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by Jane Fitzpatrick AE

Presentation by Joely Taylor ELS(D) AE at the IPEd conference.

It’s no secret that editing work comes in many shapes, and that editors arrive in the editing profession from vastly different backgrounds. Even so, every editor uses some standard approaches when they work with clients, even if only such simple things as a checklist of editing tasks, a word list or a template for invoices. 

Joely’s presentation began by reminding us how valuable it can be to make greater use of standard tools and processes, not just within the nitty-gritty editing. Building your own complete suite of tools and processes defines who you are and what you do as a professional editor, and develops a professional identity. Joely’s tour through her checklists, processes and documents would be gold for new editors or editors making the move into freelance work. 

However, the main focus of this session was not on developing this array, but on implementing two key sources  — the IPEd Standards for editing practice and the IPEd Code of Ethics — to inform your approach and lift your editing practice. Joely convincingly demonstrated that building in the Code and Standards has huge advantages to:

  • ensure consistency of approach
  • guarantee quality assurance
  • ensure your scope of work is defined (and consequently, give you grounds to negotiate rates when a job changes)
  • allow incorporation of desired ethical standards, such as accessibility
  • give a profile to less tangible aspects of editing professionalism, such as maintaining client confidentiality
  • be extremely efficient.

It was reassuring to be shown that building the Standards and Code into work processes doesn’t have to be daunting, even when it may help you identify areas that you need to strengthen. Joely suggested this can lead us to consider what kind of professional development we might undertake, or what technological tools we could take up. For example, an editor who is aware of their limited grammar knowledge might invest in a program such as ProWritingAid.

I found all the conference presentations engaging and valuable, but this session stood out for me, in providing practical outcomes I can use in my editing practice. If you registered for the conference and haven’t already seen it, make sure you do!

Jane Fitzpatrick AE is the Vice-President of EdVic and a freelance editor based in Naarm/Melbourne.