What is accreditation?
Accreditation is an assessment of your competence as an editor, as measured against the benchmark of the Australian standards for editing practice published by CASE (now IPEd) in 2001.
The IPEd accreditation scheme provides opportunities for editors to demonstrate their professional competence and for employers to readily identify proficient editors.
What are the benefits of accreditation?
Accreditation helps you gain recognition for your skills as an editor. Editors who pass the accreditation exam are certified by the IPEd Accreditation Board and can use the postnominal AE (for ‘accredited editor’).
Prospective employers and clients are starting to recognise that ‘AE’ is a reliable indicator of competence.
An immediate benefit of accreditation is the validation of your competence by your peers. Being able to call yourself an accredited editor means you have passed a peer review that certifies your competence in applying the standards set out in the Australian standards for editing practice.
By applying for accreditation, you are supporting the drive for high standards of competence in the editing profession and demonstrating a commitment to your own professional development. The more editors who are accredited, the more successful we will be in raising the profile of professional editors.
How can I become accredited?
To achieve the first level – accreditation – you need to pass the editing exam, which is held every one to two years.
A second level, advanced accreditation, is planned but is not yet available.
When and where can I sit the next accreditation exam?
The next exam will be held on 13 October 2012. The exam will be held in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. Registration closes on 14 September.
Where can I find out about the exam in more detail?
See the main accreditation exams page and the guide for candidates.
I have special needs – what should I do?
If you have special needs, such as a disability that means you cannot sit for more than three hours at a time, the Accreditation Board will endeavour to accommodate your needs. You should contact your society’s Accreditation Board delegate to find the best solution. See also the guide for candidates.
How do I register?
Fill in the online registration form and submit it. Registration closes on 14 September
What does the exam cost?
Fees for the 2012 exam are:
- Society member sitting the exam for the first time (fee $540; early bird $510)
- Society member resitting the exam (fee $270; early bird $255)
- Non-society member sitting the exam for the first time (fee $690; early bird $660)
- Non-society member resitting the exam (fee $345; early bird $330)
An early bird discount is available. All registrations must be accompanied by full payment. Note that the fee may be tax deductible, and no GST is applicable. Payment is by electronic funds transfer or cheque; IPEd cannot process credit card payments.
What does the fee include?
The exam fee includes the cost for you to sit the exam, your paper to be marked and your certificate to be printed, and covers all related correspondence and postage charges. It does not include the cost of lodging an appeal against your result.
Since the accreditation scheme is run on a cost-recovery basis, exam fees cover all costs related to exam venue hire, exam development and coordination, and all administration expenses related to the exam.
What if I register to sit the exam and then cannot attend? Will I get a refund?
If you withdraw after the final registration date, a month before the exam, $100 of your registration fee is non-refundable; however, it may be held over for the next exam if you wish.
A refund of the balance depends on when you notify the exam coordinator of your withdrawal.
Will the exam be handwritten?
The 2012 exam will be handwritten. A subcommittee of the Accreditation Board is investigating options for onscreen and online delivery.
What is covered in the exam?
The exam has three parts:
- Part 1: copyediting questions, including multiple-choice questions (20%)
- Part 2: a short manuscript/passage for editing (40%)
- Part 3: short-answer questions (40%).
The exam focuses on the copyediting sections of the Australian standards for editing practice and on essential skills such as project definition and the ability to identify defamation, permission and copyright issues. More details are in the guide for candidates.
Marking of the exam is weighted to reflect competence as identified in the Australian standards for editing practice and recognises that there may be more than one acceptable solution to an editorial problem and more than one way to mark up a manuscript.
How do I decide whether I am ready to sit the exam?
Since the exam is a test of competence (not excellence) in applying the standards set out in the Australian standards for editing practice, the Accreditation Board recommends that you do not attempt the exam unless you have at least three years’ full-time editing experience, or equivalent. The sample exams will help you decide whether you are ready to apply for accreditation. There can, of course, be no guarantee that anyone will pass the exam, and the standard is, as it should be, high.
