Plain English for the public sector – online training

Feel confident that staff can write clearly, concisely and in plain English

Customers want plain English. Writing in plain English means that your intended audience gets the message the first time they read. As a government agency or department, your public communications should be clear, concise, accessible and user-focused.

This webinar will give participants the skills and confidence to write successfully in plain English. It’s tailored and practical – and uses your in-house materials (e.g. reports, web content, safety standards, leaflets and guides). It will also help staff to prepare for future legislation on plain language in the public sector.

What’s special about this training?
After the webinar, there’s more support. The best way to learn something is to actually do it. So, to make sure everyone understands how to write in plain English, we include follow-up individual assignments/exercises. These are based on your in-house materials and are returned to participants, professionally edited with constructive comments.

We know this plain English training is effective. We’ve delivered it (offline) to managers and staff in government departments and agencies, banks, insurance companies, utility firms and call centres.

On successful completion, participants will be able to:

  • Plan clear, concise, well-structured, accessible communications
  • Write in plain English for different audiences and types of communication

Webinar outline (2.5 hours for up to 12 people)

Part 1 – Overview of plain English

  • What is plain English? What are the benefits?
  • How to assess readability using the Flesch Reading Ease Scale

Part 2 – Planning to achieve objectives

  • Define your purpose and identify your target audiences
  • Step-by-step guide to creating a structured outline
  • Collaborating with colleagues when working remotely

Part 3 – How to make your writing plain and professional

  • Use everyday professional English – in an appropriate style for your communications
  • Build short, clear, strong sentences and paragraphs
  • Use strong active verbs for clarity
  • Cut dead wood, repetition, padding and wordiness
  • Be careful with jargon, technical terms and buzz words
  • Use headings, bullet lists and frontloading for flow and readability

Resources – Reinforce the learning 

  • An online resource pack (the presentation, checklists and factsheets)

For more details, please get in touch.