Is there a Professional Qualification for Editors?
In Australia since 2008, yes, there is a professional qualification for editors. The name of the qualification is ‘Accredited Editor’.
What does it mean to be an Accredited Editor?
Editors who have passed the accreditation exam and become certified may use the pronominal ‘AE’ – e.g. Gail Tagarro, AE – to indicate their qualification.
The qualification is a benchmark for employers and clients. For editors, it provides credibility, and is a ‘reliable indicator of competence’ (IPEd).
I was very excited when a professional qualification for editors – an industry-standard qualification – was introduced. I knew it was going to be important for my future as an editor. Up until then, in Australia and New Zealand at least, there was no industry-accredited qualification available.
What Organisation Manages Editor Accreditation?
The Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd) Accreditation Board has been responsible since 2005 for developing and implementing the accreditation scheme.
First exam 2008
IPEd introduced the first accreditation exam in October 2008 across multiple locations in Australia. I sat it in Brisbane. At the time, it was paper-based (as it was for the next four exams). We used pencil and rubber, and I didn’t stop writing the whole time. By the end of the three hours, I thought my hand was going to drop off. My colleagues and I exited the exam room in a daze.
When I passed and received my certificate, I was euphoric.
On-screen delivery of the accreditation exam happened for the first time in 2016. The next on-screen exam was in 2018. I was an invigilator both times. Exciting, slightly nail-biting times ensuring that before the exam and against the clock the PCs and Macs were set up and functioning correctly, and then explaining to the candidates how to answer the various types of questions.
No walk in the park, the accreditation exam is a rigorous one. It stringently assesses editors’ knowledge and skills, and an 80% score is the minimum required in order to pass. While anyone can sit it, it’s recommended candidates have at least three years’ full-time editing experience. Even for experienced editors, it’s advisable to attend the workshops that IPEd and some of the state editing societies offer, and to work through sample exams. It’s also wise to do a lot of prior study, to prepare for questions slightly outside of our usual areas of expertise.
Renewal of Accreditation Every Five Years
Once qualified, Accredited Editors cannot rest on their laurels and calmly watch the world go by for the rest of their working career.
Every five years, AEs must apply for renewal of accreditation. This involves completing a lengthy form to provide proof of ongoing work in the editing profession, and evidence of continuing professional development.
Yippee, my Accreditation was just Renewed!
This is the real reason I wrote this blog! To skite (a word one never sees these days…) that I applied for reaccreditation in December 2018, and last week my application for renewal was approved!
I’ve now been an Accredited Editor for 10 years.
A professional qualification for editors—IPEd Accredited Editor (AE)
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