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Writing Skills for Bankers

Essential Skills Tutorial for Banking Technical Writers

Legal Documentation Development

This specification is a first-pas description of a tutorial for a technical writer in a Bank concerned with the development of legal documents. It assumes that the delegate only has a basic level of technical writing skill. The main modules described below are appropriate for this kind of delegate and the optional modules may or may not be relevant. The final content of the tutorial will be determined through discussion either before or at the beginning of the tutorial, which can be expected to last one to two days depending on the modules selected.

Intended for

Bank Technical writers wishing to broaden and formalise their writing skills relevant to the development of legal documents.


The objective of the tutorial is to provide a firm foundation in the management, writing and personal skills integral to the activity of legal documentation development.

Skills and knowledge gained

On completion of this tutorial the delegate will:

  • Have a broad view of both documentation project planning and detailed document development issues
  • Know the broad range of documents required and will have reviewed some specific examples
  • Appreciate the importance of standards and will have started developing ideas for your Bank
  • (Depending on any other modules selected, further skills / knowledge will be acquired)



Welcome and introduction; the roles and objectives of the delegate, structure and style of the tutorial.

Project Planning

Brief review of the concepts of project planning; reasons for a plan; elements of a project - activities, resources, measurement and contingencies; project planning methods and techniques - Gannt and PERT charts, Key events and CPM networks, resource histograms, estimation methods.

Planning the document

Why plan? How much planning? Deadlines. Drafts and sign off cycle. Contingencies.

Types of document

The typical types of document to be produced will be discussed, together with specific banking examples (including ING and Lloyds)

  • Individuals or Corporate organisations?
  • General Terms & Conditions / Web site terms
  • Credit cards / Current Accounts / Investments / Loans / Mortgages/ Savings
  • Supplier terms
  • Compliance
  • Business Agreements


Which standards? Is there more than one?

  • Internal Bank Standards for print or online:
    • Word Processor templates
    • Paragraphs, styles, fonts
    • HTML conversion or Acrobat
  • International style guides
  • Technical and legal standards
  • Crystal Mark and the Plain English Campaign – how it works and how to get it
  • Grammar, punctuation, words:
    • Clear, unambiguous English
    • Normal and legal punctuation
    • The simplest word – considering the reader whose mother tongue is not English

Optional modules

Communication skills - communication in the organization; what and how to communicate; psychology and the information specialist; non-verbal communications - posture, gesture and tone of voice.

Interviewing skills - what they are for and setting them up; getting started; questioning techniques and getting ‘blood from a stone’; difficulties and overcoming them; meetings - why have them, processes and chairmanship, management styles; presentations - planning, doing and reviewing them.

Case studies and exercises - real problems and / or examples from the delegate’s work that can use the methods and techniques taught during the course.

To discuss your training needs contact Chelverton House.

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