Education & Training

In addition to my degrees from the University of Calgary (BA with Honours and an MA), I am a long-term voting member of the Editors' Association of Canada (EAC) and have taken numerous editing and computer courses over the years (e.g., “Eight Step Editing”, plain language training, Frontpage, etc.). This interaction of experience and self-education is how many professional editors are trained; simply put, most of us learn on the job and take specialized courses on a need-to-know or an opportunistic basis (the EAC runs courses designed to promote effective professional editing at every national conference, and locally throughout the year. Colleges and universities also offer various useful classes.)

A few editing degrees/diplomas are now available (the best known are offered by Ryerson and Simon Fraser), and the EAC has recently developed a series of tests in four separate aspects of editing: Structural and Stylistic Editing; the Publishing Process (production); Copy Editing; and Proofreading. The completion of all four confers upon the editor the official designation of a Certified Professional Editor (there are currently four designated professional editors in Canada), a benchmark process that the association has been working towards for many years. A professional designation is always good to have, but thus far, I have not found time to do more than briefly consider the possibility. The referrals that come from doing my work to the best of my ability ironically keep me too busy to prepare to challenge the tests (it took almost three years to find the time to prepare this website, and the two projects appear to me to entail a similar time commitment).