IPEd brings together the societies of editors in Canberra, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.
IPEd coordinates national initiatives that benefit Australian editors:
- managing the accreditation scheme
- sponsoring the biennial conference
- organising professional development
- raising the profile of editors and the value they add to all forms of written communication
- sponsoring awards for excellence in editing
- maintaining and promoting Australian standards for editing practice.
IPEd is not an individual membership association: its members are the seven societies of editors. Individual editors, or those interested in the profession, can become members of their local society of editors.
In 1998 Australia's seven societies of editors came together to form the Council of Australian Societies of Editors (CASE), making it possible to undertake projects to benefit editing and editors on a national basis for the first time.
The development of Australian standards for editing practice was a landmark project. The standards codified for the first time the knowledge that an editor brings to the job and set standards against which to measure editorial competence.
CASE next looked into establishing an accreditation scheme using the standards as a foundation. After ten years of research, planning and consultation, a scheme was approved by the membership; an examination was held and the first candidates were accredited in 2008.
CASE also began a program of biennial national conferences hosted by the state societies; the first was held in Brisbane in 2003. These have promoted contact among editors across Australia, increased research and development in the profession, and strengthened the societies by developing their management skills and attracting members.
CASE operated by means of informal cooperation among the presidents of the societies of editors, but to be an effective peak body for the profession it needed to become a legal entity.
After five years of research and consultation, the members of the societies accepted a proposal and then agreed on a constitution. In early 2008 CASE was replaced by the Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd), a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee.
IPEd is governed by a council comprising one nominee from each of the members, the seven societies of editors.