Have you ever thought about obtaining a certificate or certification? This infographic breaks down the info for five different programs, including costs and course requirements.

I’ve been thinking a lot about professional development lately, and I’ve been considering taking the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences (BELS) exam. I’ve done a fair amount of research on all the programs out there and thought, “Wouldn’t it be helpful to have something that compares some of the options?” So I went ahead and created this infographic to do just that!

Keep in mind that I decided to focus on five options: There are many other programs available, including the University of Chicago Graham School’s Editing Certificate program and the University of Washington’s Certificate in Editing program.

I think it’s also important to distinguish between certification and a certificate. Certification indicates proficiency; a certificate indicates training but not necessarily expertise or proficiency.

As always, I’d love to hear from other editors. Feel free to comment below!

[Note: Infographic was updated based on some of the comments I received. Thanks all!]

[Click on image to view PDF version]

21 thoughts to “Editing Certificates and Certifications: Part 1

  • Vivek Kumar

    Hi, Denise.

    Nice infographic. The EAC certification program is now conducted online. Also, it would be good to mention whether the available online programs can be taken at home or one need to go to a test center to take the program. The BELS test is on hard copy. And, finally, I think you should have included IPEd (Australia) accreditation program also.

    Reply
    • Denise Foster

      Thanks for the feedback! I did update the information in the infographic based on the comments I received. I decided to omit certain information for readability. Anyone who is interested in these programs can feel free to research them further. If this post is popular, I might do a Part 2 to include additional options!

      Reply
      • Vivek Kumar

        Please do part 2. You can then include even the SfEP test (part of the membership benefit).

        Reply
    • Elizabeth d'Anjou

      Hi, Vivek! I remember you from the Editing Goes Global conference in Toronto. Hope all is well with you.

      Just to be clear, the Editors Canada tests are now taken on computer, but they aren’t “online” in the sense of on the Internet. Like the BELS test and like professional certification tests in most other fields, they are taken in a supervised location.

      Reply
      • Vivek Kumar

        I am glad you remember me Elizabeth d’Anjou. I hope we will meet again in 2019.

        Reply
  • Elizabeth d'Anjou

    Denise,
    Thanks for this useful summary! I’m the Director of Standards & Certification for on the Editors Canada national executive council, and would like to offer a couple of corrections:
    — The Editors Canada certification tests have indeed been on hard copy in the past, but starting this copy editing, stylistic editing, and structural editing tests are all computer-based (candidates will edit passages in Microsoft Word). We’re in the process of updating our website material!
    — Your table includes the note “Costs are in US dollars,” but the price of $550 cited for an Editors Canada test is in Canadian dollars. It’s equivalent to about $410 US at today’s exchange rate. (And of course, Americans are welcome to join Editors Canada to save on Certification and lots of other great benefits for editors!)

    Note that Editors Canada professional certification is open to Americans; tests are offered every November in a number of Canadian cities, and there is a possibility of arranging for local proctoring if you live far from any test centres. Candidates can choose the dictionary and style guide they follow (so, you can still be certified even if you spell it “test center” ;-p ).

    Check out the free webinar for more info:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWdarNmIsA0

    Cheers,
    Ed’A
    P.S. Love the title of your blog!

    Reply
    • Denise Foster

      Thank you! I did update the information based on your comments. Exciting that the tests are now being offered electronically. Thanks for the corrections!

      Reply
      • Elizabeth d'Anjou

        Wow, that was quick! Thanks so much, Denise. We’re certainly excited about it.
        Also about the two brand-new study guides we’re launching on Monday to help people prepare for the tests this November, which will be based on the newly updated Professional Editorial Standards.
        http://www.editors.ca/publications/professional-editorial-standards

        Looking forward to more great blog posts from you.

        Reply
        • Vivek Kumar

          I think, it will be better if the information regarding EAC certification exam preparation courses being offered by a Canadian university is also mentioned.

          Reply
    • Wendy Barron

      Elizabeth, can members of affiliated associations (like ACES) take the certification exams at the Editors Canada member price? I thought they could, but correct me if I’m wrong.

      Reply
      • Elizabeth d'Anjou

        Wendy,
        We have a partnership agreement with ACES under which each organization’s members gets member prices for the other’s conferences and online training—that means the ACES Poynter Institute certificate courses on the one hand and Editors Canada webinars on the other. (Also in-person seminars at the discretion of the sponsoring branch or twig.) There’s a similar arrangement with the SfEP in the U.K., except the discounts are for a certain percentage. (We’re working on a partnership with the EFA.)

        The certification tests aren’t covered under any current agreements. (Though, as you can see, the strong U.S. dollar gives Americans a big discount in any case!)

        Note too that the SfEP recognizes Editors Canada Certification as qualification for Advanced Professional Membership.

        Ed’A

        Reply
    • Anna Biunno

      Excellent information! And I just noticed that the new certification study guides for Copy Editing and Stylistic Editing are now available.

      I am strongly considering these certifications, but what has been a barrier (in addition to studying!) is the test location. I would be interested in learning more about the proctoring arrangement on the state side. One suggestion is to have the proctoring conducted by the Editorial Freelancers Association in the U.S., if more of a robust relationship is in the cards.

      Reply
      • Katharine O'Moore-Klopf

        Ooh, a proctoring arrangement! That would be most excellent. I love the idea of inter-association cooperation.

        Reply
      • Elizabeth d'Anjou

        Anna,
        Yes, I’m SO proud of the new guides and the hard-working commitee members who got them ready in time for this registration season. New standards + computer testing = a big revision job! When you buy a test prep guide, you get a pdf with all kinds of info, including a sample test—AND you get a Word file of the sample test, so you can do it on your computer.

        Contact our Professional Standards Coordinator, Erica, at certification@editors.ca , for a copy of the distance proctoring requirements. We’d love to certify some Yankees!

        Ed’A

        Reply
  • Katharine O'Moore-Klopf

    It’s helpful to have all of these details in one place, so thank you, Denise, for the infographic.

    However, because of the differences between certification and certificates, I believe that it is misleading to title the infographic “Becoming a certified editor.” Only those editors who have passed certification exams can be called certified editors. Those who have earned certificates are not certified; they have merely completed courses.

    Reply
    • Denise Foster

      Thank you for commenting, Katharine! I did consider another title, but ultimately I decided to address the difference between certification and certificates in the text above the infographic. I would hope that professional editors understand the distinction, but it certainly wasn’t my intention to be misleading.

      Reply
  • Katharine O' Moore-Klopf

    I like the title change on your infographic, Denise. Very helpful. I’ll be sharing the link to your post on social media.

    Reply
    • Denise Foster

      Thank you! I thought that would help clarify things 🙂

      Reply
  • Karen Stewart

    I recently received a copy editing certificate from the University of California-San Diego extension program. Perhaps there are many such programs, and you can only include a few on your info graphic. Since my program isn’t listed, is it not considered a respected copy editing training program? My fellow students were from the US as well as from around the world, so I assumed that it would be a well-known program. Now I’m wondering!

    Reply
    • Denise Foster

      Thanks for commenting, Karen! The UCSD program is definitely a well-respected program. Congratulations on earning your certificate! I just only had so much room. But I am planning to do a Part 2 and maybe even a Part 3 to follow up with information on more programs. Stay tuned!

      Reply

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