Technical author training
Advanced technical authoring

2 days
In centre:
£595+ VAT
Live online:
£495+ VAT

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Dates and booking

Live online training

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Birmingham / Bromsgrove training centres

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Key details

Key details

Course for existing technical authors, teaching advanced techniques for producing professional-standard technical and user documentation that is clear, concise and successfully meets the needs of users.

Sessions include:

  • Developing a clear writing style.
  • Using a writing and editing process structured around industry-standard best practice to improve the quality of your documentation.
  • Using fonts, graphics and page layouts to effectively convey information and enhance the look and feel of your documents.
  • Exploring writing content for multiple platforms.
  • Giving editorial feedback to help your team improve their performance.

You will be able to:

  • Identify current standards for technical writing (including DITA).
  • Create a style guide for documentation.
  • Use BSI standard proofing marks.

Advanced technical authoring training is the third and final module of our ISTC-accredited Technical authoring training programme. It is also ideal as a stand-alone course for anyone looking to increase their knowledge of the topic to expert-level.

In-class or online

In-class courses are proceeding as normal at all centres during the lockdown that started on 5 November 2020. To read more, see Training during lockdown.

We’re taking comprehensive measures to ensure your health and well-being – fewer people in-class, you won’t sit next to another person, comprehensive cleaning. To read more, see Covid-19 measures.

You can participate in this course online, from your place of work or home, at a discounted price. To read about how this works, see Live online training.

Upcoming course dates

Live online training
Birmingham / Bromsgrove
Milton Keynes
View all course dates and book

Background and trainers

For over two decades, Armada has been a leading provider of technical authoring services. We have employed and worked with some of the most talented and knowledgeable technical authors in the UK. Our background in the industry makes us ideally suited to offering technical author training.

Advanced technical authoring courses are hosted by highly experienced instructors, who have held senior technical authoring positions and have 30+ years’ experience in technical authoring and related roles. See Expert trainers.

How will I learn?

Technical author training combines lecture, demonstration and hands-on practice. You carry out plenty of practical exercises to learn the techniques taught.

You have ample opportunity to discuss your specific requirements with the trainer.

Training materials and certificate

Course delegates receive:

  • Comprehensive training material, to refer to throughout the course, and to use as a refresher afterwards.
  • Checklists and job aids to focus each stage of the writing process.
  • Report and user manual templates that incorporate best practice design and structure as taught in the courses.
  • Resources to use back in the workplace.
  • An e-certificate confirming successful course completion. Click here to see an example of the certificate you receive.

After course support

Following technical authoring training, delegates are entitled to 30 days’ email support from their trainer to help with any post-course issues. For further details, see Support.

Prerequisites

Delegates should have attended Introduction to technical authoring and Intermediate technical authoring, or have equivalent knowledge.

Our guarantees to you

We offer:

On-request technical writing training available

Advanced technical authoring training is available on-request, i.e. one-to-one training or a ‘closed course’ for your group, hosted at one of our centres, your venue or online.

On-request technical writing training can be tailored to take into account any existing knowledge you have, and the work you’re going to be doing. Please contact us for a quote.

General information

General information

Course times

9.30am–4.30pm.

Payment

Payment for technical writing training can be made bank transfer or card.

We accept purchase orders from UK-registered companies and public sector organisations.

If you’re self-funding your training, you can pay in staged payments, interest-free, over 12 months.

For further details, see training course payment options.

Cancellations and transfers

You can cancel a booking on a scheduled training course, or transfer to a later course, without penalty providing you give us 10 working days’ notice. Any fees already paid will be refunded.

If you cancel a booking on a scheduled Advanced technical authoring training course giving less than 10 working days’ notice, or request a transfer to a later course, a cancellation/transfer fee is payable. The fee charged depends on the notice period given. For details, see cancellation terms.

Different terms apply for the cancellation or postponement of an on-request course (one-to-one training or a ‘closed course’ for your group). For details, see course cancellations.

Terms and conditions

Training course bookings are subject to our terms and conditions.

