KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Certificate Program and Certification Are Not the Same

Obtaining a certificate is not the same as achieving professional certification.

Please note that certificate programs can be very valuable. But I want to make sure that editorial professionals don't think they're the same as certification. Someone on one of the profession-related email discussion lists that I subscribe to conflated the two concepts today.

Directory listing for an editor with BELS certification
When you are given a certificate, it is a usually a piece of paper noting that you have completed a course or a series of courses. In contrast, certification requires that you have professional experience and have passed a thorough assessment examination. Passing the examination allows you to use a specific professional designation after your name. For example, because I have achieved certification as an editor in the life sciences, I am allowed to use the professional designation ELS after my name.

The page "Professional Certification vs. Certificate Program" of the website of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has a good discussion of the differences between the two concepts. Scroll down to the heading "Difference Between Professional Certification and Certificate Program." The chart in that section is especially helpful.

The United States does not have any organizations that provide certification of general editing proficiency. Note, however, that the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences provides certification of editing proficiency in the life sciences, and the Society for Technical Communication, whose membership includes writers and editors, provides certification of technical communicators [updated August 11, 2016].

Editors Canada is one of several professional associations outside the United States that does provide general certification. Updated: Editors who live outside Canada can take the organization's certification examinations. The "Qualifying for the Tests" page of the organization's website says:

If you work in English—no matter what country you live in—you're welcome to take the Editors Canada certification tests. The benefits of Editors Canada certification are recognized worldwide.

Editors Canada now offers a remote testing option through which candidates can write anywhere, by organizing their own test location and invigilator [updated July 29, 2019].

For more information, write to info@editors.ca.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

How to Become a Medical Editor

There is no standardized process for becoming a medical editor. But in a guest post on The Editors' Weekly, the blog of Editors/Réviseurs Canada, I provide a map for one way to do it.

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