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Qualifying for the Exams
Are You Ready?
Although there are no formal prerequisites for the professional certification exams, we strongly recommend that you have at least five years of editing experience before taking any of the exams.
We also urge you to prepare carefully.
Simply having worked as an editor for many years may not be enough to enable you to pass the exams.
The professional certification exams cover a broad range of skills and knowledge, including the fundamentals of editing. (Please see Part A, "The Fundamentals of Editing," in Professional Editorial Standards (2016).
It's important to have broad experience as well as in-depth knowledge of the skill set evaluated by a particular exam. The professional certification exams cover the skills required to work in all media.
If you've spent your entire career editing books, for example, you'll need to expand your knowledge to include principles and best practices for editing websites, promotional materials, corporate materials, government documents, newspapers, magazines and other media.
Before you register for an exam, we encourage you to:
- Time yourself while taking the practice test in the Test Preparation Guides
- Study the answer key in the guide
- Work through Meeting Professional Editorial Standards
This will help you determine whether you're ready for the actual exam.
You may find our preparation checklist useful as you evaluate your readiness.
Who is Considered an Editor?
Editors Canada's professional certification is intended for editors of written material who do proofreading, copy editing, stylistic editing and structural editing.
The meanings of these terms can vary considerably from one organization to another. Please review Editors Canada's definitions of editorial skills and Professional Editorial Standards (2016) to determine how these terms may relate to your own occupational title and job description.
Becoming certified is valuable for both freelance and staff editors, whatever their titles.
Offering professional certification to employees whose jobs include editing and proofreading is also valuable for employers.
If you work in English—no matter what country you live in—you're welcome to take Editors Canada's professional certification exams. The benefits of Editors Canada's professional certification are recognized worldwide.
The program is designed to test the skills of editors working within Canada. While many of the standards underlying the exams are common to editorial practices in other countries, the exams do require some familiarity with Canadian practices, resources and issues.
Two exams are traditionally offered in cities across Canada every November; in 2020, we are offering only one exam (get details here). As of 2018, we're also offering remote testing at a site that's convenient for you, subject to certain conditions.
Although professional certification is open to both members and non-members of Editors Canada, members pay lower exam fees.