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By the Pay and Conditions Standing Committee

This new guide for clients is now on the IPEd website, as promised at the 11th IPEd Editors Conference. This means the guide can be used by all editors and their clients.

The guide has been developed to help self-employed editors and their clients work together. It provides information about what constitutes fair and acceptable professional practice, and principles for preventing or solving problems in the editor–client relationship.

IPEd developed the guide because of widespread reports of dissatisfaction across the publishing industry, especially among editorial staff and contractors, and of unrealistic expectations from some clients.

Here is some of the feedback received during our trial period:

“This a fantastic piece of work, and will be so valuable when engaging new clients. My thanks to all those involved for writing such a clear and concise document.”

“The guide seems very sensible. I particularly liked the examples of when an agreement may need to be changed.”

“Thanks to the standing committee for investing time and care in updating the client guide. You have covered the field well, and it’s a big bit of turf.”

Using the guide

Working with self-employed editors: A guide for clients can be accessed through the IPEd website, under Find an editor, with links also on other relevant pages.

It is designed for editors to provide to their clients when negotiating an agreement, whether formal or informal. Clients can also access the guide to familiarise themselves with the principles and practices they should adopt when working with self-employed editors.

The guide can be used with the editor–client agreement template developed by IPEd and the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) in 2020, which is available on IPEd’s member portal. This template should be adapted to suit the client and project, including changing “author” to “client”, if appropriate. For academic editing, a sample agreement and notes, developed by the Standing Committee for Academic Editing, are also in the portal.

To provide feedback on the guidelines, please email


Kerry Davies AE
Chair, Pay and Conditions Standing Committee