May I bring references?
Yes, the exam is an open-book test, so you may bring along your preferred style guide and other references. More details are in the guide for candidates.
How can I prepare for the exam?
In addition to testing yourself on the sample exams on the IPEd website, the best preparation is your day-to-day professional work as an editor.
All state and territory societies will conduct workshops that will assist you to prepare for the exam. They will be advertised on the IPEd events page.
Make sure you are familiar with the Australian standards for editing practice and the Style manual for authors, editors and printers (6th edn, John Wiley & Sons, 2002).
How much time is allowed for the exam?
The exam runs for three hours and 40 minutes. You are given 30 minutes’ reading time before the exam begins, during which no writing will be allowed, followed by 10 minutes for writing your candidate reference number on all pages. The exam itself is three hours. This should provide ample time to complete the exam and check your work.
What happens after I register?
Once you have registered, you will be assigned a unique candidate reference number. You will receive this number along with a receipt for your payment.
Your receipt entitles you to sit the exam on the appointed day at your selected venue. Make sure you bring your receipt with you to the exam. Your reference number will be used instead of your name on the answer paper to ensure that the assessors do not know the names of the candidates.
You will receive details about your venue and the time of the exam by email six weeks before the exam.
How will the exam be run?
You will need to present photo identification, such as a driver’s licence, to the invigilators at the exam venue. Any person who attempts to take the exam for another person or enlists the help of others will be permanently disbarred from accreditation.
Once your name has been checked off on the list of registered candidates, you will be permitted to enter the exam room where you will find an exam booklet, scribble paper and an answer sheet.
Details of what happens on the day of the exam are in the guide for candidates.
Who will mark the exam?
Exams are marked by IPEd assessors: IPEd assessors are drawn from the pool of distinguished editors (senior editors acknowledged by their societies for their lengthy career experience and comprehensive knowledge of editing) and accredited editors who have passed the IPEd accreditation exam.
To ensure that marking is fair and consistent, the assessors follow a detailed marking guide and moderate the exam papers in consultation with each other.
What is the pass mark?
The exam is scored either ‘pass’ or ‘fail’. The pass mark is 80 per cent of the total number of marks available in the exam, and 65 per cent of the marks available in each of Parts 1, 2 and 3.
Please note that there is no relationship between the pass mark and the percentage of candidates who pass the exam (the pass rate); if all candidates sitting in a given year were to get 80 per cent or more, the pass rate would be 100 per cent.
When will I find out my result?
The Accreditation Board will notify you in writing of your result within six to eight weeks of the exam. No papers will be returned.
If you pass, you will receive a certificate stating your accredited status and may, with your consent, have your name published in your society's newsletter and on the IPEd website. Your society may host a special ceremony to present the certificates to its members.
Will I need to renew my accreditation?
Yes. Accreditation is valid for five years from the date of issue of your accreditation certificate, after which you must apply to the Accreditation Board for renewal for another five-year period.
You will not need to sit another exam, but you will be asked to provide evidence of continuing employment as an editor, and of continuing professional development, such as membership of a society of editors, attendance at editing courses and workshops.
So accredited editors can begin recording information and gathering evidence for their applications, the proposed renewal accreditation form is provided on the renewal of accreditation page.
What if I do not pass?
If you do not pass the exam, you will receive a brief report on your performance that will help you identify areas of weakness. You will be entitled to resit the exam once more at a reduced rate at either of the next two exams.
Can I lodge an appeal?
Yes. You may appeal the decision by writing to the exam secretariat within 21 days of receiving your results. A fee is payable to cover the cost of the appeal. If your appeal is upheld, the appeal fee will be refunded in full. Appeals are reviewed by the Accreditation Board in consultation with IPEd assessors. The board’s decision is final.
Can I request special consideration?
If you wish to request special consideration (for instance, because of illness or family problems), you must supply a statement of the reasons to the exam coordinator within seven days of the date of the exam. The exam coordinator will refer the matter to the Accreditation Board, whose decision on whether you qualify for special consideration will be final.