Organisations are scrambling to rewrite their documents in plain language so that they can meet the plain-language requirements of various laws, including the Consumer Protection Act, National Credit act and Treating Customers Fairly Roadmap.
However, according to plain-language attorney, Candice Burt of Simplified, organisations should adopt a longer term approach. "Without internal capacity, it is unlikely that large organisations can comply with the Act," she notes.
"When large organisations try to outsource all their documents to be rewritten by plain-language experts, the benefits are often short-lived. Firstly, unless there is a critical mass of staff who are trained in plain language, it is very hard to get the documents signed off by all departments, especially the legal and product areas. Secondly, even if a first version of the document is signed off, as soon as there is a product or regulatory change, the documents tend to revert back to the where they were before the rewrite. It is therefore essential to ensure that your own staff are adequately trained in plain language."
The Simplified training course has been used to train over 3 000 South African professionals in plain language, both through in-house training programmes run by Simplified, and through train-the-trainer and licence arrangements.
The Simplified course is aligned with international best practice as well as plain-language requirements of the Consumer Protection Act, National Credit Act and Treating Customers Fairly Roadmap.
For more information about the courses, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 011 483 3418. You can also visit www.simplified.co.za