Do you work in government? Get set to write in plain language.
Use the ideas below to take your next steps, whether you’re a plain language officer, a chief executive, a manager, or someone who uses words every day at work.
Torunn Reksten of the Language Council of Norway shares her insights about Norway’s government-led plain language campaign, and how it’s transformed their public sector for the better.
Interested in training to be an effective plain language officer?
Interested in training for your team?
The Act sets out what plain language is, what documents must use it, what plain language officers do, and what the reporting requirements are.
Read the Plain Language Act 2022 on the NZ Legislation website
The Public Service Commission sets out five steps you need to take to comply with the Act.
Read guidance for agencies from the Public Service Commission
Learn all the plain language techniques you need to comply with the Act.
Business Writing Essentials
Commission plain language training that’s 100 percent focused on your people and the intent of the Act.
Bespoke solutions for your team
Get bite-sized plain language learning that fits around your core work.
Boost your confidence and skill with one-to-one guidance.
Under the Act, a ‘relevant document’ means anything in English (online or in print) that’s meant for the public and either:
Not sure your people can do it all? Our consultants would love to help.
Writing and editing services
Changing how people write is about more than the words they use. First, they need to understand why. If you’re responsible for helping others write plainly, you may need to start a culture change.
Rewrite is full of ideas and case studies to set you on the right track.
Rewrite: How to overcome daily sabotage of your brand and profit
Our Rewrite for Change™ model can help you transform your writing culture.
If you’re a plain language officer, you’ll need to:
That’s no small task. You’ll need plenty of support, guidance, and advice. We can help you make a solid plan.
Make sure your role description sets out what you’ll do yourself, what you’ll delegate to others, and how you’ll know if you’re succeeding.
Understand the true scope of your role before you launch in. Make sure it’s manageable — especially if being a plain language officer is just one part of your role.
Plain language champions are staff members who get extra training to help workmates write in plain language. They don’t edit work. Instead they advise and inspire. They’ll take some of your load and help make plain language a reality.
Natural champions are easy to identify. They know why plain language is important and always do their best to write clearly. They’re already excited about the Act!
Book on our Plain Language Action Plan designed specially for plain language officers. This 4-session online workshop will give you all the tools you need to be an effective plain language officer. You’ll even come away with an action plan for your organisation’s plain language project.
We’re hosting some online events so that plain language officers can meet and share ideas.
Help everyone recognise what ‘plain’ looks like with great resources.
Assessing writing is much easier when you have a clear standard to meet. You could use our free standard — or adapt it to your needs.
The Write Plain Language Standard
Writing guidelines explain exactly how to meet each element of your plain language standard. Not sure where to start? We can help with that.
What’s ‘plain’ for your topic area? Which words are jargon you should ditch? Which are precise technical terms you should keep?
Create some ‘before’ and ‘after’ examples to show everyone what’s possible. Make them visible — they’re powerful.
Keep plain language top of mind with inviting snippets.
We’ll help you work out how to meet the Plain Language Act 2022. We’ve worked with organisations large and small over more than 30 years, and have the resources and experience you need.