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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 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

Cancellation: If Editors Canada cancels an exam for which you have registered, you'll have the opportunity to either transfer your registration or receive a full refund of your registration fees. If you cancel your registration for any other reason and the association receives written notice of your cancellation on or before October 28, 2022, Editors Canada will refund your registration less a $100 cancellation fee. No refunds will be issued for cancellations received after October 28, 2022.


Exam Locations



For the foreseeable forward, we will not be offering in-person exam locations. The 2022 professional certification exams in copy-editing and stylistic editing will be offered by remote testing (online and onscreen) only.   

(Before the pandemic, professional certification exams were typically offered at official exam sites in Vancouver, Toronto, and Ottawa. We also offered them from time to time in other locations within Canada if we received enough applications from candidates there.)

Remote Locations

2022 exams to be offered remotely only (online and onscreen)

In 2020, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Editors Canada moved all professional certification exams to a fully electronic format. This means that moving forward, all exams will be written onscreen (including proofreading, which was previously offered on paper, but is now in PDF format; candidates should be familiar with electronic markup in Adobe Acrobat).

Once again in 2022, we will not offer in-person exam locations (as in 2020 and 2021) for the professional certification exams in copy-editing and stylistic editing. Details to be confirmed, but we plan to offer two ways to take the exam:

  • Remote testing: This will be the default option, by which candidates are able to write the exam on their own computer at home (PC or Mac). We'll provide you with the exam in .docx format and ask you to download it, complete it and upload it within the exam timeframe. You will need to have reliable Internet access and Microsoft Word installed on your home computer (NOT Google Docs). You should also have a quiet, private space in your home during the exam, in which to write the exam.


  • Self-arranged testing: If you do not have reliable Internet access or a subscription to Microsoft Word, you can take advantage of this alternative, whereby you arrange to write the exam at a test location that’s convenient for you, providing it meets certain criteria and you can arrange for a suitable invigilator and computer. Email us for details, or see the Criteria for Self-Arranged Testing below. Submit the details (location and invigilator) for approval along with your registration by October 21, 2022. Candidates must follow all applicable local rules and laws for physical distancing, masking, and other safety measures while in their arranged space. 

We welcome applications from international candidates.

Criteria for Self-Arranged Testing

We will ask you to find your own location, computer, and exam invigilator, and send the details to Editors Canada along with your registration before October 21, 2022. 

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 the ability to disable the Internet access. For the proofreading exam, you will need the (free) Adobe Acrobat Reader DC or (subscription) Adobe Acrobat Standard or Pro.

You may use PC or Mac.

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

Two professional certification exams will be offered on Saturday, November 19, 2022:

  • Copy-Editing          Saturday, November 19, 2022    10 am to 1 pm local time

  • Stylistic Editing      Saturday, November 19, 2022     2 pm to 5 pm local time

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

  • Structural editing
  • Proofreading

The exams are offered every November, typically in two-year rotations. 


Visit the Registration page to register for the 2022 Copy-Editing and Stylistic Editing exams.


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