Let’s not beat about the bush. The answer is ‘no’.
There is absolutely no such thing as an ‘officially recognised’ proofreading qualification. There is no magic certificate from any course provider that occupies the top spot on some ‘must-have’ list when organisations are looking to take on proof readers. Anyone telling you that their qualification is ‘universally recognised’, is being more than a little disingenuous.
That isn’t to say, however, that certificates aren’t without value. I wouldn’t be too surprised if the possession of one of these little pieces of paper came into play as some kind of deal-breaker when considering equally gifted applicants. So, I’m disinclined to dismiss them entirely.
In my 20 years of experience as a proof reader, however, I never once encountered anyone boasting such a qualification. Nor, as an Operations Manager responsible for hiring proof readers, did possession of a proofreading accreditation form part of any recruitment criteria I was aware of.
Most organisations looking to employ the talents of a proof reader are going to be far more interested in your experience. Thankfully, The No-Nonsense Proofreading Course tells you precisely how to go about seizing opportunities to gain experience. It also tells you how to turn that experience into a formidable reputation by collecting as many testimonials as possible. What’s more, you can go about amassing all this experience and all these testimonials at zero cost to yourself. You simply need to invest a little time. Compare that to the cost of acquiring a qualification. I’ve seen courses advertised for as much as £200. Makes my little £7.99 eBook seem positively cute.
In addition to looking at your experience (and demonstrating little or no interest in supposed qualifications), very many organisations will expect you to undertake some form of proofreading test, something that’s likely to tell them whether or not you’re their kind of proof reader. Remember, not all proof readers are born equal, and not all proofreading projects are the same, either. I’ve proofread novels and I’ve proofread legal contracts and they are, to say the very least, worlds apart.
So, would I pay good money for a proofreading qualification? No, I wouldn’t.
Should you? Well, as I said, they’re not entirely without value. But, I’m afraid I’m going to have to shirk my responsibilities and leave that one up to you.
However you decide to proceed, I wish you the very best of luck.
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Teresa Richardson, Proofreader.
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Jeremy Meehan, Proofreader.
My name's Mike Sellars and I'm an experienced proofreader and the author of The No-Nonsense Proofreading Course. Click here to find out more about me.
The No-Nonsense Proofreading Course
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“As someone who has been proofreading for 30 years, I found Mike’s course an invaluable introduction and a very useful practical guide to many aspects of the discipline. I can wholeheartedly recommend it.” Jeremy Meehan, Proofreader.
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