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Plain English Diploma


Plain English Diploma certificate

Since we began in 1979, we have been offering courses in plain English. These courses give people an excellent grounding in plain-English techniques. We have developed the diploma course to give people a higher level of expertise. If you are trying to persuade other people in your organisation to write clearly, it helps to have a qualification in plain English.

Because of the COVID situation, this year we are offering a Virtual diploma training course on the 8 and 9 September 2021.

If you would like more information, please email or call Terri on 01663 744409.

How will it help my organisation?

By using plain English you will save your organisation time and money. You will be more efficient and save time when you write. Also, your customers will understand what you are trying to tell them first time. So staff will not spend endless hours on the phone sorting out misunderstandings, or answering questions that should have been dealt with in letters. Your customers will think more highly of you. They will realise that you care about them and have their interests in mind.


How will it benefit me?

Having a diploma does not qualify you to run plain-English courses, but it does qualify you to pass on the techniques you have learned to your colleagues. It is an extra qualification to add to your CV.


How does the diploma course work?

New from April 2018: Diploma courses can now be taken in-house by a minimum of two delegates. Contact Terri on 01663 744409 for more details.

The main course runs over 12 months from September. It is made up of:

two workshops (one of which is a two-day residential workshop)
five written assignments
a training presentation
a main assignment.


You can do the coursework at home or at work. You will need about four hours a week to research, study and work on the assignments.


The timetable is as follows.


Week 1

You start your course with a two-day residential workshop. Individual and group exercises cover plain-English techniques. You can see the dates for these workshops on our course dates page.


Weeks 2 to 26

You work on five assignments. We mark them and give you feedback. From week 17 you will also work on your training presentation. Your presentation should explain the benefits of, and encourage the benefits of using, plain English in your organisation.


Week 27

At the final one-day workshop you will give your training presentation. The trainer and members of the group will give you feedback. You will then have one month to put the finishing touches to your presentation.


Weeks 28 to 52

For the rest of your course you work on your main assignment. This must have a plain-English theme and be of use to your organisation.


For example, the main assignment could be:

writing or designing a set of standard letters;
designing or revising a set of forms;
writing a policy document;
writing a set of regulations; or
writing an annual report.


How much does it cost?

The cost is £3,900 + VAT. This includes hotel accommodation, the workshops and course materials. It also includes the time we spend marking and commenting on your assignments. There is a £500 discount if your organisation is a corporate member.


Upcoming diploma courses

Course start date Course Places available
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If you would like more information, please email or call Terri on 01663 744409.



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