The Federation emerged at the 2007 PLAIN conference in Amsterdam, where the Center for Plain Language, Clarity, Plain Language Association International (PLAIN) decided to work jointly on developing plain language as a profession.
The Federation published an options paper in 2010 in the 64th Clarity Journal. This paper sets out the broad agenda that the Federation will explore as we work to promote and increasingly professionalise plain language.
You can read more about our current priorities here.
The Federation now operates under a Board made up of two nominated representatives of the founding bodies and six experts representing a range of countries and languages.
Center for Plain Language
The Center for Plain Language is a volunteer, non-profit organisation of plain language professionals. Its members include practitioners, private business owners, researchers, lawyers, educators, government employees, and students.
Since its founding in 2003, the Center for Plain Language has had one mission:
To champion clear communication so people and organizations can thrive
Its vision is to create a culture of clarity:
- Every audience
- Every format
- Every time
The Center’s goals include:
- Creating a public dialogue on plain language and its importance through report cards on government and private sector industries
- Raising public awareness of plain language by
- Showcasing exemplars of plain language with our ClearMark awards
- Exposing un-plain language with our WTF awards
The Centre will reach it goals by:
- Focusing on plain language efforts in the private sector by adding industry-specific report cards to our established federal report card
- Commenting promptly on public displays of language that don’t serve readers, fail to add clarity, or intend to mislead
- Working with other international plain language advocates to ensure the spread of plain language principles
Clarity — an international association promoting plain legal language
Clarity is a not-for-profit, worldwide, network of professionals who are committed to promoting plain legal language.
Clarity’s beginnings and members
Clarity was founded in the UK in 1983 by a small group of legal professionals.
With more than 650 members from 50 countries, Clarity is the largest international plain language organization. Its members are people who believe in the benefits of plain legal language. They include judges, lawyers, government officials, scholars and teachers, as well as corporate and NGO representatives.
Many members are plain language practitioners – writers, editors, researchers, consultants and trainers – with a wealth of knowledge, expertise and experience in plain legal language.
The Clarity Journal
Clarity’s biannual journal, The Clarity Journal, is the leading source of plain language news and research from across the globe.
You can access an online archive of the journal from 1983 on the Clarity website.
Clarity presents a biennial conference which is an unmissable opportunity to learn from leaders in plain language, exchange ideas, and connect with other Clarity members.
Regional and local activities
Many of Clarity’s country representatives organise local plain language activities. Contact your country representative to find out what’s happening in your area.
Plain Language Association International (PLAIN) continues to be the international association for plain language professionals and supporters that promotes clear communication in any language.
For more than 20 years it has shared expertise and promoted plain language in the public and private sectors in all fields, including legal, administrative, and health. Its growing network includes members from over 20 countries working in clear communication in more than 10 languages.
PLAIN is a nonprofit organization incorporated in Canada. Its volunteer board members work on committees in these areas: membership, conference, communication, publications, professional development as well as finance and governance.
One of PLAIN’s recent objectives has been to promote plain language in languages other than English. It now hosts plain language pages and resources in other languages on our website. And PLAIN has:
- Held its 2015 Conference in Austria, September 2017
- Sponsored a plain language event in Spanish in Chile, July 2018
- Scheduled our next conference in Oslo, Norway for September 2019
PLAIN communicates with its members through its quarterly Newsletter, PLAIN Matters, and through social media. PLAIN reaches an even wider audience of 19,000 people around the world through its LinkedIn Group. It also have smaller LinkedIn groups in Spanish and Portuguese.