International Plain Language Working Group


The International Plain Language Working Group (IPLWG) is a joint project between Clarity, the Centre for Plain Language and PLAIN to investigate the future direction of the plain language movement. The group's main focus to date has been on the development of an options paper.

For more information on the group and the options paper, see edition 64 Clarity Journal

Recent report from the PLAIN2013 meeting of the IPLWG

The IPLWG is made up of representatives from Clarity, PLAIN and the Center for Plain Language. Each organisation has two representatives. Clarity's representatives are Eamonn Moran (Australia) and Nicole Fernbach (Canada). In addition there are 5 other members. They are from New Zealand, Sweden, the United States, Belgium and Portugal. IPLWG is currently seeking to appoint a representative from Norway. The chair is Neil James (Australia).


The agenda currently being actively pursued by IPLWG (in the light of feedback received following the publication of the Options paper) includes the definition of plain language, the establishment of a research and standards committee and the establishment of a federation as a legal entity.


A website for IPLWG (www.iplfederation.org) is under development.


IPLWG met on 10 October 2013 in Vancouver, Canada. Among the matters decided was:


  1. 1 A definition of plain language to be put to the member organisations: (A communication is in plain language if its wording, structure, and design are so clear that the intended readers can easily find what they need, understand what they find, and use that information".
  2. The membership of a research and standards committee was agreed. It will be chaired by Lynda Harris (New Zealand).
  3. It was agreed to continue with the establishment of a federation made up of the 3 member organisations. The body will be established as a non-profit entity in Europe, hopefully by the end of 2013.


    IPLWG agreed to meet by electonic means every 3 months.


    More information

    For more information on Clarity's work with the reference group please contact Clarity's representative:


    Eamonn Moran