Expert trainers

Expert trainers

Advanced technical authoring courses are hosted by:

Crow Dillon-Parkin

Crow Dillon-Parkin Autodesk Certified Instructor

Crow has over thirty years’ experience in technical authoring, business writing, and training. Her love of language, combined with a natural pickiness and attention to detail, has been put to good use in a variety of editing, writing, management and training roles.

Crow is a highly experienced learning specialist who believes strongly in empowering authors through training. She has developed and delivered technical and business communication skills training for a range of clients including DEFRA, the Marine Stewardship Council, Bio Products Laboratory Limited and NHS Digital.

Crow has three degrees and a Certificate in Education. She is currently working on a range of books based on the writing courses she has developed.

Peter Dillon-Parkin

Peter Dillon-Parkin Autodesk Certified Instructor

Peter has over thirty years’ experience in the IT industry in roles including programmer, technical author, trainer, business analyst, senior manager and education management consultant.

Peter has written, designed and project-managed everything from printed manuals and technical specifications to online help and computer-based training materials, specialising in writing for an international audience. An expert in document automation and information re-purposing, he uses templates to avoid endlessly reinventing the wheel when producing documents.

Peter develops and teaches a wide range of technical and business writing training courses. Recent consultancy and training clients include Learning Tree International, Airbus, the IAEA and the UN.

Course content

Course content

Introduction and overview

Defining readability

The technical writing process

  • Building readability
  • How people take on information
  • Working with how the brain works

Given/new and readability

  • Given/new – using a universal glossary
  • Structuring for readability
  • Reducing inferential load

Signalling in your document

  • Signalling with headings
  • 3-step process for effective headings
  • Signalling with sentences
  • Customer-focused persuasion

Business and design standards for technical documentation

Standards for technical writing

  • Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA)
  • DITA and XML
  • Company style guides and standards
  • External standards

Types of style guides

  • Example style guide content
  • Creating a style guide
  • Using editorial reference guides

Creating better graphics

Designing the page

  • How readers process technical documents
  • Improving your document’s functionality

Basic rules of graphics

  • Controlling layout with tables and grids
  • Microsoft Word vs DTP software

Page design:

  • Typefaces, fonts, and white space
  • Layout and alignment

Expressing information with graphics

  • Identifying what works as a graphic
  • Getting the right level of detail using, photos, drawings and charts and graphs

Checking document integrity

Formal document structure and templates

  • Headings and the ToC
  • Other tables and lists
  • Checking
  • Captions and graphics
  • References and notes

Online vs print

  • Checklists for print and online
  • Checklist for online

Copy editing and proofreading

  • Marking up proofs
  • Using formal proof correction symbols
  • Checking your text
  • Checklist: proofreading and copy editing

Writing for multiple platforms

Targeting your platforms

  • Size and shape of the screen
  • Using responsive design

How readers scan pages online

  • Identifying what must be written
  • Building the inverted pyramid

Headings, menus, and links

  • 3-step process for effective menus:
  • Menus vs. links
  • Writing links that work

The online hierarchy

  • 4 key criteria for an effective home page
  • Creating transitional and content pages

Accessibility initiatives

  • Basic accessibility guidelines
  • BBC online rules

Grammar issues

Focusing sentences to communicate to the reader:

  • Putting the reader first
  • Different types of sentence
  • Making your writing more concrete

Key grammar problems in technical authoring

  • Subject-verb agreement
  • Complete sentences
  • Missing information
  • Unreadable text and how to fix it

Grammar and syntax

  • Usage issues
  • Creating cohesion terms: redundancy and transitions
  • Using parallel construction: sentences, tables and lists, headings

Editing and writing with others

Planning to meet your deadlines

  • Planning and estimating
  • Planning metrics
  • Meetings: objectives, rules, top ten issues, checklists

Feeding back to team members

  • The SBI model: delivering effective feedback
  • Questions to ask in difficult situations
  • People problems: communication styles*

Creating communication in the work environment

  • VAK: seeing, hearing, feeling
  • Filtering information with VAK preferences
  • Benefits of VAK preferences
  • Keeping the team Informed
  • increasing team involvement

Capstone exercise

  • Putting it all together
Live online training

Live online training

Live online training lets you participate in a technical writing course from your place of work or home.

