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Meet a Certified Copy Editor: Beverly Ensom

Make this the year you join the ranks of editors who have completed EAC's landmark certification program. For more information or to register, visit

Beverly Ensom of Ottawa has been a Certified Copy Editor since 2008. She was one of the first editors to earn the copy editing designation. A member of EAC since 2002, she has been editing professionally for more than 15 years.

Beverly works as an editor with Hansard and committee evidence at the House of Commons. She also does freelance editing for various clients, mostly in the fields of government, health, and the environment. Her client list includes the Conference Board of Canada, Canadian Nurse, and the Library of Parliament.

EAC: What do you love about being an editor?

BE: Editing is like tidying a closet: it's a pleasure to get everything where it needs to be and working right.

EAC: What made you consider EAC certification? How did you know you were ready?

BE: Anyone can say he or she is an editor. I wanted proof—for myself and for my clients.

I had been editing for about seven years, although writing for a lot longer. I wasn't sure if I was ready, but I was determined, so I did a lot of prep.

EAC: What is the best part of being a certified editor?

BE: I can say I'm an editor and feel confident that I'm a good one.

EAC: Why get certified? How has certification helped your career?

BE: Certification opens doors. It gives you confidence. It earns you the respect of your peers.

I have gained many good new clients through the Online Directory of Editors—people contacting me out of the blue. I'm sure the certification made the difference. Clients need to know what they're getting.

EAC: How did you prepare for the tests?

BE: I took one full and two half courses from the Ryerson University Certificate in Publishing program. I worked through the EAC certification study guides. I joined a certification study group. I did the exercises in Amy Einsohn's The Copyeditor's Handbook. I edited all of my freelance work in hard copy, for the practice. I did the exercises in the (old) Meeting Editorial Standards. I perused my manuals and dictionaries.

EAC: What advice do you have for editors considering this year's certification exams?

BE: Practise hard copy markup. You want to be as comfortable in hard copy as you are onscreen. Figure out where to look up your weak areas in your reference books, and mark them with sticky notes. Practise, practise, practise.

Registration closes soon.

Registration for the copy editing and stylistic editing tests closes on October 25. These tests won't be available again until 2015, so register now.


Issued on behalf of the EAC Certification Steering Committee by the national office.