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compliance technical writers

Do you have a European Union (EU) business or a company providing services to European customers? If so, then you are familiar with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This set of data security standards was created to protect the personal data of European Union citizens. However, in the present day, the world faces the all-too-common threat of data breaches and cyberattacks. As a result, the EU’s efforts to improve data protection have had an impact on a global scale, and compliance technical writers are more important than ever before.

While this regulation favors EU citizens, it directly affects the global data market; the EU wants all companies to comply with it. However, many businesses struggle to keep up with the new GDPR framework, especially as the guidelines continuously evolve in today’s digital landscape. To ensure that EU and non-EU-based companies remain compliant, they should employ the help and assistance of compliance technical writers.

What are Compliance Technical Writers?

Compliance technical writers are responsible for producing high-quality documentation that meets compliance regulations and risk and security standards according to their career industry. They ensure an organization remains compliant so that business operations can run efficiently. Their responsibilities include developing, writing, editing, and managing various documents, such as policies, SOPs, manuals, job aids, and more. These technical communicators may consult or work closely with relevant authorities to remain current on all regulatory agency requirements in their chosen industry. They may also provide solutions or strategies to management to support excellent compliance outcomes.

When it comes to data protection, compliance technical writers have the training and ability to handle the demands of the GDPR. The governing principles of processing personal data are the foundation of technical writing, including:

  • The ability to clearly explain and present complex information to a target audience
  • Utilizing accessible, easy-to-understand, plain language
  • Ability to assess the level of understanding a certain audience has of a topic and adapt writing to match it

A tech-savvy technical writer with a legal background will likely have exceptional skill at describing complex processes. In addition, a technical writer is the perfect person to have on staff to guide you through the GDPR. Let us explore the advantages of having a professional technical writer help you and your business understand and be able to comply with the GDPR.

How Do Technical Writers Increase Compliance?

Under the GDPR, all companies that collect or process EU citizens’ personal data on a large scale must appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO). The DPO’s job is to ensure everyone in a company complies with GDPR requirements. Therefore, having technical writers working alongside a DPO can improve communication, increasing business compliance.


A DPO is responsible for handling questions and comments from consumers. A DPO is skilled at educating consumers on data processes and GDPR-related concerns. Technical writers can help create a knowledge base, online assistant systems, email surveys, and questionnaires, which increase employee engagement, productivity, and customer satisfaction while reducing operational problems.  Other workers and employees of a business then provide feedback on the technical writers’ efforts. The more feedback technical writers receive, the more they can improve compliance documentation to make a DPO’s job easier.


DPOs must educate an organization and its employees about GDPR compliance to ensure that they know what they need to do to comply with the GDPR’s mandates. The very basis of technical writing is informing someone about how to do something. Thus, tech writers can customize effective employee development plans to improve knowledge of GDPR compliance in the workplace.


According to the GDPR, DPOs must implement privacy awareness training. Documentation writers can create eLearning programs, training workshops, and manuals to help employees improve their knowledge of GDPR compliance and processing operations. Also, tech writers can streamline existing training materials for consistency and clarity.

What is a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA)?

A Data Protection Impact Assessment is a comprehensive evaluation and description of how to identify, analyze, and minimize the data protection risks of a new project. A DPIA is a living document comprised of policies, processes, procedures, mitigation strategies, data processing terms, and more. Trained compliance technical writers can manage these high volumes of technical documentation. In fact, they have the skills to work with various software and automated tools that can make document creation quick, simple, and time-saving. Most importantly, these technologies are compliant with many regulatory agencies. Facilitating faster and more thorough evaluations will give companies a better understanding of their performance and improve overall compliance practices.

GDPR Audits

To ensure a high level of data protection, one of the GDPR requirements is conducting audits to assess if businesses involved with the EU are meeting all the GDPR obligations and being accountable for collecting personal data from EU consumers. Compliance technical writers can produce professionally written audit documentation, making it easier for businesses to prove their compliance if any legal action occurs. Also, audits are valuable information that helps employees examine and determine their progress at a company. Compliance technical writers will know the appropriate style guide, organizational methods, and documentation formats to express the daily operations of your business for an audit.

One of many professional compliance technical writers working at a small circular desk on a laptop computer and writing in a journal.

How Do Compliance Technical Writers Manage GDPR Documentation?

The golden key to GDPR compliance is documentation. With clear and concise documents, businesses can build consumer trust through transparency regarding using their personal data, stored, processed, and accessed. Yet producing large quantities of documents about constantly evolving compliance regulations can be overwhelming for many companies. However, hiring compliance technical writers can ease the burden of compiling and writing documents.

In addition, compliance technical writers can implement Document Management Systems (DMSs) to improve the workflow of information among employees and GDPR authorities. With these systems in place, businesses can manage, store, and track every digital document in one place.  Finally, a DMS ensures that businesses comply with regulations, allowing them to focus on other business objectives in the EU.

GDPR Compliance

Many businesses are non-compliant because they simply do not have all the required GDPR documents to comply with the  regulation in their industry fully. In addition, these documents will vary according to the type of business. However, consulting with legal experts can clarify what documents are needed to be fully GDPR compliant. Below are some of the common documents needed to ensure GDPR compliance:

  • Data Breach Notification Form to Data Subjects/the Supervisory Authority
  • Data Breach Register 
  • DPIA Register
  • Employee Privacy Notice
  • Non-EU Data Transfers & Documented Safeguarding Measures
  • Parental/Guardian Consent Form
  • Data Breach Response and Notification Procedure 
  • Personal Data Protection Policy
  • Data Retention & Erasure Policy
  • Privacy Notice
  • Data Retention Schedule
  • Supplier Data Processing Agreement
  • Data Subject Consent Form

In today’s rapidly growing market, every business that has EU customers must comply with the GDPR. As a result, the help and guidance of a compliance technical writer can be invaluable, ensuring that companies and their employees will understand the regulatory requirements, and therefore executing better GDPR practices, avoiding penalties and fines, and improving business operations.

How Can EDC Help?

EDC has professionally trained compliance technical writers who will develop a customized GDPR Compliance Plan that will fit your company’s needs. For example, compliance technical writers will add improved access to personal data, help in diminishing litigation & financial risk, and most importantly, provide aid in protecting sensitive information. Additionally, the appropriate GDPR planning EDC provides can help you face and navigate any new challenge your business may encounter and make sure your business is always compliant.

Whether you need a single technical writer for a brief project or a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation, the quality of our work is guaranteed for you. Our clients work closely with an Engagement Manager from one of our 30 local offices for the entire length of your project at no additional cost. Contact us at (800) 221-0093 or to get started.


Written by Kimberly Jones