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Writing about money: financial writing in plain English
About the course

Plain English in finance – learn how to help readers make informed financial decisions through clear content.

Financial products and services are not easy to understand. Look beneath the surface, and there are often complex sets of features and pricing structures. It’s more important than ever that financial institutions, from banks to insurance companies, know how to communicate clearly so that readers can make informed decisions about their money.

This training will equip you with the plain English skills you need to be both clear and compassionate when you write about money.

Our course is delivered online by expert tutors with 15 years’ plain language experience and a focus on financial content. By building your skills in writing about money, your organisation will benefit by:

  • showing that you meet the plain-language requirements of regulations such as Treating Customers Fairly
  • building solid relationships with customers through being clear about your products and services
  • lowering the risk of litigation due to misleading or ambiguous messaging.

What you’ll learn

This course gives you the skills to implement the plain-language requirements of the financial laws and regulations that apply to your organisation. These may include privacy laws from the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA); consumer laws such as the Consumer Rights Act; and more specific financial regulations such as ‘Treating Customers Fairly’ and regulations about pensions.

Through the techniques of plain English, you’ll learn how to be both compassionate and clear when writing about money and finance.

Course outline

In this ‘Writing about money’ course, you’ll get a solid foundation of plain language in finance, including:

  • how plain language relates to financial ideas such as ethics, transparency and fairness
  • laws and regulations mandating plain language in financial information
  • a closer look at plain-language provisions in Treating Customers Fairly and Reg E
  • how to understand the financial literacy of your readers and set standards for plain language in your organisation.

You’ll also develop skills in:

  • how to plan and structure financial information
  • how to use examples and visual elements to communicate complex concepts
  • how to make decisions about defining or replacing financial jargon
  • how to write in a way that meets the language elements of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

For full course details, please contact us via the Enquire button, and we’d be happy to provide you with a full breakdown of modules and outcomes.

How you learn

The training is carried out by experienced tutors via live online classroom sessions for a maximum of five attendees. We run the training through video conferencing software (usually Zoom or Microsoft Teams) with WhatsApp as a back-up technology.

There are 12 hours of intensive training overall, delivered across two full-days or four half-days. We set practical exercises and assignments throughout the course, with a customised assignment at the end.

Our courses are interactive. We rely on your examples, input and discussion. This is adult-to-adult learning where:

  • we train a principle or technique
  • we show you an example of how it’s put into practice (preferably in a real example from your organisation)
  • you apply the principle or technique in a short exercise, which we discuss as a group
  • you do an assignment at home to reinforce the learning right away.

Who is this course for?

Our course can be adapted to suit a beginner or intermediate level of skill in writing about money and finances. The course is particularly useful if you are:

  • a team of content writers or designers producing content for a bank or insurance company
  • legal teams that must approve financial content prepared for consumers
  • compliance teams that are responsible for meeting the plain-language requirements of Treating Customers Fairly or other relevant laws or regulations.

For those more experienced in writing financial information, you may want to incorporate some of the optional advanced modules in the course. These vary in length and include options such as: how to create an assessment framework for plain language, legal writing, user testing and inclusive language.

Please get in touch for further information on advanced modules via the Enquire button below.

What does it cost?

The price is €2,000 (excluding VAT). The course is for up to five delegates so it’s ideal for small businesses or for teams within large organisations. You’re also welcome to book as a group of individuals from different organisations. You pay for the course, and not for each person, so it’s better to take up all five places.

Further plain language training options

We also offer a number of other plain language courses, including:

If you are interested in any of these alternative courses, please email recruit@firehead.net and we’d be happy to provide you with further information.

Testimonials

More than 9,000 delegates from seven countries have already benefited from this plain language training. Here is some of their feedback:

“The course gives a straightforward process of how to write content – it has also given us a head start in setting up internal standards for plain language”

“Thanks to this course, content and compliance teams are able to make good decisions about financial jargon. The process has really helped us to create a culture of clarity.”

“The course was really good at refreshing basic principles like writing in the active voice – and it also touched on some more complex ideas like how to rewrite our bank’s terms and conditions in plain English.”

Course type
Live online
Course duration
12 hours
Course date
Various
Cost
€2,000 for 5 people
Course tutor
Frances Gordon, Candice Burt

Frances has devoted her 20-year career to enabling people and organisations to communicate clearly. Frances is well-known as an advocate for plain language in the legal, financial and technology industries. With her help, many organisations have been able to transform ‘small print’ into useful, usable communication. Besides being founder of Simplified, she has held tenures at large banks, technology companies and fintechs.

Candice is a plain-language lawyer, who combines the rigour of legal writing with best practices in communication. Her focus area is legal and financial documents. She believes that even the most complex legal contract can and must be made accessible to its readers. Over the past 20 years, she has become known as an inspiring trainer and impressive conference speaker.

Contact us today to arrange your plain language course or for further information.
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