Why certify documents

Certify: Prove that it’s plain

Many organisations claim to produce documents in plain language. But merely having the words ‘plain language’ or ‘plain English’ in a document title does not guarantee the document has been plainly written.

A PlainLanguagePro mark proves there has been a deliberate effort to make the document plain.

Certify: Confidence a document is fit for purpose.

PlainLanguagePro certification trademarks provide document owners with confidence that their documents have been prepared with care and a dedication to meeting the needs of the users of their documents. It increases their confidence that documents will communicate effectively and deliver the intended message to the user.

The PlainLanguagePro certification trademarks provide confidence that a document has been professionally written using plain language principles and processes.

A document that is poorly structured and written makes it difficult for consumers to understand. This disadvantages readers, especially less able readers.

If a document is not written plainly, workers may misunderstand and use incorrect work practices. The risk this introduces depends on the operating environment, but it may be significant, especially In manufacturing or construction environments.

Certify: Potential legal protection

A tale of two documentsPlainLanguagePro certification trademarks may also provide document owners with a potential defence against a charge of ‘reckless writing’ and related legal action.

Reckless writing’ refers to preparing a document without exercising a deliberate and considered concern for the intended reader, or class of readers, or a writer failing to apply their mind to consider how the document will be understood.