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Top 11 Proofreader Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top proofreader certifications available, outlining their requirements and benefits.

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 19 min read

Certifications for proofreaders are important for a number of reasons. Firstly, certifications can help potential employers to quickly and easily identify qualified candidates who possess the necessary skills and knowledge to do the job correctly. They also provide proofreaders with an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to professional development and improve their chances of success in the job market. Furthermore, certifications can help employers assess a candidate’s level of expertise and trustworthiness, ensuring that they are hiring someone who is reliable and capable of performing at a high standard. Finally, certifications can open up new job opportunities for proofreaders by allowing them to demonstrate their qualifications in a tangible way.

This article reviews popular certifications for Proofreaders and explains how they can help to further a proofreader's career.

What are Proofreader Certifications?

Proofreader certification is a program designed to provide proofreaders with the skills, knowledge, and credentials necessary to become successful in their field. The certification program consists of both online and in-person classes and exams that cover topics such as English grammar, punctuation, and style. By completing the certification program, proofreaders gain the confidence needed to offer professional services to clients.

Proofreader certification can help those who are interested in becoming a proofreader by giving them the tools they need to be successful. It provides an opportunity for proofreaders to demonstrate their knowledge of grammar, punctuation, and style rules which can give them an edge when competing for jobs. Additionally, it gives employers assurance that any work produced by certified proofreaders has been checked thoroughly and meets industry standards. Furthermore, it also provides proofreaders with access to networking opportunities that can help them find employment or additional clients. Finally, having a recognized certificate from an accredited organization can give potential employers confidence in a candidate's abilities and qualifications.

Pro Tip: Make sure to research and select a proofreader certification program that is accredited and recognized by professional organizations in your field. This will ensure that you're receiving the highest quality of training and that your certification is valid and respected in your industry.

Related: What does a Proofreader do?

Top 11 Proofreader Certifications

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

1. Certified Professional Proofreader (CPP)

Certified Professional Proofreader (CPP) is a professional certification program offered by the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in proofreading skills. The CPP designation is intended to demonstrate that an individual has the knowledge and experience necessary to proofread documents accurately and efficiently.

To become a Certified Professional Proofreader, individuals must pass an exam administered by the EFA. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as grammar, punctuation, spelling, usage, and other aspects of English language editing. Candidates must also submit two sample documents for review by an EFA-approved panel of editors.

The exam takes approximately three hours to complete and costs $150 USD. Candidates who pass the exam will receive their CPP certificate within four weeks after submitting all required materials.

In addition to passing the exam, applicants must also meet certain requirements in order to maintain their CPP status. These requirements include completing 10 hours of continuing education every two years and paying annual dues of $50 USD.

2. Certified Copyeditor (CCE)

Certified Copyeditor (CCE) is a professional certification offered by the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences (BELS). It is designed to recognize editors who demonstrate a high level of competency in copyediting, proofreading, and related editorial skills. The CCE credential provides assurance to employers and clients that an editor has achieved a certain level of proficiency in editing.

The CCE exam consists of two parts: a multiple-choice test and an editing exercise. The multiple-choice test covers topics such as grammar, punctuation, usage, style, formatting, and other editorial skills. The editing exercise requires applicants to edit a sample document according to BELS guidelines.

It typically takes three months to receive results from the CCE exam. Applicants must pass both parts of the exam with a minimum score of 80% in order to be certified as a Certified Copyeditor.

The cost for taking the CCE exam is $300 USD for members of BELS and $400 USD for non-members. The fee includes access to study materials and practice tests, as well as the actual exam itself.

In addition to passing the CCE exam, applicants must also have at least two years of professional experience in copyediting or related fields before they can become certified copyeditors.

3. American Copy Editors Society (ACES) Certification Program

The American Copy Editors Society (ACES) Certification Program is a professional development program that provides copy editors with the skills and knowledge necessary to become an effective and efficient editor. The program consists of four courses, each of which covers a specific area of editing: Grammar & Usage, Punctuation & Mechanics, Editing for Style & Clarity, and Editing for Digital Media. Each course is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of editing principles and practices as well as hands-on practice in applying them.

The program takes approximately eight months to complete. The first three courses are offered online in self-paced modules, while the fourth course is offered in person at ACES conferences or other locations around the country. Participants must complete all four courses within one year to receive certification.

To get certified, participants must register for the ACES Certification Program on the ACES website and pay a fee of $295 (plus applicable taxes). This fee covers all four courses plus access to additional resources such as webinars and discussion forums. Upon successful completion of all four courses, participants will receive an official certificate from ACES recognizing their achievement.

4. Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches (PARW/CC) Certified Professional Resume Writer

The Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches (PARW/CC) is an international organization that provides certification for professional resume writers and career coaches. The PARW/CC Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) credential is the highest standard of excellence in the resume writing profession.

