Individual membership grades

What do the CIEP’s membership grades mean?

Our membership grades reflect the high standards of professional competence and conduct that this Institute upholds. The Professional and Advanced Professional grades affirm our confidence in our members, letting them show the world that they’re trained and experienced. They’re eligible for an entry in the CIEP’s Directory of Editorial Services, which indicates that the CIEP vouches for their skills and competence in proofreading and/or copyediting.

Each new member joins us at the Entry-Level grade. We then expect them to upgrade to the Professional and, for some, Advanced Professional grades; the Intermediate grade is a valuable stepping-stone.

Here’s a summary of what each of the grades shows about our members.

An Intermediate Member

  • has laid the groundwork for providing services as a proofreader or copyeditor by undertaking high-quality training
  • through work experience, has put that training into practice to embed their skills.

A Professional Member

  • has had high-quality training in proofreading and/or copyediting beyond the introductory level
  • has had editorial work experience that’s substantial in quality and over time
  • has evidenced their competence with a satisfactory reference from a client or employer.

An Advanced Professional Member

  • has demonstrated a high level of skill and expertise, backed by long and broad editorial work experience and often enhanced with editorial specialisms
  • has supplemented substantial high-quality training with ongoing and recent professional development
  • has evidenced their competence with satisfactory references from clients or employers.

How do I upgrade my membership?

Once you’ve joined us at the Entry-Level grade you can prepare to upgrade by reviewing our upgrading guide, available in the members’ area, and you can, if you wish, begin putting together your upgrade application as soon as you’ve joined. Some members skip a level: for example, upgrading directly from Entry-Level to Professional membership if they meet the requirements.

If you need more time to build up training and work experience before you apply, that’s fine – you’ve got seven years in which to move to a Professional grade.

To upgrade, you’ll submit an application that’s assessed by the CIEP’s Admissions Panel. Your application will include details of your training and work experience in proofreading and/or copyediting. Our upgrading guide, available only to members, tells you everything you need to know about how to apply.

What are the benefits of being a CIEP member?

All individual members benefit from

  • member rate for training courses, CPD events, conferences and publications
  • access to our member-only online forums and networking groups
  • discounts from partner providers on books, software, business services and subscriptions
  • free subscription to members-only newsletter, The Edit
  • grade-level logo
  • 15% discount on a CIEP training course when you join for the first time.

There are additional benefits for members who have upgraded to Intermediate, Professional or Advanced Professional membership.

Compare the benefits
of different grades

Members talk about editing and proofreading at networking events

Time limit for Entry-Level and Intermediate grades

As part of our mission to promote high standards, we expect members to progress to the Professional grades. We therefore limit Entry-Level and Intermediate membership to seven years in total (four years as Intermediate). Click on the links to find out more.

Once you’ve joined the CIEP, you can find full details of how to upgrade your membership in our upgrading guide.

Retired Member

You may apply for Retired member status at annual renewal (1 March) if you are a Professional or Advanced Professional Member and will be scaling down or ending your professional editing or proofreading work. You will receive basic benefits, such as being able to stay active on our forums and in local groups, but you will no longer be able to take CIEP courses at member rates or use CIEP resources to gain work.

Retired Members may describe themselves, if they wish, as 'Professional Member (Retired)' or 'Advanced Professional Member (Retired)' (if they held those grades).

Career breaks

If you need to take a career break, you may be eligible to put your membership on hold if you are a Professional Member or Advanced Professional Member.

Find out how to take a career break

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