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Top 11 News Editor Certifications

This article provides an overview of the best certifications for top news editors, including details on program requirements and benefits.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications for a news editor are important because they provide employers with evidence that the individual has gained the necessary knowledge and skills to be successful in the role. Certifications demonstrate an editor’s commitment to professional development, and they can help distinguish them from other applicants in a competitive job market. Additionally, certifications can provide access to resources and networks that can further enhance an editor’s career. Employers may also view certifications as a sign of trustworthiness, as it shows that the individual has met the standards set forth by a reputable organization or institution.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for News Editors and explains how they can help advance a news editor's career.

What are News Editor Certifications?

News editor certification is a professional credential that recognizes the skills and knowledge of individuals who work in the news editing profession. This certification is offered by several organizations, such as the American Copy Editors Society (ACES) and the Poynter Institute. It is designed to help news editors hone their skills and demonstrate their ability to stay up-to-date on industry standards and best practices.

To earn this certification, individuals must complete an application process that includes demonstrating proficiency in grammar, punctuation, style, accuracy, and editorial judgment. Additionally, they must also pass an exam that tests their knowledge of these topics. Once certified, news editors are able to show prospective employers that they have the necessary skill set for the job.

The benefits of having this certification go beyond just helping with job prospects; it also allows editors to stay current on changes in the industry, develop new skills and techniques, understand ethical considerations when editing stories, as well as become more confident in their work. In addition to gaining recognition among peers and employers alike, certified news editors can often command higher salaries than those without this credential. As such, news editor certification is a valuable asset for any aspiring or established professional looking to advance their career in journalism or media production.

Pro Tip: To become a certified news editor, you should consider taking courses in journalism and media studies that cover topics such as editing practices, copywriting, and media law. Additionally, gaining experience in the field by working as an intern or volunteer at a news organization can help you gain valuable insight into the profession.

Related: What does a News Editor do?

Top 11 News Editor Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to News Editors today.

1. Certified Professional Editor (CPE)

Certified Professional Editor (CPE) is an internationally recognized professional accreditation for editors. It is awarded by the Editors’ Association of Canada (EAC) and signifies a high level of editorial skill, knowledge, and experience.

To become a CPE, an editor must have at least five years of professional editing experience and pass a rigorous examination that tests their skills in copyediting, proofreading, grammar, punctuation, syntax, usage, and style. The exam also covers topics such as project management, ethics and copyright law.

It typically takes six months or more to prepare for the CPE exam. To get started on the path to becoming a CPE, editors must first join EAC as a Professional Member. This requires submitting evidence of their professional editing experience and passing an online quiz about EAC’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.

The cost of becoming a CPE varies depending on your membership status with EAC. For Professional Members who are not yet Certified Editors in Training (CEIT), the fee is $500 CAD plus applicable taxes; for CEITs it is $350 CAD plus applicable taxes; and for those who are already Certified Members it is $250 CAD plus applicable taxes.

2. Certified Copy Editor (CCE)

Certified Copy Editor (CCE) is a professional certification program offered by the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences (BELS). The CCE credential is designed to recognize editors who have achieved a high level of proficiency in copyediting and proofreading. It is intended for those who have at least two years of experience in copyediting and proofreading, and it is recognized as an industry-wide standard.

The CCE exam consists of two parts: an online test and a practical editing test. The online portion covers topics such as grammar, punctuation, usage, style, formatting, and other related topics. The practical editing test requires applicants to edit a sample document according to BELS standards.

The entire process usually takes about six months from start to finish. Applicants must first register with BELS and submit their application materials. Once accepted into the program, applicants must complete the online portion of the exam within three months. After passing the online portion of the exam, applicants must then take the practical editing test within three months of completing the online portion.

The cost for taking the CCE exam varies depending on where you live and how many tests you are taking at once. Generally speaking, it costs around $300-$400 USD per test taken.

3. Certified Digital Editor (CDE)

Certified Digital Editor (CDE) is a certification program offered by the American Copy Editors Society (ACES). It is designed to recognize editors who demonstrate a mastery of digital editing skills and knowledge.

The CDE program consists of two parts: an online exam and a hands-on assessment. The online exam covers topics such as copyediting, grammar, style, proofreading, fact-checking, and digital media. The hands-on assessment requires the editor to complete a series of tasks using popular editing software.

It takes approximately four weeks to complete the CDE program. To get started, applicants must submit an application form and pay a fee of $175 USD. Once accepted into the program, applicants will receive access to the online exam and instructions on how to complete the hands-on assessment.

Upon successful completion of both parts of the program, applicants will be awarded with the Certified Digital Editor (CDE) credential. This credential is valid for three years and can be renewed by taking additional courses or completing other requirements as determined by ACES.

