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Chief, Spanish Translation Section, LP


  • Organization: ICAO - International Civil Aviation Organization
  • Location: Montreal
  • Grade: Senior level - P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Banking and Finance
    • Translations and Languages
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2023-10-05

Org. Setting and Reporting

Languages and Publications (LP), within the Bureau of Administration and Services (ADB), promotes and coordinates the implementation of the ICAO Multilingualism Strategy. It provides interpretation, translation, editorial and programme support services in the six ICAO working languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish). Based on the principle of simultaneous distribution, it ensures the issuance of documentation to Council, its deliberative bodies, the Air Navigation Commission, and other ICAO meetings held within and away from Headquarters.
The Spanish Translation Section provides translation services from English and another ICAO working language, into Spanish to Spanish. The incumbent, as Chief of the Section, is accountable for the high quality and timely delivery of these services. S/he leads and supervises all staff in the Section in terms of delegation of duties, performance evaluation, technical guidance, training and coaching. The Chief reports directly to the Deputy Director, Languages and Publications (DD ADB/LP), with whom s/he consults on complex technical matters.
The incumbent will be translating from English and another ICAO working language into Spanish.


Function 1 (incl. Expected results)
Leads, supervises and manages the work and staff of the Section, achieving results such as:
• Promote customer-oriented services by providing direction, motivating staff and fostering good performance and teamwork.
• Maintain and promote a harmonious working environment among team members.
• Organise and manage assigned resources to provide timely and effective service delivery, overseeing attendance and absence management of staff.
• Develop operational plans for the Section and supervise, monitor and report on their implementation.
• Define work strategies for the section to ensure provision of comprehensive translation services to the Organization.
• Ensure timely and accurate preparation of monthly/periodic reports and statistical data and analysis on the work of the Section for management.
• Establish, monitor, and report on annual performance and work plans for Section staff, ensuring appropriate distribution of workload, and adjusting priorities as required, in order to meet operational needs.
• Evaluate the performance of the staff of the Section; train and coach, as necessary.
• Provide input to the Deputy Director, Languages and Publications on all relevant matters, as required.

Function 2 (incl. Expected results)
Manages the translation and revision of texts covering a broad range of technical, legal or administrative subjects dealt with by ICAO, exercises quality control and executes terminological research, in compliance with the ICAO Multilingualism Strategy, achieving results such as:

• Promote and participate in the implementation of the ICAO Multilingualism Strategy and, in particular, the streamlining and digitalization of language and conference services. Translate into Spanish, using standard computer-assisted-translation (CAT) tools and systems, and revise translated texts, with particular attention to those that are of a sensitive, confidential, difficult, or complex nature.
• Produce accurate and complete versions in the target language, using the most appropriate vocabulary and the commonly accepted equivalents of professional, scientific or technical terms.
• Convey faithfully the full meaning of each text as befits the intended use and the target readership of the translated version.
• Meet deadlines with regard to translation/revision assignments, maintaining a high degree of quality.
• Ensure terminological consistency and cross-cultural equivalence between the translation and the source texts.
• Alert the Terminology Officer of any new terminology or gaps in terminology databases and make recommendations to fill the gaps.
• Pro-actively provide input to the development of translation databases.
• Exercise independent judgement and discretion in researching and selecting the right terminology in the target language, regardless of the difficulty of the text.
• Address translation queries presented by the Editorial and Text Processing Units.

Function 3 (incl. Expected results)
Manages the quality of all texts and documentation provided to the Secretary General and/or President of the Council, achieving results such as:

• Ensure quality of all correspondence and documentation to be issued by the Secretary General and/or President of the Council.
• Ensure accuracy and completeness of text in the target language, using the most appropriate range of vocabulary and the commonly accepted or established equivalents of professional, scientific or technical concepts and terms.
• Take accountability that deadlines are met with regard to translation assignments, maintaining a high degree of quality.

Function 4 (incl. Expected results)
Spot-checks texts translated by other translators, colleagues or free-lance and contractual translators, ensuring their accuracy and high linguistic quality, achieving results such as:
• Pro-actively spot-check and revise texts translated by other translators, colleagues or outsourced services.
• Ensure that translations are both accurate and stylistically appropriate, and check for errors in spelling, grammar and style.
• Apply high-level revision skills and considerable drafting and analytical ability to especially difficult, complex and urgent documents.
• Produce final versions in the target language that are equivalents of the original text in terms of accuracy, completeness, meaning, style and effectiveness.
• Consult with substantive units or originators to clarify possible inconsistencies or errors in the original text, including the originators’ mistranslation or misinterpretation of source material.
• Develop and conduct training sessions and workshops for translators as see fit.

