Proofreading 3: Progress

Who is this course suitable for?

This course is suitable for those who already have a good grounding in proofreading, and preferably some experience, who feel ready to advance to the next level. It is also suitable for proofreaders who are returning after a break, and wish to update, refresh or check their skills.

We strongly recommend that you take Proofreading 1: Introduction and Proofreading 2: Headway before you tackle this course.

Course description

This course guides you through more complex general and specialised material, including texts with illustrations, tables, notes and references. It considers strategies for dealing with layout problems such as overmatter and what to do when more than a conventional proofread is required. The seven varied exercises, covering public information to academic texts, provide plenty of scope for practice, including the opportunity to test your proofreading accuracy in the ‘zero tolerance’ challenge.

Proofreading 3: Progress is an assessed course. Passing the final assignment acts as part qualification for acceptance into the proofreading mentoring scheme.

What you should know after the course

After taking Proofreading 3: Progress you will:

  • be confident in your ability to proofread on paper or on screen
  • be confident in using BSI symbols and PDF tools
  • have the knowledge to tackle material that is not necessarily straightforward
  • have a good idea of where your proofreading skills – and weaknesses – lie.

Availability, prices and upgrade points

Two upgrade points are awarded for completing the course, and a further three for passing the final assignment.

Achieving a pass indicates that you are ready, if you wish, to move on to the CIEP's proofreading mentoring scheme.


Price (members)  
Price (non members)  
CIEP upgrade points 5
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Other price discounts are available. See the fees page.

Online courses take between 10 and 35 hours to complete, but you have access to the course materials for 4 or 5 months (depending on the course).

Course structure

Time allowed for access: 6 months CIEP upgrade points: completion 2; pass 3 (giving 5 in total)
Approximate study time needed to complete the course: 20–25 hours

This is an assessed course. You will be assigned a tutor who will be available for up to 1 hour of support (usually by email).

Your tutor will mark and provide feedback on three of the nine assignments. The remaining six are self-assessed exercises. See also 'Time management' below.

Unit 1 looks at how to cope if copy is not available electronically (or a section of the electronic file has been corrupted) and the typesetter has to rekey it.

Unit 2 considers in more detail what the proofreader needs to look out for, particularly when dealing with publications that contain several complex illustrations.

Unit 3 looks at proofreading tables in more detail.

Unit 4 expands on proofreading notes and references, looking at some of the more common possible systems and styles.

Unit 5 considers the types of publication that require perfection – a zero tolerance approach.

Unit 6 considers ‘proof-editing’ where you are working in Word and a greater level of intervention is likely to be required, because often the text has not been copyedited.

Unit 7 looks at proof collation, where you combine everyone’s amendments in a single proof.

Unit 8 consolidates all that you have learnt on this course and introduces the final assignment.

Your performance in the final assignment determines whether you have passed the course.

When you have finished the course you can download and print a certificate that states either that you have 'passed' the course or, if you are unlucky enough not to have passed, that you have 'completed' it.

Time management

  • When you are planning your coursework, allow time for your tutor to respond to any queries you raise and for your three assignments to be marked.
  • Tutors usually respond to ad hoc queries about the course within a day or so.
  • All CIEP tutors are also full-time editors, so they are unlikely to be able to mark your work immediately.
  • Tutors will guarantee to mark and return your assignments within three weeks of you submitting them, except in exceptional circumstances. In such circumstances, your tutor will contact you to explain the delay.
  • Marking turnaround is usually considerably shorter than three weeks.
  • We strongly recommend that you wait for the return of your marked work before attempting the next section of the course.

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