Technical author training for newcomers, teaching core principles and writing techniques appropriate to user documentation.
- Analysing your audience.
- Structuring and designing your documents.
- Writing using plain English.
- Avoiding standard errors in punctuation and grammar.
- Designing an effective layout for your documents.
- Reviewing and proof reading documents to improve quality.
This course is the first module of our technical authoring training programme. It is also ideal as a stand-alone course for anyone who needs to begin carrying out technical authoring work, including:
- Career technical authors who haven’t received any formal training.
- People who are considering technical authoring as a profession.
- Those who are not career technical authors but have been asked to carry out technical authoring work as part of their role.
Upcoming course dates
Introduction to 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. For further details, 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.
- 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 author training, delegates are entitled to 30 days’ email support from their trainer to help with any post-course issues. For further details, see Support.
No prior technical authoring knowledge is necessary.
Our guarantees to you
Our price guarantee is your assurance that you’re getting the best value for money.
Our training guarantee ensures that you learn the concepts and skills you need.
On-request technical author training available
As well as our scheduled courses, we offer our Introduction to Technical Authoring course on-request, i.e. a ‘closed’ course for your group, hosted at one of our centres or your venue.
On-request training can be tailored to take into account any existing knowledge your group has, and the type of technical authoring work you do. Please contact us for a quote.
Payment for technical authoring training can be made bank transfer or card.
We accept purchase orders from UK-registered companies.
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
If a booking on a scheduled Introduction to technical authoring course is cancelled giving less than 10 working days’ notice, a cancellation fee is payable. View cancellation terms.
If a delegate requests a transfer to a different scheduled Introduction to technical authoring course giving less than 10 working days’ notice, a transfer fee is payable. View transfer terms.
Terms and conditions
Training course bookings are subject to our terms and conditions.
Introduction to technical authoring courses are hosted by Nigel Platts, Crow Dillon-Parkin and Peter Dillon-Parkin.
Nigel is a Co-Founder of Armada with over thirty five years’ experience in user-assistance in a wide range of roles including Technical Writer, Manager, Consultant and Trainer.
As well as hosting Armada’s technical writing courses, Nigel manages Armada’s in-house team of writers.
Nigel continues to undertake projects from time to time to keep up-to-date with the latest technologies and practices. His areas of expertise include software for local government, accountancy and finance.
Crow has thirty years’ experience in technical authoring, and writing for business in the wider sense.
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. Clients for whom she has developed and delivered technical and business communication skills training include FW Pharma Systems, the Open College, the BBC, and Fitness First.
Crow has two degrees and a Certificate in Education. She is currently working on a range of books based on the writing courses she has developed.
Peter has thirty years’ experience in the IT industry in roles that have included Programmer, Author, Trainer, Business Analyst, Senior Manager and Education Management Consultant.
Peter’s technical authoring career began when, as a systems manager, he was asked to write a portable data terminal manual for sales reps. The reps learned how to use the new equipment, and Peter had found his niche.
He 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. Clients for whom Peter has recently consultancy services and training to include Learning Tree International, The Guardian, Canon Europe, the BBC, the MoD and the UN.
Introduction and objectives
Recommended reading list
Why good writing is important and the costs of documentation
Know your audience
Understand and prioritise the different categories of your audience and handle different levels of reader
Research the basic tasks of your audience
How to structure your documents
Understand which sections to include in your manuals and the order in which they should be placed
Write from a design
Use mind mapping techniques for designing a document
Learn how to plan the content of your document before you start writing
Skills of writing – 12 golden rules
Learn the 12 golden rules of writing to help you develop a clear and concise style
Use readability checking and testing techniques
Punctuation and grammar
Understand the basics of punctuation and grammar
Avoid the six most frequently made errors that occur in writing
Understand the basics of layout and typesetting
Learn how to format your document for maximum impact
Reviewing and proof reading
How to check your documentation to ensure it is error free
Use industry standard techniques for reviewing, rewriting and proof reading
To make your technical authoring training as affordable as possible, we offer:
- A range of training discounts on our scheduled (public) technical authoring training courses.
- A price guarantee that you won’t get technical authoring training for less.
If you book multiple course places, 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.
We offer a 10% discount on scheduled technical authoring course places to:
- Students, teachers and lecturers.
- People who work for a registered charity.
- ISTC members.
- Delegates self-funding their training for career progression purposes.
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 training bundles or on-request course bookings (one-to-one training or a course for your group).
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.
- Be in the same region, i.e. within 50 miles of our centre.
- 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.
Technical authoring services
Established in 1991, Armada is the UK’s leading provider of technical authoring services. We have an in-house team of highly experienced technical authors dedicated to working on projects for clients.
If you have a peak workload, or require assistance with a specific project, please contact us.
- User guides, to accompany your applications, and related documentation such as reference handbooks, training material and quick reference guides.
Our technical authors adopt a task-based approach. Our guides rely heavily on graphics to simplify complex procedures.
- Online help and user assistance solutions to be incorporated into your applications. Our help combines concise content with rich features including graphics, video, wikis, giving a modern look and feel to your application.
- Single source projects – hard copy user guides and online help from one source, saving you time and money.
- Knowledge-base systems. Do your staff have access to information wherever they are? If not, we can solve this for you by creating a knowledge-base system providing up-to-date work instructions, procedures, policies, and so on, all accessible by your team from any web-enabled device. Your efficiency will improve and support costs decrease.
Our consultants can provide expert advice on best practice and approach for your documentation requirements. We can:
- Advise on staffing needs. How many authors are needed? What skillset should they have?
- Recommend the software that’s most appropriate for your requirements?
- Create standards, and design stylesheets and templates for your team to use.