Are you wondering whether the new Plain Language Bill affects you? If you’ve been trained in Tactics’ Structured Writing method, you’re all set. You already have all the tools to write clear, easy-to-read documents that comply with the new plain language requirements.
The Plain Language Bill aims to make official government documents more accessible and easier to understand. Government agencies will need to appoint plain language officers who will be responsible for educating agency employees about plain language requirements and for ensuring compliance.
What exactly is ‘plain language’?
The bill defines plain language as language that is:
- appropriate for the intended audience, and
- clear, concise and well organised.
This is exactly what we teach in our Structured Writing workshops. It all starts with analysing the intended audience and the purpose of a document. Who are you writing for, and what does the reader need to know or do?
More than words
The Structured Writing method gives you all the tools to organise and present the information in the best way for the intended audience. It’s about much more than using plain and simple words and short sentences. The method covers what to include and what to leave out, how to sequence information into a logical flow and determine the right level of detail, and how to chunk the text so that your readers can understand and remember the information, act on it and find it again if they need to refer back to it.
International best practice
The bill refers to ‘international best practice’ for plain language. Structured Writing is an internationally recognised method based on cognitive science and backed up by decades of research proving its effectiveness.
If you’ve been to a Tactics’ workshop, you have the complete toolkit to comply with the new plain language requirements for writing official documents. Remember that we offer ongoing support if your skills have become a little rusty or you want to make sure you’re on the right track. We’re always happy to answer your questions or give you feedback on a document. Just send a short document (about 5 pages) to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll give you a free assessment and feedback.