Plain language editing for the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency

September 2018

In 2018, we worked with the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (AACQA). The Agency required a plain language edit of its eight Aged Care Quality Standards. We started the project by working out the desired reading level with AACQA and editing the 130 pages of content accordingly.

The Standards focus on quality outcomes for consumers rather than provider processes. The guidance material helps service providers to understand the intent of each standard and the individual requirements under each standard. The guidance also informs the approach quality surveyors take to assessing compliance for accreditation. During this plain language edit, we:

  • Reviewed the text, seeking opportunities for simplifying the content to the desired reading level. Readability software was used to ensure the right level was achieved. We reduced the reading level from Grade 14 to Grade 11.
  • Edited for grammar, spelling, punctuation, syntax, format, style and consistency.
  • Tested for accessibility compliance. To save time, our editorial work in Word included the application of best-practice accessibility techniques.
  • Worked closely with AACQA to ensure that the essence of the content was clearly expressed and that the team were comfortable with the level of editing we undertook.

You can view each of the eight standards we converted into plain language on the AACQA website.

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