4. National Council of Editors Certification (NCEC)

The National Council of Editors Certification (NCEC) is a professional certification program designed to recognize editors who demonstrate excellence in their field. The NCEC was established by the American Copy Editors Society (ACES) and is recognized as the premier certification program for editors.

To become certified, editors must pass a rigorous exam that covers topics such as grammar, punctuation, usage, style, copyediting and proofreading. The exam takes approximately four hours to complete and consists of multiple-choice questions and editing exercises.

In order to apply for the NCEC exam, applicants must have two years of full-time editorial experience or three years of part-time editorial experience. They must also submit an application form with references from two professional editors who can attest to their skills.

The cost of the NCEC exam is $200 USD. If applicants are successful on the exam, they will receive a certificate recognizing them as an NCEC Certified Editor. This certification is valid for five years after which time it must be renewed by taking another exam.

5. American Copy Editors Society Certification (ACES)

The American Copy Editors Society (ACES) Certification is a professional development program designed to help copy editors, proofreaders, and other language professionals hone their skills and demonstrate their expertise. It is the only certification program of its kind in the United States.

The ACES Certification consists of two parts: a written exam and an online portfolio review. The written exam tests knowledge of English grammar, usage, punctuation, style, and other topics related to copy editing. The portfolio review evaluates the applicant’s ability to apply their knowledge to actual copy editing projects.

It typically takes between three and six months to complete the ACES Certification process. During this time, applicants must study for the written exam, create a portfolio of their work, and submit it for review.

The cost of the ACES Certification varies depending on whether or not you are an ACES member. For non-members, it costs $250 to take the written exam and $200 for the portfolio review. For members, it costs $150 for the written exam and $100 for the portfolio review.

To get started with your ACES Certification journey, visit https://www.copydesk.org/certification/.

6. Society for Editors and Proofreaders Certification (SfEP)

The Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) is an independent, international professional body that provides a range of qualifications and services to editors and proofreaders. The SfEP Certification is an internationally recognised qualification which demonstrates a high level of competence in editing and proofreading.

The SfEP Certification consists of two stages: the Professional Membership Exam and the Practical Assessment. The Professional Membership Exam tests your knowledge of language, grammar, punctuation, style, and editorial processes. The Practical Assessment tests your practical skills in editing and proofreading by having you edit a sample document.

It takes approximately 6-12 months to complete the certification process depending on how quickly you can study for the exam and complete the assessment tasks.

To get certified by SfEP you will need to become a member first. You can do this by signing up online or downloading an application form from their website. Once you have become a member, you can book onto one of their training courses or self-study for the Professional Membership Exam using their recommended resources. After successfully passing the exam, you will need to submit three pieces of work for assessment before being awarded your certification.

The cost of becoming certified depends on whether you are already a member or not. If not, then it costs £150 to join as a Member Plus (£100 as a Member) plus £180 for the Professional Membership Exam (£120 if self-studying). Then there is an additional fee of £90 for each piece of assessed work submitted for the Practical Assessment stage (£60 if self-studying).

7. National Association of Science Writers Certification (NASW)

The National Association of Science Writers (NASW) Certification is a professional credential for science writers. The certification is designed to recognize the skills and knowledge of experienced science writers, as well as to encourage the development of new talent in the field.

To become certified, applicants must meet certain criteria, including having at least three years of full-time or equivalent experience in science writing and/or editing. They must also submit a portfolio of their work that demonstrates their ability to write accurately and effectively about scientific topics.

The application process takes approximately six weeks from start to finish. During this time, applicants will need to complete an online application form and provide supporting documents such as resumes, writing samples, and references. Once these materials are received and reviewed by NASW staff, applicants will be notified if they have been accepted into the program.

The cost for certification is $200 for NASW members and $250 for non-members. This fee covers the review process as well as one year of membership in NASW (for non-members). After one year, members must renew their certification by paying an annual fee of $50.

8. American Press Institute Certification (API)

The American Press Institute (API) Certification is a professional development program designed to help journalists and media professionals build their skills and knowledge in the field of journalism. It is a comprehensive program that covers topics such as news writing, reporting, editing, ethics, digital media, social media, and more. The program consists of four courses that must be completed within one year.

The first course is an introduction to the principles of journalism and the newsroom environment. This course covers topics such as news values, sources of information, interviewing techniques, and basic reporting skills. The second course focuses on writing for print and digital media outlets with topics such as headline writing, story structure, grammar rules, AP style guidelines, and more. The third course focuses on multimedia journalism with topics such as audio recording techniques, video production basics, photojournalism fundamentals, and other visual storytelling methods. The fourth course covers ethical considerations in journalism with topics such as accuracy in reporting, objectivity in reporting, privacy issues in news gathering activities, legal issues related to journalism practice.

To get API certification you must complete all four courses within one year from the start date of your first course. Upon completion of all four courses you will receive a certificate from API certifying your achievement.

The cost for the entire certification program is $1125 USD which includes access to all four courses plus additional resources provided by API throughout the duration of the program.

