Quality at ConversisNovember 28, 2023 | Process
We really do get it! Having your content translated can be scary!
You have spent quite some time preparing the original material, making sure it’s completely accurate, effective and meets all ethics and regulatory requirements. And then you have to hand it over to someone else. More often than not, you don’t speak the language it’s being translated into, making it difficult to judge quality, and so you have to place a huge amount of trust in the person or company doing the work for you.
We’ve all had that trust poorly repaid in the past – even our very own Head of Sales and Marketing, which can make us even more apprehensive about making that leap again.
But, like it or not, we live in a rapidly globalizing world, so the option of just sticking with English and avoiding the translation issue completely is well and truly off the table (at least for anyone wanting more than very limited local impact). So, if translation is a fact of life when it comes to Life Sciences, how do you ensure you can trust your partner to treat your content with all due care and attention?
How Conversis approaches quality
Quality is at the very center of who we are at Conversis. We simply could not have been doing the kind of work we do, as successfully as we have, for as long as we have, without this being the case. Our translations are used in clinical and regulatory scenarios – where literal billions of dollars (and, much more importantly, human lives) are in the balance. The reality is, if we weren’t truly conscientious and excellent at what we do, Conversis would have closed its doors long ago.
“Faulty translations may entail the “failure of the participant to act as instructed […]” not to mention physical or emotional damage, misconduct of the experiment, time, and money.”
So, how do we do it? How do we ensure impeccable quality and absolute accuracy in all our work?
First, let’s address the term “quality”. A lot of people, in our industry and others, overuse the word, such that it has become all but meaningless. But not for us. For us, “quality” has a very clear, delimited meaning. It’s tangible, measurable, enforceable. That’s because we have ensured we are certified to ISO 9001 (for quality) and ISO 17100 (specific to the translation industry) standards. These independently audited accreditations set out clear principles for quality, which are woven through every level of how Conversis works. This means that quality is a foundational part of our company culture, whether that’s seen through our internal feedback processes, escalation pathways, or continuous improvement and training goals.
Our people are a clear reflection of this quality culture too. Everyone at Conversis, from project managers to engineers to salespeople, brings a wealth of niche experience, cultural understanding, and linguistic diversity to what they do. But what they all have in common is a shared passion for our mission and an unfailingly conscientious approach to their work.
Stepping outside the in-house team, our most important asset is our extended team of expert linguists. We hold them to the same high standards we have for ourselves, and – trust us – they wouldn’t have it any other way! We’ve spoken many times before about the expertise of our linguists and the value they bring, but how do we actually know how good they are? Well, Conversis has a dedicated Vendor Management team, who have honed our process for finding, assessing, and continuously monitoring our linguists over the last 20 years. Of course our linguists are all native speakers; of course they are medically qualified, with specific areas of expertise; of course we test, assess, and background check them before adding them to our pool. So far, so basic due diligence. But, at Conversis, we’re realists. We know that people are not static; you can’t check their work once and assume that quality will remain the same for all time! People – even experts – are human. And, as such, they are subject to change. A linguist can start out meeting or exceeding all metrics and then make less effort over time. Or someone can just have a bad day, or bite off more than they can chew. Our processes allow for all of that – the full spectrum of inevitable human nature. We can’t have important work compromised by someone’s bad day (even if we respect their right to have one). Our VM team continuously monitor our linguists’ work – through independent reviews, additional checks at set frequencies, and full investigations (followed by ongoing QA) in the case of any issues being detected.
What about if something goes wrong?
In the (very rare) case that our clients are not happy, whatever the reason may be, we’re not proud! We take client complaints very seriously. If you think something is wrong, we’ll look into it, not push back by default, like so many do. Conversis has a well-documented process for recording and resolving quality issues. This includes the linguist assessments mentioned above, plus internal investigations, as well as monitoring of metrics like punctual delivery against our automated Translation Management System. If you’d like more detailed information on these processes, just get in touch and we’ll be happy to provide it.
How we measure up
However, a quick look at our KPIs, and how we perform against them, should reassure that any issues are incredibly few and far between. For example, we have a KPI, benchmarked against industry standards, to keep complaints to no more than 2% of our total assignments. Last year (2022), our performance far outstripped this KPI, hitting just 0.24%. Our bar for late deliveries is also set at 2%, and our result in 2022 stood at an impressive 0.6%. The numbers really do say it all, in this particular case, especially in an industry where complaints are often rife and timelines are extremely tight.
And if numbers aren’t your thing, our clients have a lot to say about our quality too:
“By working with Conversis we have been able to de-risk translation.”
Senior Manager – Multinational Pharmaceutical Company
“Conversis is definitely one of our trusted partners and an extension of our team.”
Patient Experience Director – Medical Communications Agency
If you’re not sure about the quality of your current translations, or are taking your first steps into having your Life Sciences content translated, please get in touch with the team at email@example.com.
They will be happy to talk you through our quality processes in detail and/or create a process bespoke to your specific needs.