About the ISTC

Improving the world through technical communication

The Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators (ISTC) is the largest UK body representing information development professionals. It promotes better scientific and technical communication by:

  • Encouraging professional development
  • Sharing best practices and standards
  • Providing research resources
  • Providing networking opportunities for its members and industry affiliates
  • Promoting technical communication as a profession
  • Continuing professional development (CPD)

It’s the professional association that can help you through your career – in technical writing, technical illustration, UX writing, scientific writing, content strategy, or communicating scientific or technical information in other ways.

Take our quiz

What type of scientific or technical communicator are you?

Join the ISTC

You can join the ISTC if you are interested or involved in technical communication of any kind.

Lockdown: Be part of the community in these difficult times. We’re running virtual area group meetings. Contact the ISTC office for more information.

What is technical communication?

Donate to the ISTC

You can now make voluntary donations to the ISTC via this website.

Are you a technical communicator?

You’ll find descriptions of what a typical day can be like for a technical communicator on our “A day in the life of a technical communicator” web page.

Technical communicators have a variety of different job titles. For example:

  • API Documentation Writer
  • Communications Manager
  • Content Designer
  • Content Developer
  • Content Engineer
  • Content Officer
  • Content Strategist
  • Digital Content Designer
  • Digital Content Manager
  • Documentarian
  • Documentation Engineer
  • Documentation Manager
  • Information Architect
  • Information Designer
  • Information Developer
  • Knowledge Base Writer
  • Knowledge Manager
  • Microcopy Writer
  • Product Writer
  • Programmer Writer
  • Publications Manager
  • Technical Author
  • Technical Communicator
  • Technical Editor
  • Technical Illustrator
  • Technical Writer
  • Translator
  • UI Text Writer
  • UX Copywriter
  • UX Writer

Some technical communicators have more generic job titles, such as Engineer or Developer.

ISTC members come from virtually every industry and area of society within the UK, as well as internationally, who all need to communicate complex or important information effectively.

It’s is what you do that matters, rather than your job title. If you’re communicating technical information to explain and instruct, there’s a good chance you’re a technical communicator. And if you are a technical communicator, we’d love you to be part of the ISTC.

What the ISTC offers you

When you join, there are five key ways the ISTC can help you:

1. Professional development and recognition

These include:

  • Resources and opportunities to develop and diversify skills, and stay up to date with trends and technologies.
  • Mentoring schemes
  • Training
  • The UK Technical Communication Awards to recognise your success in creating clear, concise and effective information products.

“People should be aware of how being a Member/Fellow is considered to be valid for pre-employment screening purposes and so aids in securing work. Marvellous! I think it’s a very positive that organisations value the ISTC and so include it as being valid for screening purposes!”

John Nicholas ISTC (Fellow)

See: Professional development and recognition

2. Communicator professional journal

Communicator is our award-winning quarterly professional journal covering the breadth of technical communications, offering in-depth articles, case studies, book and product reviews.


See: Read the latest issue of Communicator and how to subscribe

3. ISTC Community

The ISTC offers opportunities to network, exchange expertise, and stay in touch with the UK technical communication industry – through a range of online groups, local events and a free monthly newsletter, InfoPlus


See: ISTC Community

4. Technical Communication UK conference

The ISTC hosts Technical Communication UK, the annual conference that aims to meet the needs of technical communicators, their managers and clients, from every corner of the industry.

TCUK logo

See: Technical Communication UK website

5. Resources

The ISTC offers access to discounted essential resources, including British Standards publications and free access to the Oxford Reference Online.


See: Publications and Resources

We are a member of PARN


By being a Member of the Professional Associations Research Network, our professional body is:

  • Committed to good practice
  • Kept up to date on current research
  • Part of a network of professional bodies that learn from and share with each other