Writing Skills for Government

This course maps to capability:

Important: Before registering, please click here to read some important information relating to COVID-19 requirements and IPAA WA in-person training.


Writing is at the heart of what government does and is a critically important skill for public servants. This course introduces participants to ministerial correspondence and briefings, parliamentary questions, annual reporting and other writing outputs. Updated for 2020, participants will receive a comprehensive overview of the key principles, techniques and skills required to produce effective and quality writing in the government setting. Participants will undertake a series of practical exercises that will allow them to put these skills and insights into practice and will gain the confidence to put these techniques into practice in the workplace.

Course Content

  • Types of writing required for government and why good writing is important
  • The principles of good writing, including:
    • preparation and planning
    • clarity, conciseness and coherence
    • revision and editing
  • Approach and style and how to choose the right one for each type of writing task
  • Formatting and templates


  • Review and edit writing examples to improve readability and comprehension.
  • Examine a range of types of government writing including: Parliamentary questions; reports; policy writing, writing for the web, business cases; and briefing notes.
  • Review and critique examples of ministerial letters responding to correspondence from members of the public and prepare draft ministerial letters.
  • Prepare a dot point briefing note
  • Draft a parliamentary question

The participants’ course workbook contains activities, resources and templates to take away for future reference.

Course Outcomes

By the end of this course attendees should be able to:

  • Understand the importance of good writing skills to your role
  • Understand the principles and keys that underpin good writing, so they can raise the quality and impact of their written work
  • Be able to identify the right approach and style to apply to writing in a government context, so as to produce the right type of writing for each situation
  • Have developed the improved understanding and confidence to continue to improve their writing skills.

Benefits to your organisation

  • Your manager will not be spending time editing or returning your work to be rewritten, resulting in increased productivity for you and your manager
  • Your documents will better represent your agency and your Minister

Benefits to you

  • You will have the insight and skills to improve your writing skills immediately
  • You will become an effective writer with the capacity for continual improvement of your writing
  • You will be familiar with a wide range of government writing requirements
  • You will be able to apply your knowledge and highly transferable skills to the range of government writing tasks.