To become a PARW/CC Certified Professional Resume Writer, you must have at least three years of experience as a professional resume writer and pass a comprehensive written exam. The exam covers topics such as resume writing techniques, job search strategies, interviewing skills, and career development. Once you have passed the exam, you will be awarded the CPRW credential.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete all the requirements for becoming a PARW/CC Certified Professional Resume Writer. During this time, you must complete an approved course on resume writing or attend workshops and seminars on related topics. You will also need to submit several resumes that have been professionally prepared by yourself or another certified resume writer for review by the PARW/CC Certification Board.

The cost to become a PARW/CC Certified Professional Resume Writer varies depending on your location and other factors. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $500-$1,000 to become certified. This includes application fees, course fees, testing fees, and any other associated costs.

Overall, becoming a PARW/CC Certified Professional Resume Writer is an excellent way to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in the field of resume writing and career coaching. It can help you stand out from the competition when applying for jobs or working with clients as it shows that you are committed to providing quality services in this field.

5. National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Certificate in Editing

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Certificate in Editing is a professional credential that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated mastery of the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in the field of editing. The certificate program is designed to provide editors with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their profession.

The Certificate in Editing requires completion of four courses: Introduction to Editing, Writing for Publication, Copyediting, and Proofreading. Each course is offered online and takes approximately 8-10 hours to complete. Upon successful completion of all four courses, students will receive a certificate from NCTE.

The cost for the Certificate in Editing program is $395 USD. This fee includes access to all four courses as well as an official NCTE Certificate upon completion.

To get started, interested individuals can visit the NCTE website and register for the program by completing an online form. Once registered, students will be provided access to all four courses and will be able to begin working towards their certificate at their own pace.

6. American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) Medical Writing Certification

The American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) Medical Writing Certification is a credential that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated mastery of the core competencies required to be an effective medical writer. This certification is designed to help medical writers build their credibility and increase their career opportunities.

To obtain the AMWA Medical Writing Certification, applicants must pass a comprehensive examination that covers topics such as writing style and structure, research methods, editing and proofreading, regulatory documentation, and communication. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions with four possible answers. Applicants must score at least 70% on the exam in order to receive the certification.

The certification process typically takes about two months from start to finish. During this time, applicants must complete an application form and submit it along with payment for the exam fee ($350 for AMWA members; $500 for non-members). Once approved, applicants will receive an email containing instructions on how to access the online exam portal. After completing the exam, applicants will receive their results within seven days.

The AMWA Medical Writing Certification is valid for three years from the date of issuance. To maintain certification status during this period, certified medical writers must complete at least 15 hours of continuing education activities related to medical writing every year.

7. Institute for Editing Excellence (IEE) Certificate in Professional Editing

The Institute for Editing Excellence (IEE) Certificate in Professional Editing is an online certification program designed to provide editors with the skills and knowledge necessary to become successful professionals. The program consists of five courses and takes approximately six months to complete.

The IEE Certificate in Professional Editing provides a comprehensive overview of the editing profession, including topics such as copyediting, proofreading, grammar, style, and formatting. It also covers important professional development topics such as client relations, project management, and marketing. Upon completion of the coursework, participants will be able to demonstrate their knowledge and proficiency in the editing field.

To earn the IEE Certificate in Professional Editing, participants must complete all five courses within six months. Each course requires a minimum of 10 hours of study time per week. Participants are also required to submit two assignments for each course: a written assignment and an audio or video assignment that demonstrates their understanding of the material presented.

The cost of the IEE Certificate in Professional Editing is $1,500 USD. This includes access to all five courses as well as additional resources such as webinars and one-on-one mentoring sessions with experienced editors.

Upon successful completion of all five courses within the six month period, participants will receive an official IEE Certificate in Professional Editing from the Institute for Editing Excellence. This certificate can be used to demonstrate mastery of editing skills to potential employers or clients.

8. Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) Diploma in Proofreading and Copy-editing

The Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) Diploma in Proofreading and Copy-editing is a professional qualification that demonstrates a high level of knowledge and skill in the field of proofreading and copy-editing. It is designed to equip individuals with the skills needed to work professionally as a proofreader or copy-editor, either freelance or employed.

The diploma consists of six modules, which are assessed via online multiple choice tests, followed by an assignment. The modules cover topics such as grammar, punctuation, style guides and editing techniques. The entire course takes approximately 12 months to complete, depending on how quickly you progress through the modules.

To get the diploma, you must first become a member of SfEP. You can then register for the diploma course online or by post. The cost of the course is £1,200 plus VAT (as at April 2021). This includes all materials required for the course such as textbooks and access to online resources.

9. International Association of Professional Writers and Editors (IAPWE) Accredited Editor, Copywriter, or Proofreader

The International Association of Professional Writers and Editors (IAPWE) is a professional organization that provides accreditation to editors, copywriters, and proofreaders. The IAPWE Accredited Editor, Copywriter, or Proofreader certification is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in the areas of editing, copywriting, and proofreading.

To become an IAPWE Accredited Editor, Copywriter, or Proofreader, one must first pass an online test. This test consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as grammar rules and usage conventions, punctuation rules and usage conventions, word choice and style conventions, editing techniques and strategies for effective writing. Once the test is completed successfully, applicants will receive their IAPWE Accredited Editor/Copywriter/Proofreader certificate.

