Social Security Tribunal of Canada

Plain language: How do our forms and letters measure up?


Tribunal forms and letters in plain language are an essential part of an accessible justice system. We recently worked with the National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP) to carry out a plain language evaluation of our letters and forms.

The NSRLP brought together people who have been through the experience of representing themselves before a court or tribunal. They helped us to understand how user-friendly our documents are for people who don’t have someone to represent them.

We asked participants if our forms and letters are:

  • user-friendly
  • complete
  • accessible

Each participant reviewed 8 letters and 2 forms. They answered questions and gave us their feedback.

Then, the NSRLP reviewed what the participants said and made recommendations on how we can improve our documents. We now have an action plan based on these recommendations, and we’re currently working to make changes.

While this evaluation shows we’ve come a long way with adopting plain language, we still have work to do. We plan to review our forms and letters on an ongoing basis, even after we make changes. That way, we’re continuously improving.

I invite you to read the report of the evaluation as well as our management response and action plan.

Paul Aterman
Paul Aterman
Social Security Tribunal of Canada
Date modified: