In 2009 Irish Life was chosen as the best organisation at living up to the principles of plain English in the 30 years since the Plain English Campaign started. Irish Life was selected ahead of 12,000 other organisations from 80 countries.
What is the Plain English Campaign?
The Plain English campaign is an independent organisation that lobbies for crystal-clear language. It started back in 1979 when the founder, Chrissie Maher shredded hundreds of government forms in Parliament Square, London. The Crystal Mark was subsequently launched in 1990.
How is plain English awarded?
Once we have written our product literature we send it over to the Plain English Campaign to review. The Plain English Campaign then review the document and send to a panel of adults in Ireland to see if they understand what has been written.
The document is then sent back to The Plain English Campaign to review and it is at that point the plain English Crystal Mark is awarded.
Our plain English journey.
Irish Life was the first financial company in Ireland to sign the honesty mark declaration. We plain Englished our first document back in March 1998. Since then we have received 180 plain English crystal marks for our products literature, 100 of these are Honesty Crystal marks.
In 2005, Irish Life became the first financial services institution in either Ireland or the UK to be awarded the Honesty Mark for its range of product literature.
In 2007 Business in the Community Ireland recognised Irish Life for inspiring excellence through our own plain English campaign.
At Irish Life we are committed to using plain English in all our communications. We have invested in training over 470 of our customer service staff on using plain English and we have a “plain English champion” in each team.
Our aim is to give our customers clear and concise information so that they can understand it, the first time they read it. We’re not there yet but we are working harder than ever to try to get there.