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The ICE Exchange conference took place in a freezing cold San Antonio, Texas, from November 11th – 14th. This is the annual conference of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence. Comms was represented at ICE by our President, Sue Orchard, and Vice President for Sales and Marketing, Cicek Svensson.

We were all looking forward to checking out the famous San Antonio River Walk, but frankly, it was just too cold most of the time (both inside and outside the hotel). Not what we were expecting in Southern Texas!

Comms Multilingual had a booth in the Trade Show area, where there were many other suppliers representing different parts of the industry. There were a couple of drinks receptions in the early evenings and these are always popular with both delegates and exhibitors.

On Thursday, November 13th, Sue and 3 co-presenters gave a presentation on a subject that is of interest to any organization which is looking at taking their certifications to another country.

The presentation was entitled “Translation and Localization for the Whole Credentialing Body”.

Sue’s co-presenters were Joy Matthews-López (National Association of Boards of Pharmacy), Stan Pickens (Strasz Assessment Systems) and Rory E. McCorkle (International Credentialing Associates).


Joy Matthews-López, Stan Pickens, Rory McCorkle and Sue Orchard

Many credentialing programs are considering offering their certifications and training in other countries. However, there are many things to consider in order to ensure a successful outcome. The session looked at four perspectives:

1) The business aspect

2) Test development and psychometrics

3) Translation, localization and adaptation

4) Item banking.

The aim of the session was to help attendees to learn how to assess markets to determine which would be the best markets for their own organization and whether exams should be translated or not. If translation is the chosen option, then how should organizations do this validly and in conformance with standards, and how should they support this with proper translation procedures and item banking software.

Rory started the presentation by addressing the business perspective and considering why organizations need to consider moving into different markets. Joy examined the test development and psychometric perspective, using some very humorous examples from her own experience.

Sue talked about the translation, localization and adaptation side. She provided some entertaining examples of where translations didn’t quite turn out to mean what they were supposed to mean. She also showed a very interesting example of how different punctuation can completely change the meaning of a sentence.

Stan finished off with a look at the systems side of things in terms of language capabilities and the item banking perspective.

At the end, we had a lively discussion with some very good questions.