When I started my freelance proofreading service, I immediately looked for a professional organisation. I am a Chartered Public Finance Accountant – I’m used to being a member of a professional body for support, training and guidance. It provides reassurance for those I work with/for that I know what I’m doing. I wanted the same for my proofreading.
So, I was glad to find the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP).
CIEP is a non-profit organisation run by and for its members. It promotes editorial excellence by supporting practitioners with training, networking and professional recognition.
It was recently granted a Royal Charter. These are reserved for bodies that work in the public interest (such as professional institutions and charities) and which can demonstrate pre-eminence, stability and permanence in their particular field. The granting of this charter gives further credence and credibility to the profession.
For me, the CIEP provides a community of proofreaders – there are local groups, online forums and other routes for support if you’re finding something tricky. There’s a wealth of knowledge to tap into around how to find work, promoting your business and dealing with any issues that may come up.
Freelancing can be quite isolating at times so it provides a connection with people working in similar circumstances and a group of people who would be quite happy to while away an afternoon arguing over where a comma or apostrophe should go.
The training programme is first rate and I am working my way through it to gain higher grades of membership and to broaden my skills. Proofreading is not just having a glance through a text – there’s lots to take on board and CIEP’s training prepares you for this. It’s hard work but the tutors provide great advice and help you along the way.
The training means not only did I get up to standard for proofreading but I keep abreast of changes in styles, standards etc via CPD.
Ultimately, saying you’re a member of CIEP means your clients know you’ve been vetted – you have to demonstrate your skills and training to the membership panel. It shows your skills have been recognised and that you’ll follow a code of practice. This gives clients peace of mind.
Through its networking, I have made some friends, had worked referred to me and picked up a few clients at its conferences. Being a member has recouped the cost of the membership every year – not just financially – so, I never have any hesitation in renewing.
- So far, not so good…!
- Most of the time, but it can be as early as 22nd March.