The Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators (ISTC) is the largest UK body representing information development professionals. We promote better scientific and technical communication by:
- Encouraging professional development
- Sharing best practices and standards
- Publishing our quarterly professional journal Communicator
- Providing networking opportunities for our members and industry affiliates
- Hosting the UK Technical Communication Awards
- Promoting technical communication as a profession
As a professional body, we are here to help you throughout your career, whether you write, illustrate, design or otherwise communicate scientific or technical information.
The purpose of Tech Comms
Technical communication, or tech comms, shows up in all areas of life, whether it’s updating your phone, maintaining a rescue helicopter, giving guidance about covid, operating a power station, or throwing away your old cooker.
Complex scientific or technical equipment needs information on construction, installation, operation, maintenance and disposal. Complex scientific or technical issues need explanation, guidance, and instructions.
The purpose of our profession is to provide this information in a way that is clear, concise, accurate, and usable.
Need help finding someone who specialises in communicating complex information?
- complete our professional vetting process
- commit to our Code of Professional Practice (PDF, 138kB)
- commit to training and development
Find out how to post your job spec to our members-only Jobs Board and gain access to our network of professional technical communicators.
Becoming an ISTC business affiliate gives you access to the only technical communication membership organisation based in the UK.
Our business affiliate members are promoted on the ISTC website and get discounts on advertising and events.
Affiliation shows that you are serious about technical communication, and means access to our members who you can invite to take part in surveys, webinars, research and beta testing.
Being part of a professional community provides support, inspiration and connection.
We all know how important face-to-face meetups are. ISTC area groups meet regularly in locations across the UK to share ideas and socialise.
There are also volunteering opportunities to hone your skills or try something new. From proofreading to presenting, find out what’s available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ISTC’s annual conference for everyone who works with technical information is held in September.
We design TCUK to give you the opportunity to:
- watch expert presentations
- get hands-on experience in workshops
- talk directly with vendors, trainers and recruiters
and, of course, have those all-important chats over coffee with your peers.
Attended by tech comms professionals working in all industries, from the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.
The UK Technical Communication Awards recognise excellence in information products.
We promote high standards of technical communication and feel those that invest in effective information products deserve to have their efforts rewarded.
Our judges encourage a mix of entries, large or small, online or printed, by individuals or organisations.
Perhaps your project raises the bar in technical communication, or you simply feel proud of a project you have delivered this year. Would you like to receive recognition for your work?
Why join the ISTC?
If you work in tech comms the ISTC is your professional home. No matter what industry you operate in, you will find important connections and relevant support.
Whether you are a student, just starting out in tech comms or a seasoned expert, we have different membership grades to support and involve you.
Likewise, our mentoring scheme provides support for those starting out as well as experience in a leadership role for more established professionals.
All our members receive a free subscription to our professional journal, Communicator, and discounts for our annual TCUK conference and all books published by the ISTC.
Our diverse community connects you to the world of tech comms, helping you broaden your knowledge, stay ahead and thrive.
Continuing professional development (CPD)
No matter what stage you are at in your career we encourage all our members to consistently update and extend their professional skills and knowledge with CPD. It is part of our Code of Professional Practice (PDF, 138kB).
To help you get started we provide:
- A flexible framework – focused on outcomes not just hours
- Ideas and suggestions of training and development activities
- Inspiration with real-life examples of CPD
We encourage adopting standards to help individuals and organisations ensure quality and consistency in their work. Standards provide information on best practice by consulting a wide range of people, including manufacturers, customers, professional bodies, academics, and regulators.
To help you apply standards in your work, we have:
- Links to standards organisations
- Lists of standards suitable for our members
- Group discounts on BSI/ISO standards