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By the Accreditation Board

IPEd’s accreditation scheme aims to promote excellence in the editing profession. It’s an opportunity for editors to demonstrate their competence against IPEd’s Standards for editing practice. Editors who pass the accreditation exam become Accredited Editors and are entitled to use the postnominal AE. Accreditation must be renewed every five years to demonstrate an ongoing professional commitment to editing.

Since the first exam in 2008, there have been 503 Accredited Editors (AEs), plus the original 28 Distinguished Editors nominated by IPEd’s predecessor societies to develop and run the first two exams. At present, 372 AEs hold accreditation, or 74% of the total AE cohort. AEs comprise 28% of IPEd’s total membership. 

The accreditation exam is held every two years, with the most recent exam held in August 2022. The next exam will take place on Monday 12 August 2024. In the months leading up to the exam, the Accreditation Board (AB) will run a series of preparation workshops to guide candidates through the exam requirements. 

The exam consists of three parts: Language, Knowledge and Manuscript. These aim to test editors’ basic skills (e.g. knowledge of spelling, grammar and punctuation); knowledge of professional practice (e.g. publishing processes, legal and ethical issues); and ability to edit a complex manuscript extract, including preparing a style sheet and author queries. The exam is based on the IPEd Standards for editing practice, which are currently being revised. The 2024 exam will be based on the revised Standards.

Preparation workshops cover each of the three parts of the exam in detail, as well as providing study guidance and time management strategies. Time management is a crucial part of the exam and an area that many candidates struggle with. For this reason, many candidates find the time management aspect of the preparation workshops very valuable. 

Sixty candidates sat the 2022 exam, with 32 passing – a pass rate of 53%. This is broadly in line with the pass rates for previous cohorts. The two factors that most influenced the pass rate were early registration and workshop attendance.

Of the candidates who registered between three and six months before the exam, 66% passed. Conversely, the pass rate for candidates who registered between six and eight weeks before the exam was only 15%. This is probably because those who registered early had more time to study, were likely to be more psychologically committed to preparing for the exam, and were able to attend preparation workshops. Registering early also allows more time to submit requests for accessibility adjustments. 

Among the candidates who attended an exam preparation workshop series (three workshops in total) the pass rate was 55%. Other candidates who attended individual workshop sessions but not the whole series had a pass rate of around 46%. For those candidates who did not attend any preparation workshops the pass rate was just 33%. 

The accreditation exam is a valuable learning experience, and we encourage any editors with at least three years of full-time editing experience to sit it. 

For more information and to download sample exams, see the exam pages of the IPEd website. If you have questions and can’t find an answer on the website, please contact your branch AB delegate or the AB chair.