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Agency request for copies of qualifications
Thread poster: Robert Such

Robert Such  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:13
Member (Jun 2020)
French to English
+ ...
Aug 20

Just wondering, is it common practice for agencies to request copies of your qualifications when you register with them?

Best regards,

Robert.


 

writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
I usually ignore such requests Aug 20

Agencies often ask for all sorts of personal documents but are cagey about revealing exactly who they are, what rates they pay and don't provide any promise of work. A lot of 'job offers' are little more than fishing expeditions and/or information-gathering attempts.

Josephine Cassar
Philippe Etienne
ahartje
Wioleta Kwiatkowska
Teresa Borges
Sheila Wilson
Barbara Carrara
 

William Tierney  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:13
Member (2002)
Arabic to English
Yes, some of the time Aug 20

Some do, some don't. If you have a graduate degree and/or are certified by a professional organization, I would be careful to whom you send your documentation. If they have low rates, don't. If they say they need it for a bid for an international organization, get a point of contact so you can independently verify who won the contract. It is very easy for an unscrupulous agency to use your credentials to get the contract, then go to bottom-feeders for the actual work. If they balk at this r... See more
Some do, some don't. If you have a graduate degree and/or are certified by a professional organization, I would be careful to whom you send your documentation. If they have low rates, don't. If they say they need it for a bid for an international organization, get a point of contact so you can independently verify who won the contract. It is very easy for an unscrupulous agency to use your credentials to get the contract, then go to bottom-feeders for the actual work. If they balk at this request, especially after you promise not to bide independently, then move on.Collapse


Josephine Cassar
Xenia Fernandez
Dan Lucas
achisholm
Philippe Etienne
Wioleta Kwiatkowska
Teresa Borges
 

achisholm
Italian to English
+ ...
I agree with William Aug 21

I am constantly asked to participate in EU tender applications for translation contracts (mostly from agencies I have never worked with, or even heard of).
Considering the amount of time it would take me to collate all the information they want, I have just ignored such requests for the past 10 years or so.
One of the reasons they make such requests is that for many EU tenders, the EU offices ignore translation and language degrees, preferring to look for applicants with technical de
... See more
I am constantly asked to participate in EU tender applications for translation contracts (mostly from agencies I have never worked with, or even heard of).
Considering the amount of time it would take me to collate all the information they want, I have just ignored such requests for the past 10 years or so.
One of the reasons they make such requests is that for many EU tenders, the EU offices ignore translation and language degrees, preferring to look for applicants with technical degrees, who also just happen to speak other languages. Hence agencies need applicants of that type, but as William pointed out, even if the agency is awarded the contract, there is no guarantee they will throw work your way.
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Merab Dekano
Miranda Drew
Tom in London
expressisverbis
Daryo
 

Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I do Aug 21

I usually do send them copies of my degrees if they request it. However, since I trade as a company (even though I am by myself; no employees), I always refuse sending copies of my ID card.

As for EU tenders with agencies, it works like this:

- Please, please, please fill out all these papers, sign them, scan them and include copies of all sorts of documents (hours of work)
- Some agencies do win the tender (with you as a translator)
- Now, it’s unlikely
... See more
I usually do send them copies of my degrees if they request it. However, since I trade as a company (even though I am by myself; no employees), I always refuse sending copies of my ID card.

As for EU tenders with agencies, it works like this:

- Please, please, please fill out all these papers, sign them, scan them and include copies of all sorts of documents (hours of work)
- Some agencies do win the tender (with you as a translator)
- Now, it’s unlikely that you get any real job; since once the agencies won the tender, they just pick the cheapest translator on the market, no matter if they participated or not in the "selection" process
- If they do contact you for a real job, they ask for a huge discount from the rate you originally quoted (which you usually have to decline)

This is, at least, my experience with “public” tenders. Therefore, I simply refuse filling out all those documents and spending hours of my time (unless paid).

