Bitesize STE –  Issue 7 Released

Bitesize STE is written by Mekon’s Simplified Technical English trainer Ciaran Dodd.

The long-awaited issue 7 of the ASD-STE100 Simplified Technical English (STE) specification is out. In the four years since issue 6 in January 2013, the STE Maintenance Group (STEMG) have completely overhauled the specification. In the next few issues of Bitesize STE I will explain some of the changes the STEMG has made.

ASD-STE 100 Issue 7 released January 2017

The wait is over! The STEMG released Issue 7 on 25 January 2017. As before, you can go to the ASD-STE100 website ( and request the new specification for free. (Mine arrived the same day!)

My first impression is that the STEMG have really worked hard to make the specification more user-friendly and easier for users outside aerospace to relate to the explanations and the examples. I think that both aims have been achieved successfully. The STEMG has also streamlined the rules, improved the layout, explanations and examples and tried to write the specification using the principles of STE where it is applicable. As someone who has been reading this specification since 2002 and training people to use it, I think that these changes are a big improvement.

The Chairman of the STEMG, Orlando Chiarello, issued a statement that summarised the main changes, quoted by Daniela Zambrini (see Chiarello states: “We at the STEMG consider this Issue as historic and revolutionary for the importance of its contents…We have not changed the STE. Rather, we focused on simplifying and explaining its writing rules, which, in itself is an unprecedented achievement.”

Some key changes are:

  • The sub-title of the specification now refers to technical documentation instead of maintenance documentation to make the specification “universally applicable” (Chiarello statement). Similarly, section 7 of the writing rules is now called “Safety Instructions” instead of “Warnings, Cautions and Notes”, and the rules now recognise standards outside aerospace.
  • The number of writing rules has reduced from 65 to 53 rules. The explanations and examples have been made clearer and again more “universally applicable”.
  • The revised layout and coloured panels make it easier to follow the rules and the writing style is in line with STE principles. I think that it reads more clearly.
  • The dictionary of approved words has also been reviewed and reformatted. For example, there are lines between each word that makes it easier to read the keywords and related examples.

I have had a preliminary look at the new specification and I think that the STEMG have made some much needed changes and most importantly, made the specification “universally applicable”. In fact, one week after issue, the STEMG announced: “First indication from the initial distribution of ISSUE 7 says that 65% of the copies are outside aerospace and defense!” (STEMG Facebook page, link on But for those in aerospace and defence, the core principles are still there and now more clearly explained.

Next month, I’ll bring some more changes and I’ll also be updating our training to reflect the changes.

Looking for Simplified Technical English (STE) Training?

Date: 9-10 May (Sutton)

Book your place on our Simplified Technical English training course. Our Simplified Technical English Training course is a practical introduction for those who will use Simplified Technical English (formerly AECMA Simplified English). The course introduces the philosophy of Simplified Technical English, explains the underlying grammatical principles and gives delegates opportunities to use Simplified Technical English in practical exercises. These exercises can be based on your company’s documentation.

Find out more about our Simplified Technical English Specification: ASD-STE100 training delivered by Ciaran or email .

About Ciaran

“Who is your audience and what do they need?”

“How do you meet those needs efficiently, cost effectively and to a high standard?”

ciaranCiaran Dodd has been ensuring that clients address both of these questions using ASD Simplified Technical English (ASD-STE100) since 2002, after being trained by the United Kingdom’s ASD-STE100 co-ordinator in 2001. Ciaran started her career in training at Rolls-Royce, which is where she became involved in training all aspects of writing, including ASD-STE100. After leaving the organisation, Ciaran set up an independent consultancy specialising in communication and learning skills. She has extensive experience of working with major names in engineering; particularly in defence aerospace and the automotive industries.

Ciaran is a qualified trainer, teacher and teacher of English as a foreign language. After completing a law degree at Cambridge University, she taught English in a Chinese university for two years. She has taught all aspects of the English language in commercial and public organisations since 1994.