Business report writing courses

Atherton Training Consultants

Email: Tony Atherton

Phone: 07976-390960

In-house courses - at your premises
Technical Report Writing
Editing Technical Reports
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Now in its 20th year

One-day. In-house. Groups only. Up to 12 delegates.

'An excellent course - very involving and up to date.' Business report writing courses - there are many of them, but not many are presented by an experienced trainer who is also a published writer. This one is and has been presented over 160 times. (Click here if you are looking for a Technical Report Writing course.)

COURSE AIM - Business Report Writing Course

To help delegates to write business reports that are clear, concise and easy to read and understand. It covers the principles and practice of preparing, writing and editing reports.

This one-day course is run at your premises for up to 12 delegates. It will also help delegates when writing other types of business document and it will save you money by reducing the time taken by senior managers to finalise and approve reports.

COURSE CONTENT - Business Report Writing Course

  • What distinguishes a good business report from a poor one?
  • A process for writing a business report: planning, writing, editing
  • Planning a business report
  • Defining the purpose, agreeing the terms of reference
  • Knowing your readers and writing for them
  • Formatting and structuring business reports
  • Standard report sections: the purpose of each
  • Structuring business reports down to paragraph level
  • Writing, using plain English in business reports
  • Paragraph and sentence lengths
  • Editing business reports: editing for accuracy, brevity and clarity
  • Actives and passives
  • Preferring strong verbs to nouns
  • Choice of words, clichés
  • Using bullet points and lists
  • Writers' tips and some common myths
  • Punctuation problems
  • Using MS Word's grammar checker and readability statistics

WHO IS IT FOR? - Business Report Writing Course

The course is for anyone who needs to improve their skills at writing business reports.

IS THERE A TRACK RECORD? - Business Report Writing Course

There is. Tony presented his first Business Report Writing course at Barclaycard in April 1998. That was on behalf of the Manchester-based training company now known as Fielden-Cegos. Subsequently, he was the main trainer for business report writing courses at London-based Reed Training (now Reed Learning). Now, he only presents report writing courses under his own banner to his own clients.

The business report writing course has often been adapted to meet the specific needs of various clients. For example, different versions of the course have been designed and presented to Ofsted (350 delegates), the Financial Services Commission (Gibraltar), Careers Wales, the London Birmingham Railway, Univar, NCAS, E.ON. etc.


Please email or phone for a quotation. Email direct to Tony Atherton or phone 07976-390960.


  • I was very impressed (with the business report writing course) and found my facilitator to be very approachable. A job well done!
  • We have now had the minute taking course and report writing course with you and both were great.
  • Very good course - struck perfect balance - just what I needed and no more. Thank you, Tony.

COURSE DETAILS - Business Report Writing Course


  • What types of business report do you write?
  • What do you like or dislike about report writing?
  • What distinguishes a good business report from a poor one?
  • Some extracts.
  • How to write a business report - the three stages of report writing: Preparing, Writing and Editing.


  • Defining the purpose or objective of your business report.
  • Who has asked for the report? Why? Terms of reference.
  • Putting the readers first.
  • Who are your readers? What do you know about them and their needs?
  • How much detail will be needed to achieve the objective?
  • What do you want your readers to know and do, how do you want them to react to your report?
  • Planning your business report.
  • Achieving a logical flow and getting the structure right.
  • Sections and sub-sections. Summary, Introduction, Main Body, etc. Who reads what?
  • The purpose of each section of a normal business report.
  • Writing the Executive Summary.
  • Structuring complex information when report writing.
  • Structuring your argument or process. Generic frameworks.
  • Writing a beginning, a middle and an end for your report.
  • Structuring the text down to paragraph level.
  • Do you need illustrations? Planning illustrations.
  • Your Plan.


  • Going from plan to draft.
  • General tips.
  • The order in which to write your report's sections.
  • Determining style.
  • Titles, headings and sub-headings.
  • Numbering systems.
  • Using short paragraphs and sentences.
  • Using appropriate words and jargon; plain English.
  • Using pronouns or not, bullet points and lists.
  • Using appendices.


  • Only using a single draft.
  • Going from the draft to the finished report.
  • Editing for accuracy, brevity and clarity.
  • Eliminating waffle, superfluous words and wordy phrases.
  • Improving the grammar.
  • The Microsoft grammar checker.
  • Differences between passive and active verbs.
  • Avoiding 'smothered' or 'hidden' verbs. Using 'strong' verbs.
  • Superfluous adjectives and adverbs.
  • Conventions for writing numbers.
  • Some troublesome points of English grammar.
  • Avoiding sexism in writing.
  • Using Microsoft's readability statistics.
  • Punctuation, reference list.


