Online course: How to achieve the Plain Language user experience


CPD pre-approved course by the Marketing Association of South Africa (MASA).
Certificate of completion – 18 CPD points
Category: Marketing and non-marketing topics
Level: AMSA & MPSA
Maximum 20 students per course

Duration: 12 weeks to complete, requiring on average 4 hours per week of your time

Start dates:

  • 2 September 2024
  • 3 March 2025
  • 1 September 2025

Cost: R4 900 (excluding VAT) for 2024

How to register and pay for the course

Add your contact details below and we will send you an invoice to register for the course. Once paid, you will receive a confirmation email and link to access the course.

If you have any questions, email Nadja at

We look forward to meeting you in the course!

    About this course

    This course focuses on the new ISO Plain Language Standard, which is a tool that content development teams can use to design content that’s relevant, and easy to find, understand and use.

    The course will equip you with the knowledge and skills to translate the principles and guidelines of the ISO Plain Language Standard into a content development process tailored for your organisation.

    Who should take this course

    • Content teams (writers, designers, UX/CX professionals in marketing)
    • Content managers
    • Content strategists

    What you can expect to learn

    By the end of the course, you will be able to:

    1. Understand why it is important for your organisation to leverage the benefits of Plain Language.
    2. Analyse what it means for your organisation to comply with Plain Language legislation.
    3. Relate the principles of Plain Language to your specific role within the organisation.
    4. Apply the principles, tools, and techniques of the ISO Plain Language Standard to develop effective marketing content.
    5. Collaborate with other technical roles to design a project that delivers a Plain Language user experience, ensuring content that is relevant, easy to find, understand, and use.

    What the course programme entails

    The course is made up of 6 online modules, at least one assignment per module, 6 contact sessions and a project.

    It will take you 8 weeks to complete the 6 online modules with an in-person or online contact session after each module (6 contact sessions in total). Plus, another 4 weeks to complete a Plain Language project.


    Overview of modules

    1. Module 1: Plain Language is a user experience
      Learn how the concept of plain language evolved over the years. In the end, you’ll know what Plain Language means today, and why it is a legal requirement in South Africa and other countries.
    2. Module 2: The business case for implementing Plain Language
      Learn the different types of benefits that Plain Language holds for an organisation and why your organisation should leverage these benefits.
    3. Module 3: Relevant content
      Learn why the user (the person on the other side) matters. In the end, you’ll understand why the user should be your closest companion when you develop content.
    4. Module 4: Findable and understandable content
      Learn how writers and designers should work together to create the Plain Language experience. In the end, you’ll walk away with a set of evidence-based tools that you can use when you develop content.
    5. Module 5: Usable content
      Learn what the ISO standard says about making sure that the content you create is usable. In the end, you’ll walk away with a real-life example of matching user needs to content.
    6. Module 6: Putting it all together as the Plain Language process
      Learn what it means in practice to integrate the four principles of the ISO Standard in an organisation.
    Sarah Slabbert

    Sarah Slabbert

    Course instructor

    Sarah Slabbert (PhD Sociolinguistics, University of the Witwatersrand) founded the Plain Language Institute in 2009. Dr Slabbert has many years of experience as development consultant in both the private and public sectors.

    Sarah is active in the international Plain Language community. She is a Board member of the International Plain Language Federation and chairs the Federation’s Certification Committee. She is leading the development of an ISO Plain Language Requirement Standard for organisations.

    Nadja Green

    Nadja Green

    Course instructor

    Nadja Green (MPhil Communication Management, University of Pretoria) is an accomplished Plain Language content developer, researcher, and strategist with a passion for promoting Plain Language as a strategic priority. Nadja provides Plain Language services, consulting, and training to professionals and organisations. As a representative of South Africa, Nadja helped to develop the first ISO standard for Plain Language. Nadja serves on the Localization and Certification committees of the International Plain Language Federation (IPLF) and is a member of the Plain Language Association International (PLAIN) board.

    Chani Slabbert

    Chani Slabbert

    Course instructor

    Chani Slabbert (BA Information Design, Post-graduate Diploma in Business Administration, Certified Director®) has completed numerous branding, integrated marketing and communication projects for organisations in IT, financial services, and tourism since 2012. She develops Plain Language communication strategies and omni-channel customer experiences for organisations. She is part of the international team of information designers working on an additional Part to the ISO Plain Language Standard that focuses on document design.

    Related Articles

    Share This