Q & A from STC India technical communicators

Q & A: Indian technical communicators in India asked these questions after my webinar on How to write clear, translatable English for a global audience.


Map of India.

Q1. Do we have any certification for Technical Documentation?  Which is recognised globally?

I think you mean in India, by "we"? Not to my knowledge. I have been informed that India has no university course in technical communication, and that in India, technical writers usually get their training from their employers or from various private organisations. They may be recognised in India but not abroad.

  • Training from suppliers in the use of their tools is usually standardised and globally recognised. Examples: Microsoft, Adobe Framemaker, Robohelp, Articulate.
  • Remember that a portfolio of technical documents that you have written carries more weight than evidence of training. 
  • You'll find plenty of online training opportunities to build your own skills. Save every certificate you gain and every record of webinars attended. 
  • STC provides online certificate courses. I expect they are excellent. However, it seems that to get a certificate you just need to log in for six x 90-minute webinars. No tests, no evidence that you have learned anything.
  • Academic courses are generally recognised globally if the tertiary institute has national or international status. Even at university, certificate courses vary greatly in length and level.

(Disclaimer: Contented.com offers online professional development courses, and one day will offer a 4-month online Graduate Diploma of Technical Writing.)

Q2. Is there any possibility to hire overseas writers in the countries like UK or New Zealand?

Some employers certainly do hire overseas writers. Certification helps, but a portfolio of your own work is much more influential. Consider using international portals such as freelancer.com. (No guarantees!)

Q3. Tips for online help – in understanding the exact requirement of user 

Start by consulting the ASD-STE100: the Simplified Technical English standard produced by the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD). The sections on Help, Warnings and Notes are an excellent guide.

Request a free copy of ASD-STE100

Q4. Any other suggestions?

It’s great that you attended this webinar on Translatable English, showing you were already aware of the demands of international communication. The issues will only loom larger in future, so always think before you publish: Would my foreign neighbour or colleague understand this document? 

Image: map of India by Travelinfo. CC A-SA

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