Plain English training course teaching practical techniques for producing documents that are clear and concise.
Clear, reader-focused documents written in Plain English provide meaningful information that is easy to understand and act upon. Providing clear and concise information improves efficiency, effectiveness and helps your business stand out from the rest with an improved image.
Plain English training investigates what readers look for in a document, and teaches simple processes to ensure these needs are met. You learn how to:
- Write clearly, effectively and quickly.
- Use Plain English to develop a concise, readable and pleasing writing style.
- Apply the principles of Plain English to any document type, from emails to reports.
- Project a positive image of your business.
- Avoid common errors in grammar, spelling and word usage.
- Communicate precisely what is meant.
Plain English training is arranged on-request, i.e. one-to-one training or a ‘closed course’ for your group. We can provide your training in-class at one of our centres, at your venue, or online.
Your training can be tailored to take into account any existing knowledge you have, and the work you’re going to be doing.
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.
Plain English courses are hosted by highly experienced instructors, all of whom have held senior authoring/writing roles in business. For further details, see Expert trainers.
How will I learn?
Training combines lecture, demonstration and hands-on practice.
Exercises provide activity-based experience and help build delegates’ confidence writing in Plain English. These exercises can be tailored to deal with issues specific to your business.
You have ample opportunity to discuss specific requirements with the trainer.
Plain English training guide and certificate
Course delegates receive:
- A comprehensive training guide, to refer to throughout the course, and to use as a refresher back in the work-place.
- Job aids and roadmaps to use post-course.
- An e-certificate confirming successful completion of a plain English training course. Click here to see an example of the certificate you receive.
After course support
Following Plain English training, delegates are entitled to 30 days’ email support from their trainer to help with any post-course issues. For further details, see Support.
Standard course times are 9.30am–4.30pm.
As we’d be hosting this as a ‘closed course’ for you/your group, there’s usually flexibility to change these times to suit you, e.g. start or end 30 minutes earlier or later.
Payment for business 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 postponements
If an on-request Plain English course booking is cancelled giving less than 20 working days’ notice, a cancellation fee is payable. View cancellation terms.
If an on-request Plain English course booking is postponed giving less than 20 working days’ notice, a postponement fee is payable. View postponement terms.
Terms and conditions
Plain English training courses are hosted by:
Robert has over twenty five years’ experience in a varied range of writing roles including technical author, copywriter, feature writer and freelance journalist.
He has worked for several national newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Local Government Chronicle and Community Care, and has experience in the PR and media industries having ventured into national and regional radio, giving interviews and writing press releases.
Robert also carries out regular training course development work, and he delivers a variety of training courses in all aspects of writing for business.
He particularly enjoys relaying the knowledge he has acquired in his extensive and diverse career.
Nigel is a Co-Founder of Armada Technical Authors with over thirty five years’ experience in user-assistance in a wide range of roles including Technical Writer, Manager, Consultant and Trainer.
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.
Why good writing matters
- Making your business more effective
- Adding value to the public image of your business
- Increased profitability through better communication
Identifying your audience and objective
- Reader-focused and writer-focused writing
- Assessing your audience
- Identifying your audience’s preferred writing style
- Determining the document’s objective
Planning your writing
- The pre-writing phase
- Collecting and organising information
- Preparing your structure
- Outliner tools
- Testing your structure
- Drafting and revising
- Meeting deadlines
Using plain English
- Getting the right sentence length and type
- Using active voice
- Why active voice is effective
- When passive voice should be used
- Imperative voice and when it should be avoided
- Avoiding nominalizations
- Using ‘you’ and ‘we’
- Appropriate words
- Using positive language
- Tables and lists
Avoiding common pitfalls
- Reviewing your writing
- Building a grammar and punctuation toolbox
- Applying essential editing techniques
- Checking and amending your document
- Eliminating spelling and typographical errors
- Identifying and dealing with…
- Fragmented and run-on sentences
- Misused words
- Myths in writing
- Split infinitives
- Beginning and ending sentences
Live online training
Live online training lets you participate in a business 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 business writing training…
- 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 Plain English 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.