Transcription Quality Control: How to Ensure Quality Assurance

When searching for transcription services, the most critical question to ask is: “What quality control processes do you have in place?” We all can agree that quality matters for accurate transcripts. Even if the audio file has background noise or poor audio quality, you have to partner with a service that invests heavily in quality control through hiring practices, training programs, multi-layer reviews, and process tools.

And while accuracy is the main concern, it goes far beyond that. Quality control ensures that formats and style guides are followed, details are kept as they are, and the integrity of your audio or video recordings is preserved. 

In this article, you’ll learn: 

  • Quality control processes like multiple reviews are vital for accurate transcripts, especially for sensitive legal and medical information.
  • Even small typos could undermine the reliability and meaning of a transcript, so investing time in thorough quality assurance is worthwhile.
  • Set clear expectations upfront regarding accuracy rates, formatting rules, etc., to align transcribers with the desired end product.

What Is Quality Control In Transcription Services?

Here at Ditto, we only work with professional US-based transcribers. They’re all top-tier talent, experts in their respective fields, and a big part of why we’ve seen such success in the transcription industry. 

However, we also understand that we’re all human.

Quality control for a transcription service refers to the oversight processes that ensure document accuracy and consistency. Implementing quality checks enables catching errors human transcribers may make and aligning the end result to client specifications. 

Transcription involves transforming audio content into a typed, textual format. It’s a delicate process that requires concentration for long periods, which may slip from time to time. Furthermore, the job is primarily done remotely; distractions can happen even in the best of circumstances. 

Types Of Transcriptions Where Quality Control Is A Must

By the way, here are some of the transcriptions where quality control is highly suggested.

Transcription TypesWhy Tight Quality Control is Required
Legal ProceedingsHigh accuracy is needed for court records; small errors could impact case rulings or decisions.
Medical TranscriptionVital details related to patient diagnoses; errors could lead to improper treatments if transferred to actual medical records.
Academic LecturesUsed for publishing research or student learning materials; high quality avoids misrepresenting the lecturer’s core ideas.
Financial Earnings CallsPrecise descriptions of company financials; inaccuracies could contribute to improper investor decisions and market impacts if details are wrong.
Government ProceedingsMaintains a public record; mistakes undermine transparency and accountability if details/statements become obscured.
Courtroom TestimoniesCapture exact witness statements; deviation from truth could wrongly impact court verdicts.
Focus Group InterviewsPreserve complete consumer reactions; loss of insights risks product development decisions if negative commentary gets excluded.
Media BroadcastsNews and journalism rely on accurately quoting sources; distortions undermine integrity and objectives of informing the public.
Phone InterpretingFacilitate communication for non-native speakers; mistakes could have legal implications or contribute to misunderstandings.
Evidence Related AudioWrong words linked to evidence could obstruct the justice process; utmost precision is vital.

Why Is Transcription Quality Important?

Even if the transcription process seems straightforward—record, listen, document—a quality transcript should reflect the original audio through correct wording, spacing, grammar, and speaker labeling. Let’s tackle the importance of quality in transcriptions.

Verifying Accuracy Preserves Intended Meaning

Every word matters when you commission transcripts of important audio content. Whether in academic research, legal proceedings, or medical reviews, precise meanings often rely on thoughtful phrasing, terminology, and context. Even small transcription errors could shift interpretations or conclusions in the wrong direction.

That is why top-rated services like Ditto Transcripts employ a lengthy quality control checklist. We check drafts against original audio word-for-word to catch discrepancies and proofread transcripts to confirm accurate grammar and punctuation. 

Quality assurance puts a safety net under transcripts to uphold their usefulness for analysis.  

Quality Transcripts Reflect The Original Recording

You may see vendors promising 98%+ accuracy rates for transcripts; however, how do they ensure such precision at scale? The answer lies in their systemic quality assurance program. 

The best transcription services install checks during each phase, like software assisting with drafts before human review, and they assign experienced transcribers familiar with subject-matter terminology.

For sensitive legal and medical reviews, accuracy down to precise terms and timestamps makes transcripts dependably reflect proceedings. So, it’s reasonable to understand how vendors verify quality as details matter greatly in arbitration or conveying medical diagnoses.

