Editing standards

IPEd's Australian standards for editing practice sets out the core standards that professional editors should meet.
For more information on the history of the Standards, how to obtain a copy or to print a copy, visit the Australian standards for editing practice webpage.

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IPEd's Australian standards for editing practice sets out the core standards that professional editors should meet.

Australian standards for editing practice also tells employers what to expect  from the editors they hire and shows new editors the range of skills and knowledge they should aspire to. It helps the Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd), educational institutions and other training providers to devise material, seminars and courses on editing. And it is the foundation for IPEd’s national accreditation of editors.

Australian standards for editing practice does not attempt to capture the full array of knowledge, skills, best practice, sequential tasks and responsibilities required by all editors on all projects in all settings. However, professional editors should meet certain core standards. 

The term ‘standard’ is used here to mean ‘anything taken by general consent as a basis of comparison; an approved model’ (Macquarie dictionary). Australian standards for editing practice does not attempt to codify the quality of editors’ work – how well a particular task has been performed. Rather, it aims to set out the knowledge and skills needed for editing practice, those that experienced editors routinely use in their work.

History of the Standards

The first edition of Australian standards for editing practice was devised by the Standards Working Group of the Council of Australian Societies of Editors (CASE), approved by the members of all Australian societies of editors and ratified by CASE in 2001.

CASE was an informal national body that brought together the seven Australian societies of editors to work on projects of common interest. The successor to CASE, the Institute of Professional Editors Limited (IPEd), a not-for-profit company, was established in 2008 as the peak national body for Australian editors.

This revised edition is the result of the efforts of three working groups, the first in 2005–2006. The 2010–2011 working group, comprising members of the Canberra Society of Editors, consulted with members of the other Australian societies of editors through IPEd Council and the committees of IPEd’s member societies.

In 2011, IPEd appointed a facilitator to consult with all Australian societies of editors, through their committees and a series of workshops, in a process similar to that used for the preparation of the original edition of the Standards. After the workshops, each society appointed a coordinator; together the coordinators and facilitator devised the final revision through national teleconferences and consultation with their workshop participants. The resulting document was submitted to IPEd Council and approved by the members of all Australian societies of editors in August 2012. The new edition was published in early 2013.

Obtaining the Standards

Some member societies have ordered print copies of the Standards for their members; others are happy to use the onscreen versions. Check with your society. For viewing onscreen, use the single sheet version [PDF,813kB].

Printing the Standards

To print the Standards as single-sided A4 flat pages (two A5 pages to each page), use the single sheet version [PDF,813kB].

  • Choose to print Colour or Black.
  • Select All Pages in Range.

To print the Standards as a double-sided A5 booklet on A4 paper, use the booklet version [PDF, 759kB].

  • Load at least nine clean A4 pages.
  • Choose to print Colour or Black
  • Select Odd Pages Only.
  • Set Page Scaling to None.
  • Collect the printed pages, noting which edge is the top of the page.
  • Load the printed pages, without changing their order, and with the blank sides to be printed next and the top at the correct edge. 
  • Select Even Pages Only.

An optional wrap-around cover [PDF, 222kB] is also supplied for this booklet version.

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