organisation, and we will continue to do so as an explanatory measure for our potential clients. So, here’s to the Association of Translation Companies, for giving a great idea for a blog article. Cheers!

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