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Five reasons why proofreaders must join professional bodies

You want to be a professional proofreader and you have just completed a distance learning proofreading course.

You are now wondering what to do next.

Well, there are societies and organisations out there to help you.

The Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) in the UK supports beginners and experienced alike.

This leads us to 5 reasons why joining professional bodies is a must.

1. They will help you to find a job

The SfEP helps its members to find work.

A list of services can be referred to by Professional Members.

This directory details the skills and services of the Professional Members of SfEP.

People looking for proofreading services can access this list.

Also, adverts for work for qualified freelancers can be placed with the SfEP for Professional Members to see.

Intermediate Members of the SfEP can advertise to SfEP Professional Members and Corporate Members.

This aims to give these members enough work experience to be able to upgrade to become Professional Members.

Often Professional Members subcontract Intermediate Members when they have surplus work.

There is an Entry Level Member for someone who is looking to do some proofreading courses.

They will likely have no or very little work experience.

Online training courses UK can provide the skills required.

This training can also give advice on how to find work.

With enough work experience of around 100 hours then an Entry Level Member may upgrade to Intermediate Membership.

Online proofreading courses can meet the training requirements for a membership upgrade.

As an Intermediate Member, you will have more work opportunities.

After around 5 years’ experience, Professional Membership can be achieved.

2. Support for networking is provided

The SfEP offers networking with an annual two-day conference.

An online forum is available to members for discussions and advice.

Job offers are announced for Professional Members and there are local groups that hold meetings.

The local groups organise events such as guest speakers and contacts with local businesses.

SfEP has a number of sister organisations in Europe that include the European Association of Science Editors (EASE).

EASE is associated with MET - Mediterranean Editors and Translators, SENSE - Society of English-Native-Speaking Editors and NEaT - Nordic Editors and Translators.

NEaT provides training, professional development and networking for editors and translators working in English in the Nordic and Baltic states.

SENSE is a society of 300 English-language professionals in the Netherlands.

They aim to link up with other societies and organisations publishing in English.

MET is an association of professionals that work mainly in English. They work with businesses, institutions and governments.

3. Training is actively encouraged and supported

The SfEP organises workshops and online courses to help members develop their expertise.

They aim to update and extend skills of proof-readers that are just starting to ones that are experienced.

The workshops are good networking places too.

4. Publications and magazines for members discounted

A range of SfEP publications and discounted services are also available to members.

Editing Matters magazine is freely circulated to members.

5. Professional development for members backed

Home study courses can put you on the first step of the career ladder.

Moreover, the SfEP aims to improve professionalism from Entry Level to Intermediate, Professional and Advanced Professional Membership.

There are other societies across Europe including national language organisations.

These include societies in Germany and Spain.

Ireland has the Association of Freelance Editors, Proofreaders and Indexers (AFEPI).

They have a directory of members and provide an e-newsletter entitled Publishing Ireland.

It holds social meetings and runs a discussion forum for members.

Generally, societies in the UK and Europe encourage professional development, discussion and networking.

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