Certificate in Workplace Writing

The Canadian workplace might be reconfiguring itself as demographics change, but writing remains a constant on the list of essential skills. A typical workplace in the National Capital Region certainly provides abundant writing challenges in the form of reports, memos, briefing notes, media releases, technical documents, web pages, and more. These documents must convey relevant information—often complex and sensitive and sometimes with high stakes attached—with clarity and accuracy.

Writing skills are vital for those who want to thrive in the workplace. Employers seek assurance that their current and prospective employees can produce effective documents that follow best practices for correctness and style. Employees who can produce these documents without extensive support are at a premium.

Program Overview

The Certificate in Workplace Writing fills a well-known training gap. Most formal training in writing is gained in high school or university and focuses on essays and abstract aspects of grammar. The training in this program focuses on real-world writing, applied skills, and continuous improvement.

Topics/key outcomes

The core courses plus one elective provide a solid foundation to help you plan and structure documents that work and write them with clarity, conciseness, and correctness. Here is a sampling of what you will learn during the program:

  • Demystify grammar and learn to use it as a tool to ensure accuracy as well as correctness
  • Write clearly and precisely
  • Plan your communications
  • Understand your readers and your purpose
  • Structure your documents effectively
  • Modulate your tone
  • Breathe new life into noun-heavy, bureaucratic, abstract prose
  • Edit and proofread your own writing
  • Reduce wordiness
  • Know when plain language is required and how to produce it without “dumbing down”
  • Debunk common myths about writing


Certificate Requirements

The core courses plus one elective provide a solid foundation to help you plan and structure documents that work and write them with clarity, conciseness, and correctness.

Please note: All "@ your desk" courses are equivalent to the same course given in person. Writing Well I and Clear, Concise Writing are equivalent courses, either of which counts as a single core course for this certificate.



Who needs this program?
The program meets the needs of anyone who must write at work and wants to feel better positioned to tackle writing tasks. Already confident writers will be reassured that their approach is in line with best practices and will develop useful and transferable insight into why their techniques work. Less confident writers will learn clear guidelines to help them develop their writing skills, feel more secure about what they write, and be sure of catching grammatical and stylistic errors before they matter.

What is the certificate good for?
The certificate assures employers and potential employers that you have met or exceeded the standard they are looking for and are committed to continuous learning. The certificate is issued by the University of Ottawa Professional Development Institute, a trusted training provider preferred by many federal government departments as well as public and private sector organizations. The Institute wins respect and acclaim for its cutting-edge learning programs, the exceptional calibre of its trainers, and its real-world focus.

The certificate program is a non-credited certification. It cannot be used towards a degree and is not equivalent to any other professional certification.

How much does it cost?
You register and pay for each course individually. There is no additional charge for the certificate.

How long will the program take?
You have three years from the start date of your first course to complete the certificate program. Provided you complete all courses within three years, you can pace your learning as you wish.

Is there a final exam?
No. However, participants must fully attend all courses of the program in order to obtain the certificate.

Are there any admission requirements?
No. Enrollment is open to everyone.

How do I register for the program?
Begin by registering for any of the courses that make up the program. You will be asked for proof of completion of the required courses, so make sure you keep your certificates from each course. If you have any questions before beginning or as you progress through the program, contact the office at 613-562-5802