Editors Canada Professional Certification

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(© Editors’ Association of Canada; Yulia Kireeva © 123RF.com)

Benefits of Professional Certification

Whether you’re an editor or someone who hires editors, you can benefit from the landmark professional certification program offered by Editors Canada.

Editors Canada Professional Certification sets objective standards for recognizing high levels of knowledge and skill. It’s the gold standard of editing.

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If you’re an editor

Editors Canada Professional Certification:

  • Helps you identify strengths and fill in gaps in your knowledge and skill sets
  • Provides professional recognition of your high level of knowledge and skill
  • Provides a powerful marketing advantage
  • Allows you to command a higher salary or charge higher fees
  • In some cases, allows you to skip time-consuming steps in the process of bidding for contracts
  • Earns the respect of your peers
  • Helps raise the profile of editing as a highly skilled profession
Two men sitting across from each other at a desk

If you hire in-house or contract editors

Editors Canada Professional Certification:

  • Allows you to identify potential employees and/or contractors who meet industry standards for high quality of work
  • Eliminates the need to test prospective employees or contractors
  • Offers a marketing advantage (“We use Editors Canada-certified editors, who are masters of their craft”)
Three individuals in office attire

If you supervise in-house editors

Editors Canada Professional Certification:

  • Ensures that your employees meet industry standards for high quality of work
  • Provides meaningful professional development opportunities

Recognizing excellence

Editors Canada Professional Certification identifies editors who are masters of their craft.

It’s therefore not surprising that certified editors are finding new opportunities and making more money than ever before. They’re able to demonstrate to employers and clients that they provide immense value.

The Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, several national non-governmental organizations and the Certified General Accountants’ Association of Canada are just some of the organizations that recognize the value of Editors Canada Professional Certification when they hire editors.

Read what certified editors are saying about the benefits of Editors Canada Professional Certification.


Editors Canada Professional Certification is for editors of written material who work in English. It’s available to both Editors Canada members and non-members.

There are five credentials. To earn an editing credential, you must pass the required exam(s), as indicated in the table below.

Because Editors Canada Professional Certification tests for excellence (rather than proficiency), we recommend that you have at least five years of full-time experience as a working editor before taking one of the exams.

Your credential year is the one after the administration of your successful exam. If you successfully write an exam in 2018, for example, you will be awarded the credential in 2019.

CredentialRequired Exam(s)
Certified ProofreaderProofreading
Certified Copy EditorCopy Editing
Certified Stylistic EditorStylistic Editing
Certified Structural EditorStructural Editing
Certified Professional Editor (CPE)Proofreading
Copy Editing
Stylistic Editing
Structural Editing

Learn about credential maintenance.

Exam fees

 Editors Canada membersNon-members
One exam$450$550
Two exams in the same year$850$1,050


If Editors Canada cancels an exam for which you have registered, you’ll have the opportunity to either transfer your registration or receive a full refund of your registration fees. If you cancel your registration for any other reason and the association receives written notice of your cancellation on or before October 28, 2023, Editors Canada will refund your registration less a $100 cancellation fee. No refunds will be issued for cancellations received after October 28, 2023.

Exam locations

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For the foreseeable future, we will not be offering in-person exam locations. The 2023 professional certification exams in structural editing and proofreading will be offered by remote testing (online and onscreen) only.

(Before the pandemic, Editors Canada Professional Certification exams were typically offered at official exam sites in Vancouver, Toronto, and Ottawa. We also offered them from time to time in other locations within Canada if we received enough applications from candidates there.)

Remote locations

2023 exams to be offered remotely only (online and onscreen)

In 2020, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Editors Canada moved all professional certification exams to a fully electronic format. This means that moving forward, all exams will be written onscreen (including proofreading, which was previously offered on paper, but is now in PDF format; candidates should be familiar with electronic markup in Adobe Acrobat).

Once again in 2023, we will not offer in-person exam locations.

Remote testing

Candidates are able to write the exam on their own computer at home (PC or Mac). We’ll provide you with the exam in .docx format and ask you to download it, complete it and upload it within the exam timeframe. You will need to have reliable internet access and Microsoft Word installed on your home computer (NOT Google Docs). You should also have a quiet, private space in your home during the exam, in which to write the exam.

Upcoming exams

Two professional certification exams will be offered on Saturday, November 18, 2023:


Saturday, November 18, 2023
10 a.m. to 1 p.m., local time

Structural Editing

Saturday, November 18, 2023
2 p.m. to 5 p.m., local time

The other exams will be offered in the coming years; stay tuned for details. Exams are offered every November, typically in two-year rotations. 

Visit the Registration page to register for the 2023 certification exams.

The buzz about Editors Canada Professional Certification

[Editors Canada] certification has opened many doors for me. Presenting myself as a Certified Professional Editor gives me credibility, confidence and a steady stream of clients.

Anne Louise Mahoney, CPE
Certified Professional Editor
Freelance Editor

Certification earned me extra points when bidding on a federal government standing offer for English editing services. Believe me, every point counts! I eventually won the standing offer.

Marion Soublière
Certified Copy Editor and Certified Proofreader
President, M.E.S. Editing and Writing Services

I received a call from a prospective client who chose me from the online directory because I was a Certified Proofreader. This confirmed for me that certification means something to clients.

Donna Dawson
Certified Copy Editor and Certified Proofreader
Freelance Editor

My certification in copy editing gives employers confidence that I can handle a job correctly and with authority. Also, it has earned me respect from my peers.

Beverly Ensom
Certified Copy Editor
English Editor, House of Commons
Contract Editor, The Conference Board of Canada

My clients are assured that, as a Certified Proofreader, I am recognized by [Editors Canada] for professional excellence in editing accuracy, judgment, skills and experience.

Alan Yoshioka, PhD
Certified Proofreader
Founder, AY’s Edit

I found it heartening to have my skills validated by an external measure. The process of preparing for certification was also valuable, giving me the occasion, motivation and many of the tools for productive bout of professional development.

Laura Cappello Bromling
Certified Copy Editor
Freelance Editor

One person’s experience

“Being certified,” Donna Dawson recalls, “would show potential clients—and myself—that I am a good editor.”

PDF icon Read her story in “Are You Certifiable?” published in the Winter 2008 edition of Active Voice. (31.86 KB)

Certification quick links

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