Certification of Translations in the UK: Bridging the Divide

June 18, 2024

Certification of Translations in the UK: Bridging the Divide

In the realm of translation, precision and adherence to standards are paramount. Whether it's for official documents, government agencies, or businesses, certified translations play a vital role in ensuring clarity and accuracy. However, in the United Kingdom, the landscape of certified translations has been notably deregulated compared to international standards. This has led to variations in expectations, requirements, and practices, causing confusion and challenges for translators and translation companies.

At Linguily, we understand the importance of keeping up with industry developments and standards. That's why we're closely following the efforts of the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL), the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI), and the Association of Translation Companies (ATC) to harmonize best practices around the certification of translations in the UK.

The Current Challenge

For those involved in translating documents for the UK's public sector or government agencies, navigating the intricacies of certified translations can be a daunting task. Differences in expectations and requirements, both within the UK and on the international stage, have made it difficult to provide a standardized service that meets the needs of various organizations.

One of the primary issues lies in the absence of a sworn or state-authorized system for certifying translations in the UK, a departure from many other countries. This lack of uniformity can lead to uncertainty and inefficiencies in the translation and certification processes.

Collaborative Efforts for Clarity

Recognizing the need for a unified approach, the CIOL, ITI, and ATC have joined forces to harmonize expectations for certified translations. This collaboration aims to promote the use of qualified and accredited professional translators and reputable translation companies, ensuring both accuracy and quality in certified translations.

Key elements of this collaborative effort include:

  • Recognition and Endorsement: All three leading associations now recognize and endorse each other's certification guidelines and practices. This recognition paves the way for greater cohesion and consistency in certified translations.
  • Guidance for Public Authorities: Through this initiative, public authorities will receive guidance on selecting qualified and accredited professionals and partners who can provide accurate certified translations. This will help bridge the gap between varying requirements.

A Unified Approach for Quality

At Linguily, we applaud these efforts to enhance the quality and reliability of certified translations in the UK. We believe that a standardized and recognized approach benefits both the users and producers of these translations. It eliminates uncertainty and ensures that certified translations are produced by suitably qualified individuals and reputable translation companies.

As the translation landscape evolves, we remain committed to staying at the forefront of industry standards and best practices. Our dedication to delivering accurate and reliable translations aligns with the goals of the CIOL, ITI, and ATC in harmonizing the certification process. Together, we contribute to a more consistent and dependable translation experience for all stakeholders involved.


Certified translations are vital for precision and adherence to standards, but the UK's deregulated landscape has led to confusion. Linguily supports the collaborative efforts of CIOL, ITI, and ATC to harmonize certified translation practices, recognizing the need for a unified approach. These efforts, including recognition and guidance for public authorities, aim to promote qualified professionals and ensure accuracy and quality. A standardized approach benefits both users and producers of certified translations, eliminating uncertainty and contributing to a consistent and dependable translation experience.

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