Recap of Everything You Wanted to Know About Certification – And More!

Speaker: Janice Dyer

Report Writer: Gillian Urbankiewicz

At the May branch meeting, Janice Dyer outlined EAC’s certification process, provided an update on new developments in certification, and offered tips for preparing for the tests.

There are four areas of certification: proofreading, copy editing, stylistic editing, and structural editing. If you pass all four tests, you become a Certified Professional Editor (CPE).

Janice recommends that those looking to take one or more of the certification tests begin their studying at least four months in advance. She advises starting with EAC’s Professional Editorial Standards, since the tests are based on these standards. The EAC Certification Study Guides are also useful study aids. Those preparing for the test should write the sample tests in the study guides and score themselves in order to determine their areas of weakness. Once they review their weak areas, they should try the tests again.

All tests are paper-based and test takers are permitted to bring a Canadian dictionary, Editing Canadian English, and up to three style guides. Janice found that adding tabs to the style guides helped her to quickly find relevant sections when under the tests’ time crunch.

Two out of the four tests are offered each November. This November, the copy editing and stylistic editing tests will be written in selected Canadian cities. The proofreading and structural editing tests will be written in November of 2012. Please check EAC’s website for specific dates and locations.

Results are delivered sixteen to eighteen weeks after the test is written. Along with notification of either a “pass” or a “fail,” test takers receive a checklist with feedback on their performance.

Beginning in 2012, newly certified editors will be required to perform a minimum number of professional development activities (such as mentoring, teaching, or reading relevant books and websites) every five years in order to maintain their certification. Full details about credential maintenance are still being developed.

While certification is not a requirement of membership in EAC, it is something that editors can use to help promote themselves and their services.

For more information on certification, please see the EAC website.

Janice Dyer is a freelance editor with over eleven years of experience. She works with educational publishers, small publishing houses, government and not-for-profit organizations, and individuals. She was one of EAC’s first Certified Professional Editors and is a member of the Certification Steering Committee.

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