The ISO plain language standard

Why you need plain language?

 All industries and sectors benefit from improved communication. Readers benefit when they can understand and use information. And organizations gain improved branding, efficiency, and effectiveness of communications products. A plain language standard provides all sectors, in nearly all languages, with a set of guidelines and strategies to make information more accessible and effective.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published a plain language standard:
ISO 24495-1:2023  Plain language — Part 1: Governing principles and guidelines.

Questions and answers

Learn about how the plain language standard can benefit communication in different sectors, such as law, government, health, and business. 

Why an international standard for plain language?

Does the standard work in most languages or is it just for English? 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



What areas of expertise does the Standard benefit?


The standard will help improve written communication for everyone. See what it can do for these areas of expertise.

(Note: if you are viewing the documents in this section on a mobile phone, use the Google Docs app to see the best formatting.)

Communications, including


How to get involved

Are you interested in learning more about the ISO standard, how your country can adopt it, or how to join the team advocating for the standard’s adoption and use? Follow the links below to be a plain language advocate!

Buy the Standard

The standard must be purchased from the ISO to read and use it. Organizations will be able to purchase the standard from the ISO store or your own National Standard Body (NSB). Purchasing from the NSB can be less costly when buying multiple copies, or sharing it within your organization on an intranet. Find your NSB.



The current standard is for guidance only and is not intended to formally certify documents, individuals, organizations or training.

The International Plain Language Federation has established a Certification Committee that is developing suitable systems and requirements to enable certification, and it will make further announcements as that develops.



If you have questions about the ISO standard, the International Plain Language Federation’s work on the standard, or how the standard can help your organization, please fill out the contact form below. 

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