Armada training
Plain English training

1 day
In centre:
£please call
Live online:
£please call

Key details

Key details

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.

Expert trainers

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.

General information

General information

Course times

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

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.

Accommodation

See Accommodation local to our training centres.

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

Training course bookings are subject to our terms and conditions.

 

Expert trainers

Expert trainers

Plain English training courses are hosted by:

Robert Bullard

Robert Bullard Autodesk Certified Instructor

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 Platts

Nigel Platts Autodesk Certified Instructor

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.

Course content

Course content

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
    • Mind-mapping
    • Brainstorming
    • 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
    • Proofreading
  • Identifying and dealing with…
    • Fragmented and run-on sentences
    • Misused words
    • Homonyms
  • Myths in writing
    • Split infinitives
    • Beginning and ending sentences
    • Synonyms
    • Pronouns
    • Modifiers
Live online training

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…
    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 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.

Testimonials
“The training I received was very professional and useful. The trainer gave me lots of practical advice on how to improve English writing for Business.”

William Z

“This was an excellent course and one all employees should attend.”

James F

“Good session, easy to follow and kept interesting at all times.”

Hannah W

“I would just like to say that the trainer was very good he kept us alert throughout the training and was able to put the information over in a very clear and concise way.”

Sarah M

“I learned a great deal about the correct use of grammer. Really enjoyed the course.”

Matthew F

“Nigel has a good style and made the course very interesting.”

Richard H

“Nigel made the course interesting and relevant with stories for reference.”

Lisa E

“The trainer was really helpful with everyone and was a good day. The tasks meant we were able to practice. The letter writing task was the most useful. Also, the trainer provided further research for my particular area/job.”

Sarah F

“A really enjoyable and beneficial day. The day followed nicely and it was a pleasure to listen to Nigel.”

Antonis P

“An absolutely fascinating course which is very much relevant to myself in my role managing other members of the team, and has already proved invaluable! Nigel Platts was one of the most inspiring course leaders that I have had the opportunity to train with. Thank you for the opportunity!”

Benjamin B

“Nigel was a great presenter and did a fantastic job at keeping our attention all day. Thank you.”

Claire K

“I enjoyed this course and found it to be very useful.”

Emily W

“I found the course very beneficial and useful as I write/send a lot of letters and emails.”

Shannon A

“The training was extremely relevant and helpful and delivered in a very easy and friendly manner.”

Lynn G

“Nigel was a very good presenter and made the day fun and interesting.”

Jo S

“The trainer had a good presenting style and kept the attention of the room at all times. The training material was relevant to the business and helped engage the delegates.”

John G

“The course structure worked well. There was a good mix of people in the group which made the day enjoyable.”

Dave A

“Nigel was a very good trainer and made the whole day interesting.”

Jackie W

“I found Nigel's presentation skills really good. He had a perfect mix of humour and teaching which made everyone feel comfortable and made the session very enjoyable.”

Andrew W

“Course was very well run and informative.”

Michelle B

“I thought Nigel was a great trainer and I particularly enjoyed his examples and anecdotes.”

Sophia W

“I thought the course was excellent, and Nigel did a great job - the day flew by and I learnt a lot, and picked up several useful tips which I'm already putting into action. Thanks Nigel!”

Beth B

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