Avoid using acronyms if possible. They can make content difficult to read. 

After writing out in full, you can use a shortened version of a name instead of an acronym:

  • Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries - then ‘the department’
  • Automobile Association of the Northern Territory - then ‘the association’
  • Australian Maritime Safety Authority - then ‘the authority’
  • Building Advisory Committee - then ‘the committee’
  • Business Tenancies (Fair Dealings) Act - then ‘the Act’, and so on.

When to use an acronym

You can use an acronym if it is well known to your audience and likely to be a search term for the page.

For example, GVM is an acceptable term for gross vehicle mass in the heavy vehicle industry.

In this case, write it in full and then refer to it by initials:

  • gross vehicle mass (GVM)
  • registered training organisation (RTO)
  • Motor Vehicle Registry (MVR)
  • Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH).

Refer to it by initials only for the rest of the page.

Don't introduce an acronym if you're not going to use it again on the page.

If you use an acronym be sure to use it for all other references on the page.

Don't include acronyms when naming pages. The exception is when the reader would be confused without one. Read more about naming pages.

Don’t use full stops - eg: use NT not N.T.

Northern Territory (NT)

You must write Northern Territory out in full at the first instance.

If it is referred to more than once on the page, use Northern Territory (NT) first then NT after that.

      More than 100 Aboriginal languages and dialects are spoken in the Northern Territory (NT). Aboriginal languages of the NT vary greatly…

     X  More than 100 Aboriginal languages and dialects are spoken in the NT. Aboriginal languages in the Northern Territory vary greatly…

Don’t use the NT acronym if it’s not mentioned again.


If an acronym is very well known you do not need to spell it out. For example:

  • GST
  • ATM
  • ABC.

Anzac is title case and not written out in full unless referring to the Corps specifically.

Last updated: 28 November 2017