You are here

Professional Certification


Benefits of Professional Certification

Whether you're an editor or someone who hires editors, you can benefit from the landmark professional certification program offered by the Editors' Association of Canada (Editors Canada).

Editors Canada's professional certification sets objective standards for recognizing high levels of knowledge and skill. It's the gold standard of editing.

If you're an editor, Editors Canada's professional certification:


  • Helps you identify strengths and fill in gaps in your knowledge and skill sets
  • Provides professional recognition of your high level of knowledge and skill
  • Provides a powerful marketing advantage
  • Allows you to command a higher salary or charge higher fees
  • In some cases, allows you to skip time-consuming steps in the process of bidding for contracts
  • Earns the respect of your peers
  • Helps raise the profile of editing as a highly skilled profession

If you hire in-house or contract editors, Editors Canada's professional certification:


  • Allows you to identify potential employees and/or contractors who meet industry standards for high quality of work
  • Eliminates the need to test prospective employees or contractors
  • Offers a marketing advantage ("We use Editors Canada-certified editors, who are masters of their craft")

If you supervise in-house editors, Editors Canada's professional certification:


  • Ensures that your employees meet industry standards for high quality of work
  • Provides meaningful professional development opportunities


Recognizing Excellence

Editors Canada professional certification

Editors Canada's professional certification identifies editors who are masters of their craft.

It's therefore not surprising that certified editors are finding new opportunities and making more money than ever before. They're able to demonstrate to employers and clients that they provide immense value.

The Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, several national non-governmental organizations and the Certified General Accountants' Association of Canada are just some of the organizations that recognize the value of Editors Canada's professional certification when they hire editors.

Read what certified editors are saying about the benefits of certification.



Editors Canada's professional certification is for editors of written material who work in English. It's available to both Editors Canada members and non-members.

There are five credentials. To earn an editing credential, you must pass the required exam(s), as indicated in the table below.

Because Editors Canada's professional certification tests for excellence (rather than proficiency), we recommend that you have at least five years of full-time experience as a working editor before taking one of the exams.

Your credential year is the one after the administration of your successful exam. If you successfully write an exam in 2018, for example, you will be awarded the credential in 2019.

Credential Required Exam(s)
Certified Proofreader Proofreading
Certified Copy Editor Copy Editing
Certified Stylistic Editor Stylistic Editing
Certified Structural Editor Structural Editing
Certified Professional Editor (CPE) Proofreading
Copy Editing
Stylistic Editing
Structural Editing

Exam Fees

  Editors Canada members Non-members
One exam $450 $550
Two exams in the same year $850 $1,050

Exam Locations


Official Sites

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are reviewing locations/policies for 2020. Stay tuned.

Professional certification exams are offered each November at official exam sites in Vancouver, Toronto, and Ottawa.

We also offer them from time to time in other locations within Canada if we receive enough applications from candidates there.

Remote Locations

Beginning in 2018, Editors Canada is pleased to offer the professional certification exams for candidates in remote locations.

You can apply to write an exam in a remote location if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • You live more than 300 kilometres from any of the scheduled exam locations
  • Your particular circumstances make travelling to an exam centre a hardship

We also welcome applications from international candidates.

Criteria for Remote Testing

If you wish to write a professional certification exam from a remote location, you must apply in writing to ten weeks before the exam date.

We will ask you to find your own location, computer, and exam invigilator, and send the details to Editors Canada for approval four weeks before the exam date.

You are responsible for any costs associated with the invigilation, computer, and location. 

The Exam Site

The location must be a quiet, public place, such as a meeting room or classroom in a library, community centre, college or school. For example, a computer lab is ideal.

You may not write an exam in a private office or at home.

The Computer

For structural editing, stylistic editing, or copy editing, you will need access to a computer with a recent version of Word installed and Internet access disabled. The proofreading exam is not offered electronically.

Although logistics require that we use only PCs at the official test sites, you may use a Mac in a remote site.

For security reasons, you are not permitted to use your own computer.

The Invigilator

Your invigilator may be any of the following:

  • A member of Editors Canada
  • A member of an accredited profession
  • A professional with a local educational institution or public library
  • A professional with an exam invigilation centre

The invigilator is required to sign a declaration and a confidentiality agreement provided by Editors Canada.


Upcoming Exams

One professional certification exam will be offered on Saturday, November 21, 2020:

  • Stylistic editing

The other exams will be offered in the coming years; stay tuned for details:

  • Proofreading
  • Copy editing
  • Structural editing

Traditionally, the exams have been offered every November, in two-year rotations. However, in 2020 (as in 2019), we will be offering one professional certification exam (Stylistic editing) instead of the usual two, to give us time and space for our continued rethink of the program and make it even better. Learn more in our recent announcement.


Registration for the 2020 Stylistic Editing Exam will open in late July 2020.


The buzz about certification

certification buzz

certification buzz


One Person's Experience

"Being certified," Donna Dawson recalls, "would show potential clients—and myself—that I am a good editor."

Recognizing Excellence