A blue door with the number 3 on it.
Image by George Hodan

As far as we can tell, there appear to be three kinds of editing courses: how-to courses, how-well-you courses, and what-to courses. What do we mean by these course categories, and which kind of course is right for you?


Many editing course providers offer how-to-edit courses in a variety of editing disciplines. If you want to learn how to copyedit a report, proofread a digital poster, or develop a piece of fiction, you’ll want to explore courses like the ones offered in the following programs:

There are many more courses and programs than we can include here. Editors Canada has curated a helpful list of course offerings at their Education and Additional Training for Editors page.


Do you have most of the how-to’s down? Are you looking to challenge yourself and determine if you’re working to professional editorial standards?

How-well-you courses are designed to give you feedback from a professional on how well you’re performing the necessary editing skills in a particular editing discipline. This feedback will help you to identify your knowledge and skill gaps and create a plan for filling them.

How-well-you courses are designed around professional editorial standards, which are rigorous. The Professional Editing Standards Certificate courses at Queen’s Professional Studies are designed around Editors’ Canada Professional Editorial Standards 2016. These courses are for you if

  • you’re an editor with intermediate or advanced editing skills
  • you have at least 5 years’ experience in editing
  • you want to know where your strengths and gaps are
  • you’re thinking about taking the Editors Canada Professional Certification Tests


This category of courses is for those who don’t fall into the previous two categories.

  • Are you interested in editing?
  • Do you do a lot of writing and editing in your work?
  • Do you want to know what professional editors do, so you can do it too?

If you’re looking for a what-to course, watch for Editing: A Short Introduction, coming soon to Professional Studies.