Frequently Asked Questions

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The recommended minimum rates for freelance proofreaders (not mandatory) for publishing companies are £22 an hour, and £25.70 for freelance copy-editors (SfEP); on specialist books up to £40 an hour can be achieved. Freelancers have few expenses and work from home. They only need a telephone and a place to work quietly. You may earn more working freelance as a proofreader or copy-editor for non-publishers such as local businesses or companies.

No. Unlike some providers of proofreading and copy-editing courses, we don’t charge you extra for postage and packing, for any of your assessments provided as part of the course, or for your certificate.

Whether you want to work as a proofreader or as a copy-editor, we show the best way to market and promote yourself and how to make the best of your particular skills. You must be prepared to take the business seriously to get work. We have many certificated students who report on excellent careers since taking the course. Whether you want to work for publishers or for a wide variety of other organisations we show you how to succeed – and we’ll even help you to write your CV.

Yes. Freelancers have always been an important part of the book industry and their importance has grown over the years as the cost of employing people full-time has increased. More books have been published in the UK in recent years than ever before, which has produced more work for freelancers. Many former students have been successful in establishing careers working for non-publishing clients. Any company or organisation which produces brochures, pamphlets, documents, reports or booklets may need your services. Recession? Previous experience shows that freelancers are used extensively in recessions. They form a flexible work force for publishers and others who are hard-pressed, or cannot afford full-time staff.

Most freelance editors and proofreaders work on paper. Some freelancers work on screen, and need specialist training. If you prefer to work in the traditional way on paper, our courses provide full training. Access to email is very useful as is access to the internet for research into potential areas of work. If you are studying copy-editing with us, we offer an optional free module covering copy-editing on screen using Microsoft Word.

Yes, and many of our students do. Indeed, living abroad may even give you an advantage. It is possible to work for UK publishers from abroad, but you may do better to work for local businesses publishing in a mixture of the local language and English; the quantity of material published in the corporate and publishing sectors in English is huge. Former Chapterhouse students living overseas have, for example, established good businesses working as editors and proofreaders for local companies on materials intended for the tourist industry.

Obviously there are some spelling differences between the UK and the USA, but these are easily learned, and it is simple for a proofreader or copy-editor to adapt between the two countries. Our courses are based on British English spellings and usage (e.g. “colour” and “autumn” rather than “color” and “fall”) but the same principles and methods of working apply in the UK as in the USA.

No. Most freelancers working for publishers work by email or through the postal system or courier services, and it doesn’t matter where you live. Publishers usually pay your despatch costs.

Yes. Look at our sample comments from ex-students! We can’t guarantee success, but the course is well respected and doing it shows application and seriousness.

You can finish the Proofreader Plus distance learning course in as little as six weeks, and the Proofreading and Copy-editing Skills course in just ten weeks, but enrolment for either course lasts for twelve months if you want to work at a more leisurely pace! The seminars are the fastest way to learn, in just a single day or four days.

On the proofreading and copy-editing correspondence courses, your tutor will mark your assessments in detail, show where you have slipped up and where you’ve done well. The assessments are returned to you with a form which highlights your strengths and weaknesses and indicates what you need to work on next, and we send you a model answer for the exercise, with full notes explaining any points which students might find difficult. Students are recommended to work on the points which their tutor has commented on before tackling the next assessment. If you need help you can email for full personal advice from a tutor.

Yes. All the Chapterhouse courses, whether by correspondence or by attending a seminar, are certified on completion. The Chapterhouse courses are well respected in the UK and internationally, and to achieve a certificate of competence on any of our courses is significant evidence of your ability. We mark assessments in our proofreading and copy-editing courses to a similar standard to that used by publishers in their own assessments.

Yes. For two years after you complete the course there is a free email advice service available. We want you to succeed, whether you want to work as a proofreader or as an editor, or both, and will help in any way we can with technicalities, marketing or establishing your business. We’ll even check your CV and offer suggestions on ways to improve your chances of getting work.

For the first fourteen days you can, as long as your course is unmarked and in unused condition when you return it; that gives you plenty of time to inspect the course thoroughly. Once we’ve received the course materials back at the Chapterhouse office, a refund is made within fourteen days (in accordance with the Consumer Contract Regulations). Cancellations for seminars can only be accepted twenty-one days or more before the course start date, and are subject to a £45 administration charge. Course dates can also be transferred up to twenty-one days before start of course for a fee of £25.

Proofreading and Editorial Skills course – view prices.
Proofreader Plus – view prices.
Copy-editing and Proofreading Seminar – view prices.
Proofreader Express Seminar – view prices.

By second class post. If you pay online by PayPal (or by card over the phone) your course will be posted to you within five working days. Payments by cheque or by standing order are posted out when we have been notified by our bank that your payment has been cleared.

The discounted prices for Chapterhouse proofreading and copy-editing courses only apply to payments made in full on booking (either online, by card over the phone or by cheque).