A year ago I was successful in my application to have my membership with the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) upgraded to the highest level – Advanced Professional. Looking back over the last twelve months, I can say it was definitely worth the effort.
In order to be considered for upgrade to Advanced Professional, CIEP requires editorial professionals to demonstrate that they ‘have a high level of skill and expertise, backed by long and broad experience and by ongoing – and recent – professional development’.* In order to satisfy these requirements, I had to provide evidence of:
Completed training and continuing professional development, some of which had to be within the thirty-six months immediately prior to the upgrade application
A number of hours of editorial work
Positive references from previous clients
It was actually quite fun going through my records in putting my upgrade application together – turned out I had amassed around 5,000 hours of working experience! – and fondly remembering some enjoyable projects of the past.
I was interested to see if and how upgrading to Advanced Professional would affect my career. When I upgraded to Professional level, I found that that change in status (after a bit of a slow start) really gave my career something of a turbo charge. Being able to have a listing in the CIEP Directory of Editorial Services was one of the key drivers – the importance of that extra level of visibility for clients seeking editorial professionals cannot be understated. I imagined the step up to Advanced Professional would not generate such a dramatic change, but I feel that I have definitely noticed an upswing in interest from potential new clients.
But I think the biggest boost has in fact been to my self-belief. I’m sure even the most experienced among us occasionally doubt ourselves a little, but my newly elevated membership status certainly made me approach new projects with a greater deal of certainty and conviction. Have I been working ‘better’ from a technical point of view? I’m not sure, but I am definitely now operating with more confidence in my own level of expertise.
This was particularly brought to bear in one project in which I helped an organisation who were developing their first-ever book-length publication; as well as copy-editing the text (which consisted of chapters by different authors, a number of whom did not have English as their first language, which is always a good challenge in terms of trying to develop consistency of tone), I was able to help with advice and guidance on other aspects of putting the book together that hadn’t previously occurred to them, including stylistic considerations and which bits of quoted text and reproduced images would likely need permission from the copyright holder. The client expressed their gratitude at the support I was able to (confidently!) give them throughout the process.
All in all, going ahead and getting this membership upgrade has been a hugely positive experience. I had been considering applying for a couple of years before I finally made the move, but I think I timed it perfectly, being able to demonstrate the right level of skill and experience to make it a really meaningful step forward in my career.
* Admissions Panel of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading, How to upgrade your CIEP membership (London: CIEP, 2022). Available at: www.ciep.uk/members/how-to-upgrade-your-ciep-membership.