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By Ted Briggs AE, Accreditation Board skills-based member

When I ask people what they get from being accredited, one of the most common replies is “increased confidence”. That’s certainly one of the major benefits I felt when I became accredited in 2011. Taking the accreditation exam was the first time I’d had anything like an objective assessment of my skills as an editor, even though I’d been editing for some time. For the first time, I felt comfortable calling myself a professional editor, and I felt much more confident in the advice I was giving authors.

Preparing for the exam certainly contributed to my increased confidence level – it was perhaps the best professional development exercise I’ve ever done. And I feel that presenting myself as a professional editor who has been recognised by a professional organisation gives authors more confidence in my skills. But don’t just take my word for it. Here are some comments from other AEs:

  • “Becoming an Accredited Editor has made me much more confident in my skills and in marketing myself. I’ve got a lot more work as a result.” – Dr Louise Merrington AE
  • “I am so proud of being an IPEd Accredited Editor and find it has given me a lot of confidence in my work as an editor and now as a writer too.” – Kim Wilson AE
  • “Passing the IPEd accreditation exam in 2011 gave me the confidence to change my career path from research to editing and I now run a successful academic editing business. Oh, and the exam itself was a fun challenge.” – Karin Hosking AE

But the value of accreditation is about more than these individual benefits of increased confidence and the potential to get more work. We all want to be part of a recognised profession. But what does that involve?

Professions Australia defines a profession like this:

A Profession is a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards and who hold themselves out as, and are accepted by the public as possessing special knowledge and skills in a widely recognised body of learning derived from research, education and training at a high level, and who are prepared to apply this knowledge and exercise these skills in the interest of others.

The Professional Standards Councils has this to say about professions and the role of a professional association:

Professions … deliver broad benefits to society, the economy and the people in the professions themselves. The social benefits arise when people are able to trust the advice they receive, because they know the person providing it has met professional requirements and that an authority such as a professional association is assuring that person’s expertise.

So we actually owe it to our profession to be working towards a situation where every one of us is recognised through accreditation as possessing the required knowledge and skills.

As more good editors sit the accreditation exam and add their names to those of the AEs appearing on the IPEd list, the better the profile of the industry and the more respected the profession. It’s in the best interests of us all!

Learn more about the IPEd accreditation exam.