Certified Translations in the UK – ATC Stamp

New research by David Gray, sponsored by the Association of Translation Companies (ATC), highlights the lack of standardisation in the way UK public sector organisations accept certified translations. It also highlights divergent practices carried out by suppliers of certified translations in the United Kingdom.

As an Accredited Member of the association that defines excellence standards for the sector in the United Kingdom, in this article, Letrário will clarify the meaning of “certified translation”, while exposing the lack of standardisation in the UK, as well as the benefits of having a certified translation bearing the ATC stamp and how to go about it.

What exactly is an ATC UK-certified translation?

It is a translation of a document done by a highly qualified or experienced translator, accompanied by the relevant source text, a stamp and a certificate, which is signed by an Accredited Member of the ATC.

Lack of standardisation and the ATC

  • In Certified Translation in the UK: Towards a Standard Approach (2019), Gray presents a comprehensive and groundbreaking analysis of the several translation certification practices (of documentation used in legal proceedings, such as birth, death, marriage certificates, diplomas etc.) and exposes the divergent criteria of the public sector. 
  • The lack of standardisation in the UK is worsened by the fact that the British government’s website does not mention the need for people to use a professional service in order for a translated piece to be accepted by the authorities of this very same sector.
  • According to Dan Peachey, the ATC vice chair, the new revised guidelines for the use of the stamp, by which Letrário operates, are crucial to the standardisation of the certification practice.
  • The ATC is therefore publishing these guidelines following the above-mentioned study – a pioneer as regards standardising the acceptance of certifications by British organisations.
  • In them you will find best practices, certification templates, and an explanation about the difference between the term “certification” in the UK and in the rest of the world. Learn more here.

Benefits of Certified Translations

The greatest benefit of relying on an Accredited Member of the ATC is that your translation will bear the ATC certification stamp, which is used to certify translations that must be submitted to the public sector or other authorities in the UK, such as the Home Office, which is a central authority.

Letrário, Translation Services is a company approved by the ATC within a strict verification process performed to the members of the association, which includes:

  • the verification of financial stability,
  • quality management processes,
  • customer and supplier references,
  • and professional indemnity insurance.

The stamp, which is renewed annually, states Letrário’s designation and membership number, as well as the current year of validity. The stamp can be found on all pages of the translated document, and is accompanied by a certificate (declaration signed on Letrário’s letterhead).

By filling in the name of the relevant company, you can check its ATC membership validity, here.


By presenting a translated document with this stamp, you assure the recipient authority that the translation has been carried out by a company that is affiliated to a professional association in the industry, and that it is a true and loyal version of the original text.

If you’re in need of a certified translation to be used in the UK, please do not hesitate to contact us. Letrário will ensure not only the accuracy of the translated piece, but also its validity.