Thorough Editing Requires Time And Diligence

Transcribing 1 hour of audio or video takes about 4 hours; the quality assurance part is not included. Carefully editing a transcript also takes time. 

However, if you want a swift solution, Ditto Transcripts’ experienced team can catch misheard words or grammatical issues that require significant time and effort to fix yourself. Our diligence frees you to focus on more essential business matters.

Even Small Errors Could Lead To Larger Issues

Professional transcriptionists can typically type 80 to 100 words per minute. However, transcription is about more than typing speed; small errors in transcripts can undermine their professionalism and lead to larger issues depending on the context, as we’ve discussed earlier. For example, typos in a financial report could significantly obscure or misrepresent key data.

Though acceptable in casual contexts, transcripts with errors appear unpolished and unreliable in professional settings. To maintain accuracy and quality, native English transcription services employing multiple quality checks throughout the process are the best options to ensure precision. This choice can prevent minor mistakes from causing major problems. 

Solutions To Ensure Transcript Accuracy And Help With Quality Review Process

Technology can be leveraged to improve transcription quality. Here are the things you need to consider:

Transcription Tools With Integrated Checks

Smart transcription software can boost accuracy and simplify editing by automatically catching formatting errors, typos, etc. The right tools spot potential issues, so your team doesn’t waste time on manual reviews. This allows them to focus on judgment calls while algorithms handle the busywork quality checks.

However, I need to emphasize that automated tools can be used to supplement transcription processes, not replace them

A human transcriber must do the transcription process, and then, you can use AI for initial quality checks. The final check should also be done by—and I’m sure you see a pattern here—humans.

Collaborative Platforms To Exchange Feedback

Collaboration platforms get your transcription team communicating with handy features like comment threads for rapid feedback. Working together in real-time, whether down the hall or overseas, ensures everyone’s on the same page and prevents rework. Multiple sets of eyes reviewing drafts means more insights to catch inconsistencies.

Dedicated Quality Control Software for Transcription

Purpose-built quality software takes the hassle out of monitoring standards. Customizable dashboards track progress on key metrics like keyword use, speaker labels, and paragraph length. Set target ranges per project, and the system flags anything outside acceptable margins. This gives managers an instant snapshot of where more reviewer attention could improve results.

Can AI Ever Match Human Transcription Quality?

There’s a lot of discussion around the use of AI for work traditionally done by humans. Look at how many people write about AI art and content creation; you’ll see what I mean. 

However, we’ll skip all that and ask the million-dollar question: will AI replace humans for transcription? 

The short answer is no. It may save you a few bucks, though it’s NOT worth the headache. 

Now, I’m not discounting the technology. Just as how calculators are an accountant’s best friend, they don’t replace accountants. 

AI has wondrous application potential for a broad range of industries. However, the transcription process requires accuracy and quality, among other things. And despite billions of dollars being pumped into the technology, AI-generated transcripts are still inaccurate

For context, automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems have existed since the 1950s. Understandably, accuracy rates were low back then, and people had to employ some accommodations, like leaving 5-second gaps between every word. 

The tech revolution started in the ’90s and ‘00s, and at that time, ASRs were about 80% accurate. 

Two decades and about thirty-plus iterations of the iPhone later, AI transcription can still only reach 86% accuracy in the best circumstances. 

This lack of substantial development in accuracy is not because these companies haven’t spent enough money or they’re just terrible at what they do. 

It’s because transcribing audio accurately is a massively complicated process. It takes more than millions of lines of computer code to do what we do- and it doesn’t even do it well.

Why Choose Ditto As Your Transcription Service Partner? 

When you choose Ditto Transcripts as your transcription partner, you get an unmatched commitment to speed and security. More importantly, we recognize this is about more than fast turnarounds. Quality is essential; we’re not shy about showing it in our work. 

Our team has 15+ years of perfecting our craft, and we stand behind our work with guarantees of 99% accuracy and rapid delivery. 

Ditto Transcripts is a FINRA, HIPAA and CJIS-compliant Denver, Colorado-based transcription services company that provides fast, accurate, and affordable transcripts for individuals and companies of all sizes. Call (720) 287-3710 today for a free quote, and ask about our free five-day trial.

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