The cost of the IAPWE Accredited Editor/Copywriter/Proofreader certification varies depending on the type of certification chosen (e.g., editor vs. copywriter vs. proofreader). Generally speaking, it costs between $99-$299 USD to become certified in any one area. It typically takes 1-2 weeks to complete the online test and receive your certificate after registering for the exam.

Once you have obtained your IAPWE Accredited Editor/Copywriter/Proofreader certification, you can use it to demonstrate your expertise in these areas to potential employers or clients. This certification can also help you stand out from other professionals in your field by showing that you have taken the time to obtain specialized knowledge in these areas.

10. Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) Certified Freelance Editor

The Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) Certified Freelance Editor is a professional certification program that recognizes freelance editors who demonstrate a high level of skill and professionalism. The certification is designed to help employers identify qualified freelancers and to give freelance editors the opportunity to showcase their skills and experience.

To become EFA Certified, an editor must have at least three years of professional editing experience, pass an online exam, and submit a portfolio of sample work. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions on topics such as grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, style guides, and proofreading. The portfolio should include samples of edited documents or manuscripts and any other relevant materials that demonstrate the editor’s skills.

The process typically takes about three months from start to finish. First, the applicant must submit an application form with details about their experience and qualifications. Once approved by the EFA Certification Committee, the applicant will be sent a link to take the online exam. After passing the exam with a score of 80% or higher, the applicant will be asked to submit their portfolio for review by the Certification Committee. If approved, they will receive their official EFA Certified Freelance Editor certificate in the mail.

The cost of becoming EFA Certified varies depending on whether you are an existing member or nonmember of EFA. For members, there is an initial fee of $50 plus $25 per year for renewal fees; for nonmembers it is $100 plus $50 per year for renewal fees.

11. Grammarly Certified Advanced Grammar and Language Specialist

Grammarly Certified Advanced Grammar and Language Specialist (GCAL) is a certification program offered by Grammarly, an online writing and editing platform. The certification provides advanced grammar and language skills to professionals who use the English language in their work.

The GCAL program consists of two parts: an online exam and a hands-on project. The online exam covers topics such as grammar, syntax, punctuation, style, and usage. It takes approximately three hours to complete the exam. After passing the exam with a score of 80% or higher, candidates must then complete a hands-on project that demonstrates their mastery of the material covered in the exam.

To get certified, applicants must first register for the GCAL program on Grammarly's website. The cost of registration is $199 USD and includes access to course materials and practice exams. Once registered, applicants can schedule their online exam at any time that is convenient for them.

Upon successful completion of both parts of the program, applicants will receive a certificate from Grammarly that recognizes their achievement as an Advanced Grammar and Language Specialist. This certificate can be used to demonstrate expertise in English grammar and language skills to employers or clients.

Do You Really Need a Proofreader Certificate?

It depends on your purpose. A proofreader certificate is not a prerequisite to becoming a professional proofreader, but it can be beneficial in some situations.

If you are looking to gain credibility in the field of proofreading, having a certificate may give you an advantage over other potential candidates who do not have one. It can also be useful if you want to demonstrate that you have taken the time to learn the skills and techniques necessary for successful proofreading. Certificates can also help prove that you understand best practices for catching errors and inconsistencies in written work.

However, if your goal is simply to find employment as a proofreader, most employers will accept applications from those without certificates. It is important to note that any hiring decision will ultimately depend on your experience and qualifications, with or without a certificate. If you lack experience, certifications can help make up for this deficiency and give employers confidence in your abilities.

Ultimately, whether or not you need a proofreader certificate will depend on what kind of job you are seeking and how much experience you already have in the field. In some cases, having such certification could be beneficial; however, it is not always necessary or required for success as a professional proofreader.

Related: Proofreader Resume Examples

FAQs About Proofreader Certifications

1. What is a proofreader certification?

Answer: A proofreader certification is a professional qualification that demonstrates knowledge and expertise in the field of proofreading. It typically includes training in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and other aspects of the English language.

2. How do I become certified as a proofreader?

Answer: To become certified as a proofreader, you will need to complete an accredited course or program in proofreading. This could include online courses, college classes, or attending workshops and seminars. Once you have completed the required coursework, you can take a final exam to earn your certification.

3. What are the benefits of becoming a certified proofreader?

Answer: Becoming a certified proofreader can help to expand your career opportunities and provide credibility to potential employers or clients. Certification also provides access to networking opportunities with other professionals in the field and can help you develop your skills further through continuing education courses and workshops.

4. What type of jobs can I get with a proofreader certification?

Answer: With a proofreader certification, you may be eligible for positions such as copy editor, content editor, web editor, technical writer, publishing assistant, book reviewer, or freelance writer/editor. In addition to these types of roles within traditional publishing companies and media outlets, there are many more opportunities available for freelance writers/editors who offer their services online or through local client networks.

5. How long does it take to become certified as a proofreader?

Answer: The amount of time it takes to become certified as a proofreader will depend on the specific program or course that you choose to take and how much time you are able to devote to studying each week. Generally speaking however, most programs require between 6-12 months of study before taking the final exam for certification is recommended.

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