The ISTC is the UK-based professional association for technical and scientific communicators. It is run by its members, on behalf of its members, and offers a range of benefits to technical communicators and their employers.
- Why employ an ISTC member?
- How the ISTC can help you find a technical communication specialist for your team?
- Why support ISTC membership in your technical communications team?
Why employ an ISTC member?
ISTC membership indicates commitment to staying in touch with technologies and techniques required for technical communicators to do their jobs, and indicates that someone takes their own professional development seriously. Members entitled to use the initials MISTC or FISTC have been through a vetting process, and their level of experience has been identified as suitable for one of these membership grades.
ISTC members are technical authors, technical illustrators, scientific writers, instructional designers, business writers, information architects,technical trainers, documentation managers… In fact, anyone with an interest in communicating complex information clearly.
Members are found in all sectors of business and government, in organisations as diverse as IBM, Waitrose, Rolls Royce, the Environment Agency, ARM, Thales, and Worldpay.
What’s more, as part of ISTC membership individuals commit to the Code of Professional Practice of the Institute, which outlines the behaviour expected of a member in their business dealings.
How we can help you find a permanent or contract technical communicator
If you are looking for a permanent or contract technical author, instructional designer, technical illustrator – or any other technical communication specialist – we can help by posting your job ad to our members-only discussion board. Send your job outline and contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org and hundreds of specialists will know about it within the day.
How we can help you find a specialist technical communication service provider
Many of our Business Affiliates and members provide training, recruitment and specialist consultancy to help you build the technical communications capability your organisation needs. Send an outline of your needs to email@example.com and we’ll pass the information on to our members.
Why support ISTC membership in your technical communications team?
If you have team members who are responsible for communicating about products, business processes or other complex information then encouraging ISTC membership will help you do your job.
Provide relevant personal development
Like all specialists, technical communicators have special requirements when it comes to personal and professional development. ISTC membership provides access to a range of resources just for them.
- Accredited courses and discounted training. ISTC course accreditation recognises courses quality courses, and our members get discounts on training and attendance at conferences and workshops, including our own highly regarded annual conference, Technical Communication UK.
- Develop soft skills. Members also get the opportunity to develop their soft skills with opportunities such as mentoring schemes, speaking opportunities, and awards-judging.
- Framework for continuing professional development. For those who need it, membership provides a framework for CPD (continuing professional development), combining technical and soft skills.
Don’t get left behind
To be successful in a competitive market, your organisation needs all its employees – including your technical communicators – to be doing the best thing possible, as efficiently as possible.
ISTC membership gives your employees access to a range of resources to make sure they can stay in touch with trends in technical communications tools and techniques, as well as a network of specialists who share their experience of how they’ve tackled problems and challenges similar to yours.
Motivate your team
Funding membership of a professional society is an easy way to demonstrate your commitment to your team and recognition of their specialist skills.
- Membership grades that recognise depth of experience. It’s not always easy to offer career paths that recognise depth of experience for specialists. Our grades of membership provide an objective framework for recognising that experience, and progression through the grades recognises the development of new skills and length of time in the profession.
- Increase professional pride. ISTC membership also offers plenty of opportunities to keep your team engaged and motivated in the shorter term by giving them access to new skills, encouraging them to contribute to the development of the next generation of specialists, or letting them take pride in having an article published in our award-winning journal or giving a presentation at our conference.
And if that’s not enough, how about encouraging the team to enter their work for one of the UK Technical Communication awards? Everyone can benefit from your company having prize-winning product documentation or business procedures.
- A sense of belonging. It can be lonely and frustrating working as a sole specialist in a team, even when the team is one that works well together.
Technical communicators who don’t belong to a team of peers often report that the most valuable benefit of membership for them is simply feeling less isolated in their professional lives.
Make your workplace one where technical communicators want to work
A good reputation as an employer makes recruiting so much easier.
For organisations with growing teams, ISTC membership offers a way to raise the profile of the team and build a reputation as a place that’s great for technical communicators to work in. Your team members can choose to host an area group meeting, write a case study for our Communicator journal, or present at our conference. Or they can just get out there and tell a ready-made network of peers about the interesting work you’re doing.
Joining the ISTC – individuals and teams
ISTC membership doesn’t cost much, with discounts for teams of 4 or more and for multiple years. Membership is tax-deductible too.