Registration is now open for our next writing policies and procedures writing course

Registration for our next public writing  policies and procedures course is now open, and you can book your place on the course.

This will be held on Thursday 14th June in central London (WC2R).

Spaces are limited (the last two courses have been blocked-booked by single organisations), so, as they say in the commercials, book early to guarantee your place.

Comments from recent delegates:

Very good course. I feel more confident now.

Jo C

Very good course. Not as dry as I thought!

Beccy W

Excellent course, and we will certainly make use of all we have learnt.

Joanne W.

The training room is in central London (WC2R), close to the Strand and Waterloo Bridge.

The risks with Technical Author certification

As part of the attempt to make technical writing similar to other professions, there have been a number of moves by different technical communication societies to introduce certification. This can be a good thing, but there are some dangers with it as well.

Certification usually involves some training and a test. Students can be accredited or certified as having reached a certain standard. This might lead, at some point in the future, to organisations only hiring certified Technical Authors, in the same way they might only hire certified accountants.

So what are the dangers?

One danger with testing is that you tend to test what’s easy to measure, rather than test the talents someone needs to have. For example, multiple choice questions are easy to mark, but they tend to only test someone’s knowledge. They can test if someone knows “which X does Y”, but they are less good at checking if someone is able to explain “how X”. This can lead to an over-emphasis on teaching topics like the legal requirements for documentation, rather than testing whether someone can actually write clearly and simply.

A second danger is assuming there is only one right way to write a user guide. Technical communication is still a relatively recent area of study. We should still be open to ideas, to challenge accepted practice, if user testing shows that method or belief to be wrong. We don’t want to be the like the Paris Salon, which refused to show impressionist works by Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas and Whistler, because they didn’t meet their definition of good art.

Le déjeuner sur l'herbe

Although it’s more labour-intensive, we should ask students to make something, and then measure that against a set of user acceptance criteria: can they find the information they need?; do they understand it?; is it accurate?; is it complete?; is it cohesive? etc.

Changes to our online technical communication training courses

We’ve made a few changes to our online training courses, to make it easier to order and understand. There are now just three online courses:

We’ve moved all the other courses we had previously into a single, advanced technical communication skills course. The advanced course contains ten online modules in technical communication, and also it replaces our WriteLessons bundle.

The end user documentation writing skills for developers course is a version of our Technical Author/technical writing course.

The Technical Author/technical writing course hasn’t changed, and the classroom courses also haven’t changed.

Our next policies and procedures writing training course will be on 31 Jan 18

Our next policies and procedures writing training course will be on 31st January 2018.

Cherryleaf’s policies and procedures course teaches your staff how to write clear and effective policies and procedures, in a straightforward and efficient way.

It is popular with staff from charities, housing associations, and the NHS, although it will benefit many writers of policies and procedures.

The Carol Johnston Memorial Award

This October, Cherryleaf celebrates 15 years in the technical authoring business.

Over the years we have had many exciting challenges and worked with some wonderful inspirational people: none more so than our friend and co-founder, Carol Johnston, who sadly died of a brain tumour in 2012. Carol was enormously talented: a brilliant pianist and singer, a Cambridge Maths graduate and an excellent author. She contributed so much to Cherryleaf, and we miss her as much for her sense of humour as for her problem-solving abilities.

To celebrate Carol’s life and contribution to Cherryleaf, as well as our 15 years in business we have created the Carol Johnston Memorial Award. Carol was a great teacher and trainer – knowledgeable, professional and patient. She trained many authors over the years and would be, we hope, very pleased to continue contributing to the technical authoring world through the Carol Johnston Memorial.

The Carol Johnston Memorial Award is the chance for two young European Technical Authors (or erstwhile Technical Authors) under the age of 30 and living in Europe to access all Cherryleaf’s online courses free for 12 months. These courses include: our ISTC accredited training course which teaches the fundamentals of being a tech author; our Advanced technical writing course, and our WriteLessons courses.

To apply, all you have to do is send us a brief statement explaining why you want to have access to the Carol Johnston Memorial Award courses.  We’ll draw two winners in December.

T&Cs apply.

 

Cherryleaf online courses are now available via an iOS app

Subscribers to Cherryleaf’s online courses can now take them using their iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, plus the Teachable iOS app.

Here’s how you can download the iOS app:

  1. Visit the Apple App Store on your compatible IOS device (requires iOS 9.3 or later).
  2. In the App Store, search for, “Teachable Online Courses”.
  3. Click the cloud icon to download the app on your device.
  4. After downloading, open the app.
  5. On the login screen, enter the email address and password associated with the student account you’d like to access. This is the same email address and password you use to log into our courses through the web browser on your computer.
  6. When you log in, you’ll see all the Cherryleaf school you’re account is associated with, along with the specific courses you’re enrolled in.

Training, accreditation and CPD in technical communication

Below is an interview with David Farbey of the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators, where we discuss training, accreditation and CPD in technical communication.

We cover:

  • Becoming a technical communicator is different from becoming a lawyer, doctor, developer or an accountant in that, in the UK, there is no standard career path from school. How does that affect the profession and starting a career?
  • What training, if any, do you need to be a technical communicator?
  • The ISTC’s Professional Development and Recognition
  • Certifying technical communicators
  • The ISTC certified courses
  • What does a undergraduate or post-graduate course offer someone?
  • Where does CPD fit into this?
  • What are we likely to see in the future with regards to training and certification?

See also: Cherryleaf’s ISTC accredited training course: https://www.cherryleaf.com/training/technical-author-basicinduction-training-course/