Re:Just can't help myself

Subject: Re:Just can't help myself
From: "Damien Braniff" <Damien -dot- Braniff -at- asg -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2005 08:46:52 +0100


I'm with dick on this one - layered certification would be the ideal.
Here in the UK they have NVQs (National Vocational Standards) that are
implemented for a variety of subjects. Initially aimed at providing
qualifications for those without an academic inclination they were
designed to be measured on a mix of 'practical' experience (showing) and
more traditional testing. Four levels exist with level 3 equating to 1st
degree and level 4 = postgraduate degree. So, for example, level 1 in
bricklaying would have the basics of building etc. Level 4 (master
craftsman) would have all the basics + advanced skills, costing jobs,
managing jobs etc.

For technical writing, as a first stab, I'd suggest (in no particular
order):

1 Interpret client requirements and propose an appropriate
technical publication - type, media etc

2 Gather information for the publication and record/store the
information in a suitable format for use.

3 'Design' the publication, including purpose, scope, page layout
etc.
Work to existing format.

4 Create text from information gathered. Incorporate multimedia
components where appropriate - audio, graphics, video, applets,
animation etc depending on the doc.

5 Integrate components - 'build' the doc

6 QA the publication - doc review, editing etc, version control
etc.

7 Evaluate existing docs and suggest improvements to content,
layout etc.

8 Arrange for localization of information for a technical
publication

9 Ensure your own actions reduce risks to health and safety

10 Establish and maintain professional relationships with people

And at a slightly higher level:
1 Basic management skills - lead the development of publications

2 Plan projects to develop technical publications

3 Allocate resources to achieve the development of a technical
publication
4 Monitor the development of a technical publication

By no means complete but perhaps a start.

Damien Braniff | Technical Writer
damienb -at- asg -dot- com

Technical Communications
ASG | asg.com
Waterfront Plaza
8, Lagan Bank Road,
Belfast, N. Ireland BT1 3LR
Tel: +44 (0) 28.9072.3124
Fax: +44 (0) 28.9072.3324
End-to-End Technology Management


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