We do everything possible to make your online training experience as close as possible to actually being in the classroom. You can:

  • See and hear our trainer, and see the other delegates participating in the technical writing training…
    Live online training - see your trainer and the other course delegates
  • Interact by speaking, using chat, or raising your ‘virtual hand’ if you need assistance.
  • Share your screen with our trainer, and allow them to control it to demonstrate something.

We endeavour to provide you with the best online training experience…

  • Online Advanced technical authoring courses are presented by expert instructors, following the same syllabus as our classroom-based courses.
  • You receive comprehensive training materials.
  • Your training is hands-on, and you carry out assisted exercises.
  • You’re entitled to 30 days’ email support from your trainer.

When you attend live online training, you’re participating in a real course, hosted by a real trainer, in real time.

All you need is an internet-connected computer and a webcam – see Hardware recommendations for live online training. The setup is simple, but if there’s anything you’re not sure about we’re here to help.

For a limited time, we’re offering discounts for bookings on live online courses.

Discounts

Discounts

To make your technical writing training as affordable as possible, we offer:

Training discounts

Multiple places

If you book multiple places on any courses, we can offer you:

  • 10% discount if you book two places.
  • 15% discount if you book three or four places.
  • 20% discount if you book five or more places.

This can be for several people attending one course, one person attending several courses, or a combination.

These discounts are available for both classroom-based courses and live online training.

Concessions

We offer a 10% discount on scheduled technical writing course places to:

  • Students, teachers and lecturers.
  • People who work for a registered charity.
  • ISTC members.

These discounts are available for both classroom-based courses and remote training.

Please call us if you qualify for a discount. Evidence of your status that entitles you to a discount may be requested.

Terms and exclusions

Only one of the above discounts can be applied to any booking.

The above discounts are not available for on-request course bookings (one-to-one training or a ‘closed course’ for your group).

Price guarantee

When you book training with Armada, we want you to be certain that you’re not paying over-the-odds. So, if you book a place on any scheduled (public) course and then find the same course at a lower price elsewhere, we will match that price.

To qualify for the price match:

  • The course you find must be comparable. By this we mean it must:
    • Cover the same subject.
    • Be the same duration or longer.
    • For classroom-based courses, be in the same region, i.e. within 50 miles of our centre.
    • For online training, be a live course, i.e. not pre-prepared e-learning content.
  • The lower price must be advertised on the other company’s website.

To claim a price match, just call any time before attending your course and tell us where you saw the price.

Testimonials
“Peter Dillon-Parkin is very knowledgeable and delivered an excellent Technical Authoring course. I believe my confidence will improve as I put these new skills into practice and I will secure a job in the near future.”

Alexa S

“This has been a fascinating and engaging experience which has been an ideal guide of where to start in the world technical authoring. The course tutors were very knowledgeable and offered advice of where to find the best source and reference material. This has been a week well spent.”

Daniel V

“Attended the Technical Author Advanced course, both Nigel and Crow were excellent tutors. I feel equipped to apply what I have learnt back in the workplace. Good course facilities. Would definitely return to do another course.”

Nancy S

“Crow is a fantastic trainer, clearly very knowledgeable and a confident coach. I would recommend the course, and specifically Crow, to others without hesitation. Thank you for a great course.”

Jennifer L

“The course was mainly aimed at people working for a company as a technical writer - I would have liked more information about freelancing. However, it would have only been useful to me, so perhaps not a valuable use of everyone else's time! Comparing this course with an online course I have recently completed, I found this course more useful and interesting, and worth the extra cost.”

Anthony S

“Training room and facilities were brilliant, so was Crow's delivery of training.”

Rhiannon W

It's business as usual during lockdown. All centres remain open for in-class courses. See Training during lockdown.