9. International Association of Business Communicators Certification (IABC)

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Certification is a professional development program for communicators. It is designed to help professionals master the core competencies of business communication and build a foundation of knowledge and skills that will enable them to excel in their field.

The IABC Certification program consists of two parts: the Core Competency Assessment and the Professional Development Program. The Core Competency Assessment evaluates an individual’s current level of knowledge and skills in the areas of writing, editing, research, planning, strategy, technology, media relations, public speaking, crisis communications, and more. After successful completion of the assessment, individuals can move on to the Professional Development Program which includes online courses and workshops that focus on developing specific competencies.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete the IABC Certification program depending on how much time an individual has available to devote to it. To get started with IABC Certification, individuals must first register for the Core Competency Assessment which costs $395 USD (as of 2021). After completing the assessment and passing with a score of 70% or higher, individuals can then sign up for the Professional Development Program which costs $1,495 USD (as of 2021).

Overall, IABC Certification provides communicators with a comprehensive understanding of business communication principles as well as practical tools for success in their field. It is an invaluable asset for any professional looking to advance their career in business communication.

10. Online News Association Certification (ONA)

The Online News Association (ONA) Certification is a professional development program designed to help digital journalists advance their skills and knowledge. It provides a comprehensive overview of the best practices, tools and techniques used in online news production. The certification is designed to equip digital journalists with the skills necessary to produce quality online journalism.

To get certified, you must complete an online course that covers topics such as digital storytelling, content curation, mobile reporting, data visualization and more. The course takes approximately 8-10 hours to complete and can be taken at your own pace. After completing the course, you will receive a certificate of completion from ONA.

The cost of the certification is $99 USD for members of ONA or $149 USD for non-members. You can also purchase a bundle that includes both the course and membership for $199 USD.

11. Investigative Reporters and Editors Certification (IRE).

Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) Certification is an internationally recognized certification program that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a high level of proficiency in investigative reporting. It is designed to recognize reporters, editors, producers, and researchers who have achieved a certain level of excellence in the field of investigative journalism.

The IRE Certification Program requires applicants to complete a series of online courses and exams that cover topics such as research methods, data analysis, interviewing techniques, legal issues, and ethical considerations. The program also includes an on-site assessment where applicants must demonstrate their ability to apply their knowledge in real-world situations. To receive certification, applicants must pass all required courses and assessments with a score of 80% or higher.

The IRE Certification Program typically takes between 6 months and 1 year to complete depending on the applicant's experience level and availability. Applicants can begin the process by registering for the program online at the IRE website. The cost for the program varies based on whether you are an individual or part of an organization; however, most individuals will pay around $1,000 for the entire program.

Do You Really Need a News Editor Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on your individual goals and what you hope to accomplish by pursuing a news editor certificate. If you are looking for a job in the newsroom or if you are already working as an editor, then having a certification can help to boost your credentials and increase your chances of success. Additionally, having a certificate may be necessary for certain positions, such as becoming a senior editor or managing editor.

A news editor certificate can also be beneficial if you are considering starting your own business or freelancing. It can provide you with an edge over other applicants who do not have the same level of education and experience. Having this type of certification shows potential clients that you have taken the time to learn the skills necessary for success in the field of editing and that you are serious about your career.

In terms of deciding whether or not to pursue a news editor certificate, it is important to consider what your ultimate goals are and how this type of certification will help you achieve them. If it aligns with your career aspirations, then it could be worth exploring further.

Related: News Editor Resume Examples

FAQs About News Editor Certifications

1. What is a News Editor Certification?

Answer: A News Editor Certification is a recognition of professional experience and competency in the field of journalism and news editing. The certification program can help individuals demonstrate their knowledge and skills to potential employers or clients.

2. How do I become certified as a News Editor?

Answer: To become certified as a News Editor, you must pass an exam that covers topics such as writing and editing techniques, media law, journalistic ethics, and current events. Depending on the certification program, you may also need to have some professional experience in the field or complete an internship to qualify for certification.

3. What are the benefits of getting certified as a News Editor?

Answer: Having a News Editor Certification can help you stand out from other job applicants or freelancers when looking for work in journalism or related fields. It can also give you credibility when working with clients or employers who are looking for experienced professionals in this area. Additionally, having this certification can open up new career opportunities and higher salaries.

4. Is there any cost associated with getting certified as a News Editor?

Answer: Yes, most certification programs will require some form of payment to cover exam fees or course materials needed for the program. The exact cost will vary depending on the certification program you choose and your individual circumstances.

5. Are there any prerequisites for getting certified as a News Editor?

Answer: Each certification program may have its own set of requirements for eligibility, but generally speaking, it is recommended that individuals have at least two years of professional experience in journalism before attempting to get certified as a News Editor. Additionally, some programs may require completion of specific courses or internships prior to taking the exam.