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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
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.
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.
|Certified Copy Editor||Copy Editing|
|Certified Stylistic Editor||Stylistic Editing|
|Certified Structural Editor||Structural Editing|
|Certified Professional Editor (CPE)||Proofreading
|Editors Canada members||Non-members|
|Two exams in the same year||$850||$1,050|
Given the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not offer in-person exam locations in 2021 (as in 2020). The 2021 professional certification exams in structural editing and proofreading will also be offered by remote testing only - please see details below.
(Professional certification exams are typically offered 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.)
2021 exams to be offered by remote testing only
Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Editors Canada is moving all professional certification exams to a fully electronic format. This means that the proofreading exam, which was previously offered on paper, will now be written onscreen, using PDF: candidates will be asked to mark up text using the annotation tools in (the free) Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. Instructions will be provided in advance, so that candidates can familiarize themselves with this markup method.
Editors Canada will not offer in-person exam locations in 2021 (as in 2020) for the professional certification exams in structural editing and proofreading. We plan to offer two ways to take the exam:
- Remote proctoring: This will be the default option. Full details to be posted here soon, but we are working on a method to offer the exams using a remote proctoring service, which will enable candidates to write the exam on their own computer at home, providing they have a web cam and stable Internet access. Candidates will also need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader DC (for the proofreading exam; if you have a subscription to Adobe Acrobat Standard or Pro, that is fine) or Microsoft Word (for the structural exam) installed on their home computer.
- Arrange your own site and invigilator: Alternatively, candidates can take advantage of our existing “remote testing” policy, 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. Email us for details, or visit the Remote Locations section of the certification web page. Submit the details (location and invigilator) for approval along with your registration by October 8, 2021. 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 Remote 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 8, 2021.
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.
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.
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.
Two professional certification exams will be offered on Saturday, November 20, 2021:
Structural editing Saturday, November 20, 2021 10 am to 1 pm local time
Proofreading Saturday, November 20, 2021 2 pm to 5 pm local time
The other exams will be offered in the coming years; stay tuned for details:
- Stylistic editing
- Copy editing
The exams are offered every November, in two-year rotations. In 2019 and 2020, we offered one professional certification exam 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. We are returning to our two-per-year schedule beginning in 2021.
Registration for the 2021 Structural Editing and Proofreading Exams is now open (closing October 22, 2021). Please visit our registration page.
The buzz about certification
One Person's Experience
"Being certified," Donna Dawson recalls, "would show potential clients—and myself—that I am a good editor."