Function 5 (incl. Expected results)
Decides on the outsourcing of translation services, and manages general administrative functions, achieving results such as:
• Ensure adequate staffing, optimum productivity and efficient management and operation of the Section.
• Analyse the need and make recommendations for freelance and outsourcing support.
• Make recommendations regarding freelance translators and outsourced translation work.
• Prepare testing material for prospective candidates for freelance translation; administer tests, assess results and make recommendations on their suitability.
• Contribute to the expansion of the roster.
• Obtain feedback from clients and other sources on the quality of the language services provided; adapt own work and make recommendations on the improvement of the work of the Section.
• Identify the need for adapting guidelines to cases not covered in existing rules and practices.
• Make recommendations for improving or revising the formulation and standardization of translation and revision guidelines.

Function 6 (incl. Expected results)
Performs other related duties, as assigned.


Professionalism: Excellent knowledge of revision rules and procedures and practices; ability to type and format documents in a text processing software; familiarity with the objectives and procedures of international organizations functioning at government level; shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations.

Planning and Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.

Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.

Client Orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients ” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; Identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.

Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow; empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvement; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands.

Judgement/Decision-making: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary


• An advanced-level university degree (Master’s degree or academic equivalent), preferably with emphasis on translation, languages, international or scientific studies.

• Successful completion of the United Nations exam for translators.

Work Experience

• A minimum of twelve (12) years of progressively responsible experience in translating and revising from English to Spanish, preferably technical or legal texts of difficult and complex nature, in a government, a large-scale private organization, or an international organization is required.

• Sound experience in the planning, coordination and supervision of translation services is required.

• Demonstrated experience to translate sensitive, political or technical texts is required.

• Experience in the use of standard computer-assisted-translation (CAT) tools and systems is required.

• Training/experience in conference interpreting is desirable.


A complete command of Spanish as the mother tongue or the language used for the purpose of education is essential, along with a thorough knowledge of its syntax and stylistics. The incumbent must also have excellent knowledge of English and a very good command of one of the other official languages of the Organization.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

The ICAO Assembly recently reaffirmed its commitment to enhancing gender equality and the advancement of women by supporting UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.”

Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for ICAO positions, especially in the Professional and higher level categories.

It should be noted that this post is to be filled on a fixed-term basis for an initial period of three years (first year is probationary for an external candidate).

ICAO staff members are international civil servants subject to the authority of the Secretary General and may be assigned to any activities or offices of the Organization within the duty station.

ICAO staff members are expected to conduct themselves in a manner befitting their status as international civil servants. The Standards of Conduct for the International Civil Service adopted by ICAO, which are applicable to all staff members, are defined in the ICAO Service Code (Staff Regulations).

ICAO offers an attractive benefit package to its employees in accordance with the policies of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC).

The statutory retirement age for staff entering or re-entering service after 1 January 2014 is 65. For external applicants, only those who are expected to complete a term of appointment will normally be considered.
Remuneration: Level P-5 Rate Net Base Salary per annum + Post Adjustment (net) per annum(*)
USD $92,731 USD $45,252
(*) Post Adjustment is subject to change.

United Nations Considerations

In accordance with ICAO Staff Regulations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Due regard shall be paid to the importance of recruiting staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible and ensuring equal gender representation. Subject to the foregoing, selection of staff members shall be made without distinction as to race, sex or religion, nor shall there be any discrimination on account of any disability of a candidate who meets the qualifications required to perform the tasks. Unless otherwise permitted under the ICAO Staff Regulations, appointment and promotion of staff members shall be made on a competitive basis.

Candidates will not be considered for employment with ICAO if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts.

Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, Inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the Inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in Inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised in Inspira will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee

ICAO does NOT charge any fees or request money from candidates at any stage of the recruitment process, nor does it concern itself with bank account details of applicants. Requests of this nature allegedly made on behalf of ICAO are fraudulent and should be disregarded.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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