our work

The International Plain Language Federation brings together plain language organisations and individuals. We promote the public benefits of plain language and improve professional practice.

about us

The International Plain Language Federation was established in 2007 as a joint project of three organizations – the Center for Plain LanguageClarity and the Plain Language Association International (PLAIN). We work together to advance plain language as a profession.

We are managed by a board made up of representatives of these three organisations.

Our current priorities

International standard

Developing an international standard for plain language.

Training and certification

Exploring options for training and certifying plain language practitioners.

developing an international standard


One of our main activities is helping our 3 member organizations (Clarity, PLAIN, and the Center) develop a plain language standard with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). We initiated ISO’s project to develop the plain language standard, created a workgroup to draft the standard, and advocate for the standard’s approval, adoption, and use. This standard will help people in all industries and nearly all languages develop and use more effective and equitable communication.

Here is a timeline of our work for the plain language standard. Learn more about the ISO standard, benefits of adopting the standard, and how to adopt the standard

How you can be involved

Read here about how you can be involved


September 2022 – Standard now due early 2023

Although the date we expect ISO to publish its plain language standard has again been delayed, the standard recently achieved a major milestone. Indeed, we expect that to be the last milestone. We will share more news when we have it. Hold fast.

December 2021 – Update on ISO’s draft plain language standard: now due in 2022

October 2021 – PLAIN published an issue of its e-journal largely dedicated to the standard: Standards, training, certification: An update from the International Plain Language Federation

May 2021 – Access for All plain language conference – part 2

October 2020 – Access for All plain language conference – part 1

Sept 2020 – Where we’re at, next steps, and the back story

Oct 2019 – ISO votes “Yes” to develop a plain language standard

June 2019 – One giant step towards a plain language standard

2018 – Special issue of The Clarity Journal, dedicated to the standards project, see The Clarity Journal, 79, 2018

2010 – Special issue of The Clarity Journal containing an Options Paper setting out the International Plain Language Federation’s plans, including to try to develop an international plain language standard.

Standards working group

Christopher Balmford

Bede Sunter

Karen Schriver
United States

Rosa Margarita Galán Vélez

Gael Spivak

Anne-Marie Hasselrot

Joanna Richardson

Lynda Harris
New Zealand

Sissel C. Motzfeldt

Milva Finnegan

Annetta Cheek
United States

Joh Kirby

Miguel Martinho

Susan Kleimann

Nicole Fernbach

Contact Us