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

IPEd Standards

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

The Standards 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). The Standards 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.

The third edition of IPEd standards for editing practice was published in 2024.

Download the Standards

You can download the third edition of the Standards now. 

It is available in 3 digital formats and 2 print formats so you can choose the format that best suits your needs.

The 3 digital formats, all of which are accessible for readers with print disability, are:

  • PDF. This is a tagged PDF optimised for accessibility and for reading on-screen in your web browser, a standard PDF reader (e.g. Adobe Acrobat or Preview) or other specialist screen-reading software. It is a fixed layout but some viewing or reading customisation is possible depending on your software.

IPEd standards for editing practice 3rd edition SCREEN.pdf [709KB]

  • EPUB. This is a reflowable ebook (EPUB3) for a dedicated EPUB reader such as iBooks, Kindle or Kobo. You can customise some settings (e.g. font choice and size, text alignment and hyphenation) depending on your EPUB reader.

IPEd standards for editing practice 3rd edition.epub [410KB]

  • Microsoft Word. This is a standard Word document optimised for accessibility and for reading on-screen. It is fully customisable.

IPEd standards for editing practice 3rd edition.docx [147KB]

The 2 print formats are both non-editable PDF files that are optimised for printing and reading on paper. You can choose between a single-page or 2-page layout as follows:

  • Print, single-page layout. This is a standard print-quality PDF. Page size is A5 and there are 64 pages. The text font size is 11 pt. We recommend you print on A4 paper in 1 of 2 ways: (a) print at 100% scale (i.e. A5) so you have plenty of margin space for making notes; or (b) scale up to fit the page (i.e. A4) for a large-print format.

IPEd standards for editing practice 3rd edition PRINT 1p.pdf [1MB]

  • Print, two-page layout. This is also a standard print-quality PDF, with text font size of 11 pt. Page size is A5 but the layout has been set in a 2-page format so there are 32 pages. We recommend you print on A4 paper scaled to fit the page.

IPEd standards for editing practice 3rd edition PRINT 2pp.pdf [1MB]

History of the Standards

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

CASE was an informal national body succeeded by the Institute of Professional Editors Limited (IPEd), a not-for-profit company, in 2008. With the 7 societies of editors as its members, it was then the peak body for Australian editors. In 2016, the societies voted for IPEd to become a national direct-membership organisation with branches in each state, expanding to include the Aotearoa New Zealand branch in 2019.

Two working groups began work to update the Standards for a second edition. The first group was in 2005–06 and the second in 2010–11.

In late 2011, IPEd appointed a facilitator to consult with all Australian societies, through their committees and a series of workshops, similar to the process used for the first edition. Society-appointed coordinators worked with the facilitator to finalise the revision through national teleconferences and consultation with their workshop participants and society members. The resulting document was approved by members in 2012 and published in 2013.

For the third edition, IPEd sought submissions from members on changes to the Standards. It convened a new working party with representatives from Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand to review these submissions, meeting regularly throughout 2021 and 2022. During 2023, the draft third edition was reviewed by First Nations, Māori, accessibility, and diversity, equity and inclusion experts. It was then sent for final review by IPEd’s Board and committees before feedback from IPEd members and ratification by the IPEd Board.

History of Standards