Progress in Editorial Skills: Copy-Editing and Proofreading

PES 635274713This intermediate-level three-step course takes print and digital copy-editing and proofreading knowledge to the next level, instilling confidence in dealing with the trickiest of editorial challenges. 

Following on from Introduction to Editorial Skills, and using the same three-step blended learning approach, students will be able to work on-screen and on paper.

Anyone who already has some publishing experience, knowledge of proofreading and copy-editing, or has completed the introductory course, will find this an invaluable way to develop their skills further. Building on the basics, the course offers guidance on more technical editorial tasks, such as working with tables, illustrations, references and bibliographies It has been created by a team of industry experts, all with experience of working within the largest UK publishing houses, and is taught by tutors who have all worked as senior copy-editors and proofreaders.

Who will benefit from this course?

Anyone with some prior experience of working in book or journal publishing, wishing to build on existing copy-editing and proofreading skills, including editors, project editors, production editors and managing editors.

This course will be of particular help to those who have already completed Introduction to Editorial Skills: Copy-Editing and Proofreading.

Those not working in book or journal publishing might find Editorial Skills for Business more suitable.


Enrol on this course

Learn how to…

  • feel confident applying copy-editing and proofreading skills to a variety of publishing contexts
  • appreciate what constitutes excellent editorial judgement and how it might be attained
  • understand how editorial decisions impact project budgets and schedules
  • recognise the importance of appropriate author liaison throughout the editorial process.

SfEP members: This course earns 4 upgrade points for attendance and a further 2 points for a pass in the post-course assessment.



Step 1 – Pre-course pack download. Includes a self-study module written by Jane Buekett which comprehensively covers copy-editing and proofreading best practice in print and digital editorial work, including the finer arts of author liaison and ‘knowing when to cut, rewrite, or leave well alone’. This module plus sample exercises put learning into practice straightaway, and provide the knowledge base required for step 2.

Step 2 – Two-day classroom course. Starting with feedback on the pre-course exercises and with workshops covering a full range of publishing contexts the tutor is able to offer insight into what constitutes editorial excellence, and how to attain it. Group work and the chance to learn from publishing peers, model answers to exercises covering a wide range of editorial problems, and expert guidance from a highly experienced tutor will provide the opportunity to learn and gain confidence.

Day 1

  • Introduction
  • Elements of a Publication
  • Illustrations and tables
  • Front Matter e.g. preliminary pages, imprints page
  • Permissions
  • Style and house style
    • House style, consistency and spelling
    • Bold, italic, capitalisation
  • Numbers, dates, times, units and abbreviations
  • Common problems of grammar and punctuation

Day 2

  • End matter and references
    • Notes, references, bibliographies, indexes
    • Editing notes, references and bibliographies
  • Proof-editing
    • Proof-editing: ‘proofreading’ in Word
  • Proofreading
  • Design and layout issues
  • Running heads
  • Copy-fitting
    • Principles of copy-fitting
    • Typographical issues

Step 3 – PQB certified assessment by distance learning. Students have the opportunity to test their new skills by submitting a post-course assessment which will be marked by the tutor. Assessments can be completed on paper or on-screen and comprehensive feedback will be provided in order to further improve skills.



Course Director

Caroline Drake
Caroline Knight
Sarah Sodhi


Venue information

Our short courses are run at a variety of venues in Central London. Information and directions can be found on our Contact Us page. Please check your Joining Instructions for your specific course venue.

Note that most of our short courses can also be run as In-Company events.

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Please read our Terms & Conditions
A two-day course
Date shown is the first day of the course, which runs over two consecutive days.


  • 26 November 2019


A number of discounts are available

Delegate feedback:

“Our course teacher was excellent. She went out of her way to find answers to my questions that were specific to fiction texts, and her answers were very helpful.”

Nosy Crow delegate, June 2018

“The tutor was very good and took the time to speak to each of us about our editorial experiences and answered questions we had. I appreciated how much material PTC provided us with and that they arranged refreshments and lunch for us.”
RICS delegate, June 2018

"I feel much more confident in my use of BSI marks and on-screen editing and proofreading. I've already started to implement the suggested best practice approach to editing documents and find it incredibly helpful."
Sage Publishing delegate 2018

"Thanks for a great few days! Everything was very well organised and I appreciated how you accommodated our different backgrounds and levels of experience." 
York Press delegate 2018

"I feel a lot more confident in my editing and proof-editing skills, and definitely found learning computer/keyboard shortcuts useful. I found learning about approaches to editing and proof-editing useful too - how a formalized and organized approach will really help to streamline the workload, breaking things down into achievable sections etc. I feel that I've come away with a better understanding of how these skills might vary depending on the publishing context too."
CII Delegate, 2017

"Our trainer was EXCELLENT! It was a fantastic 2 days and I would highly recommend her to anyone. She was incredibly informative, approachable, and an excellent ambassador for the PTC."
Scholastic delegate

"The course was intense, but I really enjoyed it and feel that I have come away with lots of very useful information that will help me in my day to day role as an editor."
John Catt Educational delegate

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Registration number: 1253854. Registered office: 16 High Holborn, London WC1V 6BX. Tel: +44 (0)20 8874 2718