RCH WebHelp

Formatting and branding guidelines for the RCH website

Please follow these instructions to ensure you are adhering to the formatting and branding guidelines for the RCH website at all times. The content you create is representative of The Royal Children's Hospital and all care and aforethought should be taken not to publish any content that does not comply with the following:

For RCH branding and procedures relating to the use of logos, our visual identity and other materials, please see the Corporate Communications RCH branding guidelines and procedures page.

Prior to creating content

Before creating content, the following questions need to be answered:

  1. Does a page already exist that contains the content you are about to create?
    • Duplicate content should be avoided.
      • Duplicate content fosters inaccurate and conflicting content.
    • If there is an existing page, you should link to that page.
    • If the content on the existing page requires an update, you should contact the publisher of that page to and assist with the update.
    • For example, you should never need to create a page on transport options to RCH within your site, as that page already exists.
  2. Who is the audience? Below are the most common audience categories:
    • Internal staff
    • Either in-patients and their families or out-patients and their families
    • The general public (external to our campus, ie, not staff of either the RCH or MCRI)
    • External medical professionals/health providers (locally, nationally and internationally)
    • Current or potential internal students, ie is the content for staff educational purposes?
    • Current or potential external students, ie. the content is for external educational purposes for clinicians etc that do not work at the RCH or MCRI, may work at the RCH Foundation or are enrolled at The University of Melbourne)
  3. Who is going to maintain the content into the future to ensure accuracy, up-to-date information, and continued adherence to these formatting and branding guidelines? If the answer is, 'I don't know', content should not be created until such time as there is a dedicated content manager.
  4. Does the content belong in the location you intend to create it? If the content is:
    1. Primarily for consumption by patients and families, the community and/or people seeking information on child health issues, syndromes, accidents or illnesses, the contact should be instead created an a Kids Health Info fact sheet and *not* on the department/service site. Please contact the Community Information team in family Services to discuss.
    2. Primarily information for child health practitioners, either locally, nationally or internationally and is to be considered a standard for clinical practice, it should be instead created as a Clinical Practice Guideline and *not* on the department/service site. Please visit the CPG development page for information regarding the process for creating CPGs.
    3. Primarily function as internal staff communication. In this case, please contact the Corporate Communications team. All internal comms and their mechanism of proliferation must be approved by Corporate Communications.
    4. Primarily function as external communication on behalf of any department or service at the RCH. In this case, please contact the Corporate Communications team. All external comms and their mechanism of proliferation must be approved by Corporate Communications.

Page templates

If your audience is internal, an 'Intranet only' template must be used for the page and all attached library items, ie files, images, must be uploaded to an intranet-only secure library folder. Please contact the Webteam at web.help@rch.org.au if you are unsure about this.

Intranet only sites/pages

If a site/page is for internal, ie staff, eyes only, it is considered intranet only and the above rules apply.

Publicly facing sites/pages

If a site/page DOES NOT have 'Intranet only' appearing in the right-hand corner of the page, it is publicly available to the world at large. All content therefore, must be organised and written for an external audience.

If your content is organised and written primarily for an internal audience, ie staff, the page should be changed to an 'Intranet only' template and all library items moved to an intranet-only secure library folder.

Linked email addresses

Due to present day cyber security threats, we no longer support the use of linked email addresses.

Linked email addresses have the potential to be harvested by malicious malware and used in phishing and spam attacks. They also have the potential to introduce hostile scripts that can negatively impact our entire system.

Left-hand navigation items

If your department/service site is generally available publicly but you need a particular page to be intranet only, this page should not be included in the left-hand navigation of the site. If your department/service site is absolutely intranet only, the new page can be included in the left-hand navigation. Left-hand navigation items cannot be a mixture of both externally available and intranet only pages.


There are 6 heading elements. These range from heading 1 to heading 6, heading 1 being the page title. Heading 1 should not be used anywhere within the content area; there is only one single heading one for each page and that is the title. Heading elements are used to delineate structural and hierarchical relationships between page content.

Headings work in a strict hierarchy starting at heading 2 and moving down the hierarchy as required for sub-headings. Heading sizes and colours are automatically set. A heading should only be selected based on its position within the hierarchy of page content and not because the size or colour is desired. No heading level should be missed if there are multiple levels of sub-content, ie, a heading 4 should *not* follow a heading 2.

A heading should never function as a hyperlink. If a hyperlink is required, a heading can function as an introduction for the link and link text can appear below it.

All headings should follow sentence case for capitalisation -  see capitalisation section on this page.

For example:


Page title (heading 1)

First sub-heading on page (heading 2)

Content under first sub-heading on page which can only be a heading 2, and never and heading 1

First sub-heading relating to our first heading 2 (heading 3)

To use a heading 3, the content MUST be sub-content of the previous section of content under the heading 2 above. If this content does not directly relate back to the above heading 2, then it is not sub-content of the previous content and a new section with its own heading 2 should be create.

