Plain language certification

Publicly state your commitment to plain language

Information Design Centre provides Plain Language Certification through PlainLanguagePro.

Plain language certification provides an independent assessment of your document’s readability. It’s designed to give readers confidence that your documents have been crafted with care and written with their needs in mind.

Functional documents should be easy for readers to use. They’re read for work, not fun. Most of the time, readers want to read quickly, understand, and take some action. This means that good functional documents are:

  • Clear – free from obscurity or confusion
  • Concise – succinct and as brief as possible
  • Effective – leading to the intended or expected result.

The best functional documents are almost invisible: readers focus on the task and barely notice the documents involved. In contrast, poor functional document create clear symptoms: they cause confusion, irritate clients, take up time, waste money, and, at their worst, lead to negative publicity or legal complications.

Through Plain Language Certification, you can provide evidence that you’ve developed and tested your documents in a systematic way. Certification shows that you’ve got your readers’ interests at heart.

  • BRONZE-Level Certification provides evidence that you’ve used plain language techniques in writing and designing the document. It shows that your document is likely to be easily understood by its intended readers. This level of certification focuses on the way the text is written.
  • SILVER-Level Certification confirms that the document has been written from the perspective of readers and based on reader research. This level of certification combines research about readers’ needs with the principles of plain language.
  • GOLD-Level Certification confirms that the document has been developed and tested with readers. This level of certification focuses on the overall effectiveness of the document and measures its success with readers.

Information Design Centre is a Gold-Level Certifier with PlainLanguagePro. This allows us to provide all three levels of certification, depending on our clients’ needs.

PlainLanguagePro Certification is a fee-based service. Information Design Centre can provide an independent assessment of your existing documents, or provide certification as part of our writing and editing services. As part of our certification, we’ll provide a written document assessment and conduct appropriate reader research.

Certified documents are registered on a centralised database with PlainLanguagePro and are licenced to carry the certification mark.

        

PlainLanguagePro is an independent, Australian-based organisation dedicated to the principles of plain language. It maintains standards through a system of certifier training and peer review. Its rules have been assessed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. PlainLanguagePro is registered by Intellectual Property Australia. General information about PlainLanguagePro is available at the PlainLanguagePro website.

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