For the Business Report Writing courses we use a mixture of talks, discussions, group work and individual work in a mix that is as appropriate as possible to the delegates. The actual course may differ slightly from the fine details above as the training is adjusted to match as accurately as possible the needs of the delegates. For this reason, we will discuss your priorities with you and build them into the day as best as possible. Delegates are often asked to help one another to achieve their action plans. Full course notes are provided and serve as a reference book later.


As a training consultant and published writer, Tony draws on a career in both the public and private sectors including employment in the Royal Navy, GEC-Marconi, the Independent Broadcasting Authority and the University of Hong Kong. For five years he was the Training Manager at NTL and since 1997 he has been an independent trainer and writer. As a published writer he has four books and around 90 articles to his name.

He has trained thousands of delegates from blue-chip organisations - both independently and on behalf of large training companies. He has also inspected government-funded training on behalf of the Training Standards Council and the Adult Learning Inspectorate (now merged with Ofsted).


  • Excellent course. Thank you.
  • Overall, very impressed with the day's training.
  • Excellent delivery of course and an obvious expertise in Report Writing.
  • Excellent training, got the message across in an entertaining and productive manner.
  • I really enjoyed today and Tony made everything very easy to understand.
  • The report writing course was beneficial and has given me confidence to write reports.
  • Felt Tony made the report writing course very enjoyable, determined from the outset what was relevant.
  • Very good course - struck perfect balance - just what I needed and no more. Thank you Tony.
  • Please pass on my thanks to Tony for the delivery of the training on Report Writing yesterday. The group had an excellent day. The feedback is very encouraging and I would like to arrange another session with Tony later this year for our senior accountants.
  • Thank you for arranging yesterday (Report Writing Course) and I will be in contact shortly to arrange a further date.
  • Overall, very impressed with the day's training on writing reports.
  • Excellent report writing course. I think I will definitely put into practice immediately.
  • An excellent course - very involving and up to date. Enthusiastic trainer.
  • Tony was entertaining and made a traditionally boring subject fun. Very enthusiastic.
  • Very good trainer, kept it light and fun.
  • Perfect.
  • Very practical and to the point. Adapts well to varied delegates experiences and needs.
  • Clear presenting, easy to understand, made the content interesting and enjoyable. Nothing like the horror of school days.
  • Good structure - made it interactive.
  • I thoroughly enjoyed the report writing course and was glad I attended. The instructor was pleasant and clear in his approach.
  • I was very impressed and found my facilitator to be very approachable. A job well done!

A selection of our clients for various courses

  • Aircelle
  • Alpharma/Actavis
  • Amey
  • BP
  • Bunzl
  • Clean Air Technology
  • Clyde Union Pumps
  • Controlled Therapeutics
  • Daresbury Labs
  • Doosan Babcock
  • DRS
  • Eaton Aerospace
  • Eclipse Petroleum
  • EDF Energy
  • Energy Saving Trust
  • E.ON
  • ESR Technology
  • Europol
  • First GB Railfreight
  • Flowmaster
  • Financial Services Commission Gibraltar
  • GeoPressure
  • GKN
  • Great Western Hospital
  • Habasit Rossi
  • Health & Safety Laboratory
  • Hochtieff
  • HSE
  • Imerys
  • Ineos Silicas
  • Insolvency Service
  • IntecSea
  • Intertek
  • Invensys Rail
  • Judges Studies Board
  • Life Cycle Pharma
  • Martin Baker Aircraft
  • Mercury Health
  • MOD
  • Monarch Airlines
  • Mouchel
  • MSE Consultants
  • NDS
  • Northumbrian Water
  • NTL
  • Ofsted
  • Omicron
  • Open University
  • Peter Brett Associates
  • Pfizer
  • Pilkington Glass
  • Port of Tyne
  • PTS Consulting
  • Raytheon
  • Royal College of Music
  • Royal Free Hospital
  • Royal Navy
  • Royal Veterinary College
  • Rutherford Appleton Laboratories
  • Scotland TranServe
  • Scottish Power
  • SIRA
  • Smarter Grid Solutions
  • Souther Water
  • STC Defence
  • STS Switchgear
  • Sula Systems
  • Synthomer
  • Technip
  • Terberg Matek
  • TES Aviation
  • TGA Building Consultants
  • Thales
  • Transport for London
  • Ultra Electronics
  • Vectura
  • Viridor
  • Wardell Armstrong
  • Wiltshire NHS/PCT
  • Wind Prospects

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    Atherton Training Consultants Ltd


    E-mail direct to Tony Atherton

    Phone 07976-390960

    Covers: United Kingdom

    Business Report Writing course details: Last updated 8 Mar 2018