"Private" tenders work fine (when agencies send a quote to a company with your sample translation included; no paperwork involved, just a small test).
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Chris S
Josephine Cassar
expressisverbis
Daryo
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:13
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
In my personal experience, it's rare to be asked Aug 21

I know they ask for certificates as part of tender applications, but I never take part in them anyway.

My clients rarely ask to see certificates, in fact I've rarely been asked about them at all, but perhaps that's because they always see my CV, which contains the details. IME, it's the CV, your profile (if appropriate) and the quote email you send that interest them. My clients make a choice based on those plus perhaps another exchange of emails to clarify areas of particular inte
... See more
I know they ask for certificates as part of tender applications, but I never take part in them anyway.

My clients rarely ask to see certificates, in fact I've rarely been asked about them at all, but perhaps that's because they always see my CV, which contains the details. IME, it's the CV, your profile (if appropriate) and the quote email you send that interest them. My clients make a choice based on those plus perhaps another exchange of emails to clarify areas of particular interest. And just a few ask for a sample of my work.
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Tina Vonhof
Teresa Borges
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 15:13
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
@Robert Aug 22

It always makes me smile when a potential client asks for qualifications because my diplomas are no longer relevant for the simple reason that I’ve been translating for over 40 years and I earned most of them some 50 years ago. Anyway, I think that my diplomas are in a box that I never unpacked when I moved from Brussels to Lisbon four years ago…

 

Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 13:13
Portuguese to English
+ ...
UN jobs Aug 22

The worst are UN jobs.

I applied for a job some time ago and they asked me to send over 20 pages of documents which had to then be scanned AND sent by post to Luxembourg. Spent over 120 reais (about 20 quid - or four Lady Godivas, if you are a cockney) on postal fees, could not use regular snail-mail postage because it wouldn't arrive within the deadline.

Never heard from them again - not even the courtesy of an acknowledgement letter.


 

Ryan Shevlane
United States
Local time: 07:13
Portuguese to English
20 quid? Sep 10

Paul Dixon wrote:

Spent over 120 reais (about 20 quid - or four Lady Godivas, if you are a cockney)



You mean a Bobby Moore?


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:13
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
No, but... Sep 10

Robert Such wrote:
Is it common practice for agencies to request copies of your qualifications when you register with them?


I agree with Sheila that it does not happen often, but when it does, it pays to be able to send it quickly. For this reason, I recommend to all translators (especially new ones) to have scanned, redacted copies of all possible documents ready so that you can send it in a jiffy.


Sheila Wilson
 

Robert Such  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:13
Member (Jun 2020)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Redact? Sep 10

Hi Samuel,

Could you elaborate on what should be redacted, please? What would you redact from a qualification/education certificate?


Chris S
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:13
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Robert Sep 11

Robert Such wrote:
What would you redact from a qualification/education certificate?


The dean's and registrar's signatures, your student number (unless the issuing organization allows third parties to ask for confirmation with a student number), your ID/social security number, etc. Some certificates don't contain anything that needs to be redacted, others do.

signatures


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:13
Member (2008)
Italian to English
I agree Sep 11

achisholm wrote:

......even if the agency is awarded the contract, there is no guarantee they will throw work your way.


I would go further: it is 99.9% guaranteed that you will never hear from them again - but they will continue using your data to bid for other contracts (because they probably asked you to sign an open-ended GDPR statement permitting them to process your personal information).

As a general principle, I think the more bumph an agency asks you to sign, the more likely it is that they only want to use your personal data, qualifications, skills etc., for their own purposes and have not the slightest intention of ever giving you any work.

The best agencies just send you an email, and that's it.

[Edited at 2020-09-11 08:05 GMT]


Josephine Cassar
Chris S
expressisverbis
Ann Marie Bohan
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:13
Member (2008)
Italian to English
deleted Sep 11



[Edited at 2020-09-11 08:03 GMT]


 

Robert Such  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:13
Member (Jun 2020)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Sep 11

Thanks Samuel, and thanks to everyone for their help.

 
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