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1.2.1 Written Communication Skill

Written communication skill ranges from a simple requirement to interpret pictorial instructions, through to the interpretation and formulation of complex, highly sensitive and persuasive material. Creative writing such as carried out by authors of novels, poetry and film scripts, the analysis of language, the writing of dictionaries, and the written interpretation of foreign languages are included.

Table 1.2.1 Written Communication Skill


Does not require the ability to read or write. May require ability to interpret simple pictorial or colour or symbol coded presentations, eg road signs, danger signs, direction signs, colour coded signals or warning signs, simple operating instructions. Jobs include operator of simple process equipment, driver, packer, sorter, labourer, collector, fruit picker.


Requires limited reading and writing skills to a level commensurate with reading simple text such as short correspondence, memos or notices; simple instructions giving directions or assembly of components; filling in simple forms such as recording quantities or events; copying text. Jobs include parking meter attendant, tallyperson, meter reader, ticket seller, street vendor, security guard, sales assistant, mail clerk, filing clerk, messenger, materials recording and despatch clerk.


Requires reading and writing skills sufficient to read standardised correspondence, or producing a written record of simple events. Jobs include receptionist (not carrying out word processing duties), elementary clerk, process foreperson, laboratory technician.


Requires skills sufficient to write routine correspondence or standard reports that document facts but do not give opinions or analysis of the facts. Jobs include most general clerks, junior scientist.


Literacy at a level commensurate with understanding detailed written material, usually of a specialised nature, such as ability to read, analyse, and interpret general business periodicals, technical procedures, or straightforward government regulations; or produce non-routine correspondence, or information documents that present facts but do not give opinions or analysis (eg operating manuals, product information, technical write-ups); ability to respond to general enquiries or complaints from clients, regulatory agencies, suppliers, creditors, debtors, members of the business community or general public. Jobs include for example senior clerical, and maintenance of complex machinery positions.


Literacy at a level commensurate with understanding detailed written material of a specialised nature, or producing non-routine correspondence or other documents that also give an analysis of facts, with limited subjective opinion.


Literacy to a level where specialised reports or non-routine correspondence giving opinions and analysis are to be written, or where specialised written material, possibly needing a degree of subjective interpretation, needs to be read, including the ability to read, analyse and interpret professional journals, financial reports, or legal documents; ability to respond to complex enquiries or complaints from clients, regulatory agencies, or members of the business community; ability to write speeches and articles for publication that conform to a prescribed style and format. Jobs include journalists, writers of persuasive advertising/marketing material, CEO’s of very small organisations and professional positions in law, science, engineering, commerce, medicine, the arts and humanities. Included at this level is the written interpretation of foreign language.


Literacy to a level where highly specialised reports in a technical sense or very sensitive correspondence giving opinions and analyses are to be written, or complex written materials requiring both subjective and analytical interpretations are dealt with. Jobs include those that deal with complex contracts or high level written negotiations, CEOs of larger organisations, and heads of very large functional areas within organisations.


Included at this level are authors of novels, analytical documentaries (not mere recording of facts), biographers, and poets; writers of speeches and articles that use original and innovative techniques or artistic style.


Literacy at a level requiring evaluation, interpretation and integration of diverse written materials, and producing detailed and persuasive written argument. Jobs would deal with for example academic research papers, lexicography, cryptology, or very complex written argument involving interpretation of the law. Positions at this level would normally be highly specialised and the incumbents be highly regarded on at least a national basis. Here, the written material dealt with requires extensive and detailed analytical interpretation.

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