The importance of clear communication is well understood. It is the basis of trust and confidence in any relationship between two parties. However, many organisations fail to adequately measure the accessibility of their documents by their intended audience.

The Plain language certification Trustmark gives you the trust that the document has been independently reviewed and achieved an acceptable standard in plain language. Such documents should be easy to understand by the intended audience and reduce the likelihood of being misunderstood.

Plain Language Contract Membership Benefits

To be certified, a document is reviewed by a minimum of 3 independent trained experts against thirty-two different dimensions, which covers basics such as comprehension and spelling, through to disclosure levels, target audience consideration, use of jargon, ambiguity, and it’s performance against the documents purpose.

All reviews are then combined, with any variances outside of an agreed tolerance reviewed by the expert panel. At the conclusion of the certification process, documents will be deemed either; Not certified, Certified, or Gold Certified.

Some of the topics considered when reviewing a document are;

  • Is it clear what the document is, who it is intended for, and who it has been issued by?
  • Are sentences concise and contain a single main point?
  • Are related terms located together, or if not, are they easy to identify and navigate to?
  • Does the document use icons, charts, images, colour, etc. that make it easier to understand?
  • Does the document contain industry jargon or ambiguous terms?

Plain Language Contract members are organisations committed to using clear communication. When you see the Plain language member logo you can trust you are dealing with an organisation that actively takes care in preparing communications, considers the target audience needs, and avoids using excessive fine print or misleading terms and jargon.

Plain Language Contracts Member
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