The Key to Clear and Concise Technical Communication

Simplified Technical English in a nutshell

As an Associate Member of the Simplified Technical English Maintenance Group, I help control, develop, and maintain the ASD-STE100 specification.

This specification, also known as Simplified Technical English or STE, is an international specification for the preparation of technical documentation in a controlled language. The trademark for STE is owned by ASD, the Aerospace, Security, and Defence Industries Association of Europe.

STE was first developed in the 1980s as AECMA Simplified English to improve the understanding of English-language maintenance documentation. It was originally intended for use in commercial aviation, but has since become a requirement for Defence projects, including land and sea vehicles.

Today, STE is widely used in a range of other industries beyond its intended purpose of maintenance documentation and outside the Aerospace and Defence domains.

The purpose of STE is to address issues in English comprehension related to complex sentence structures, confusing word forms, and ambiguous vocabulary.

Although it was originally developed to improve maintenance documentation, the principles of STE can be applied to improve the readability of technical documentation in any industry.

Using STE can significantly reduce the risk of ambiguity in the translation process, as well as improve the efficiency of the translation process through the creation of a strong Translation Memory, which collects repeated strings of text and leverages previous translations, reducing the need for post-editing.

Technical instructions that are difficult to understand can lead to misunderstandings and accidents.

STE makes technical texts easy to understand for all readers and can be considered an important resource for technical writing to simplify the understanding of procedures and operational texts, remove linguistic barriers, and reduce Human Factor risks.

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Contact me or visit the STE Official website to request a free official copy of ASD-STE100 Issue 8.

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Beyond aerospace and defence

Medical Technology 

Clear and accurate documentation is critical for the safe use of medical devices. These devices, which include everything from diagnostic equipment to implantable devices, play a vital role in the healthcare industry, and it is essential that they are used correctly to avoid any potential harm to patients.
Documentation written in STE will help to medical professionals and other users understand how to safely operate and maintain the devices, which can help to prevent accidents and errors. Clear documentation is important for regulatory compliance, as it helps to demonstrate that a medical device has been designed and manufactured in accordance with relevant safety standards
The importance of writing documentation for the safety of medical devices in a controlled language cannot be overstated, as it plays a vital role in ensuring the safe and effective use of these devices.


Clear documentation is a mandatory requirement in the machinery industry for compliance with directives and safety regulations. This includes the use of simplified technical English, which helps to ensure that technical information can be understood by all relevant parties, including those who may not be native English speakers.

In addition to technical documentation, it is also important to include clear warnings and cautions in the documentation to alert users to potential hazards and risks associated with the machinery. This helps to prevent accidents and injuries and ensures that the machinery is used in a safe and responsible manner.

Effective communication is crucial in the machinery industry, and the use of ASD-STE100 Simplified Technical English can help to ensure that all technical information is presented in a clear and concise manner that is easy to understand. This not only helps to comply with regulations and directives, but also helps to improve safety and efficiency in the workplace.

Renewable Energy

Clear documentation is essential for the safety of operational procedures in the renewable energy industry. In this industry, technical processes and systems can be complex and require precise instructions for proper operation and maintenance. If documentation is unclear or incomplete, it can lead to misunderstandings and mistakes that could have serious consequences, such as accidents, equipment failure, and loss of productivity.

Effective documentation ensures that all stakeholders, including engineers, technicians, and operators, have access to accurate and up-to-date information about the systems they are working with. This enables them to make informed decisions, identify and address potential issues, and follow proper procedures to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the equipment.

Simplified Technical English  provides clear and consistent texts that can be easily understood by all readers, regardless of their language proficiency or technical expertise.