Harmonising certified translation in the UK

In Spain for example, it’s easy if you need a certified translation - maybe for a translation of a passport, marriage certificate or another official purpose – because there is a system of sworn translators, so you simply ensure that the translation is performed by a sworn translator and it will be accepted by government and official bodies throughout the country. In the UK though, translation is not a regulated profession – so there is a hotch-potch of ways in which certification of a translation is requested. There is no prospect of this situation changing, at least in the near future.

The absence of a regulatory framework makes certification susceptible to exploitation by unqualified linguists, thereby adversely affecting both clients and the translation profession. The former may endure the risk of receiving misrepresentation or subpar services, while the latter faces the undermining consequences of inconsistent guidance and practices.


This issue is being addressed though by three UK professional bodies, all of which Alexika is involved in through our company or individual memberships. The Association of Translation Companies, the Chartered Institute of Linguists and the Institute of Translation and Interpreting have come together to work on harmonising expectations for UK buyers of certified translations. The collaboration will promote the use of ATC member companies and the qualified professional translator members of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting and the Chartered Institute of Linguists (MCIL and FCIL). All three organisations will endorse each other’s members and each other’s guidance for certifying a translation. Guidelines have already been published on all three web sites under the heading of ‘Certified Translation – Getting It Right.’

In addition to being able to provide certified translations, at Alexika the ‘golden rules’ of professional translation always apply:

  • All translations are performed by qualified and experienced linguists working into their mother tongue.
  • We ensure that the translator has sufficient understanding of the subject matter and will use current terminology for the field.
  • We use language technology sensibly to provide a fast and efficient service.

Want our mother tongue translators to get to work on your next project? Get in touch - we’d love to hear about your translation needs.