A heading 4 that is a sub-heading of the above heading 3

Some content under the heading 4 that relates back to the above heading 3

Second sub-heading relating to our first heading 2 (heading 3)

If the above heading 3 introduces the need for a link, meaningful text below it can then be used as the link. A heading should never be used as a link.

Second sub-heading on page (heading 2)

Content below this sub-heading will relate only to this heading and not back to the first sub-heading.



All content should be left-aligned on the RCH website. No content should be centered, justified or right align. This includes table data, table headings and images.

Tables should not be used to create column layouts. Please remember, all content should be left-aligned. This is so that it renders correctly and is fully legible on all device/screen sizes from a large desktop computer to a small mobile phone.

Left aligned text is also much easier for end users to read on screen.

Note: content is left aligned by default. Please do not select left alignment as it is not required, and by assigning left alignment to text or an image can cause unexpected results.


Sentence case should be used for all textual elements, including headings.

Sentence case is the conventional way of using capital letters in a sentence or capitalising only the first word and any proper nouns.

Avoid unnecessary capitalisation in all text (including headings , table column heading, warning text or other copy).

Sentence case is the official standard because:

  • Sentence case looks cleaner
  • You don’t have to worry about which words are ‘important’
  • Textual content is more likely to be grammatically correct
  • Users of our site will see consistent use of capitalisation

In addition to being harder to read and grammatically incorrect, the overuse of capitals suggests an aggressive, shouting tone online.


Underlines should never be used for content, they should only be kept for hyperlinks so there is no confusion of what is or isn't a link.


All spacing between headings, sentences, lists, tables, images, paragraphs and any other element on a page has already been determined.

No extra spaces should be included between any element and the element immediately above or below it to create more space. Simply press 'Enter' at the end of one heading/sentence etc and type the next required information directly on the next line.

You should also never use double spaces in between sentences, standard practice for all content is one space only.

Acronyms and abbreviations

Acronyms and abbreviations should not appear anywhere on our website. As a content contributor, you should never assume an acronym or abbreviation is understood - always spell out the full word. 

For example, on an externally facing page:

  • Administration - not 'Admin'
  • Pager - not 'Pgr'
  • Nurse Unit Manager - not 'NUM'
  • Oncology - not 'Oncol'
  • and - not '&'
  • Telephone - not 'phone', 'ph' or 'tel'
  • Facsimile - not 'fax'

Writing The Royal Children's Hospital

The first time the hospital name is used on any page it should be written as 'The Royal Children's Hospital (RCH)'. From then on it should be 'the RCH' unless it is at the start of a sentence, then you use a cap T for 'the'.

No other abbreviations of the name can be used e.g The Children's.


When creating lists, ensure you select the content within the editor that needs to be listed and select the list icon from the 'Format' tab within the editor.

If you have pasted content from Word or another word processing system, please ensure you re-select the lists within the editor so your lists appear in the RCH style and format.


Hyperlinks should never be created from headings or single or arbitrary words such as 'here', 'download', 'more' or 'click here'. Always create a hyperlink from enough text that a user knows what they are going to link to when clicking it. Hyperlinks should also never be bolded. 

For example:


An example of a good hyperlink

View the full December roster for General Medicine.

An example of a bad hyperlink

Click here to see the full December roster for General Medicine.



Tables should not be used for display purposes only, especially on contact pages. Tables should only be used for data that cannot be expressed in any other format, such as a collection of medicine dosages.

Tables are a useful way of presenting certain information on screen. However you should avoid putting overly complex tables on your web page. Complex tables can cause usability problems such as:

  • increased page download time
  • can force users to scroll across the screen
  • are problematic for visual impaired users

Consider other delivery methods for complex tables, e.g. downloadable PDF document or graphic representation such as a flowchart. Consult the Webteam if in doubt.

Tables should not be used to control layout. Often headings and bulleted lists or short paragraphs of text are far more effective ways of presenting information.

Some things to remember when formatting your table:

  • Do not set widths for your table or cells, allow the table content to determine the table width. If a visitor has a small monitor, a set table width may force them to scroll in order to view the contents of the screen
  • In the CMS, do not left align your table; it will cause problems with the presentation of any text that follows the table. Your table will be left aligned by default and does not require you to define alignment
  • Avoid coloured backgrounds in your table cells. For readability it is best to keep background colours as neutral as possible. There is a web friendly 'grey row' option in the CMS editor under formatting that can be used to highlight the header row
  • Do not set background colour to convey meaning, e.g. pink through to red to convey intensity or severity of the information. If you are using appropriate column headings this should not be necessary.

For example:


(To achieve this look and feel table require the classes 'table', 'table-bordered' and 'table-hover'. Please see the CMS Quick reference guide for instructions on adding table classes)




Graphics/images should only be used to enhance or illustrate your information and not as page decoration. 

Graphics and images are to be considered as branding assets and are subject to the branding guidelines, particularly logos.

Any graphics placed on the page must adhere to RCH brand guidelines and need to be approved by Communications before placing them on any webpages.

Library items

When adding files to the library for inclusion on your web pages, you are required to follow our guidelines for naming files for the CMS library.

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