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Proofreading & copy editing course (QLS Level 4)

Unlimited personal tutor support | Endorsed Certificate | Fully accredited | Help finding proofreading work

College of Media and Publishing


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£296.73 inc VAT (was £549.50)
Offer ends 04 March 2024
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Study method
Access to content
Lifetime access
No formal qualification
80 CPD hours / points
  • Accredited CMP Level 4 Diploma in Proofreading & copy editing - Free
  • Quality Licence Scheme Certificate of Achievement - Free
Additional info
  • Tutor is available to students

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Proofreading course (QLS L4)

Many leading corporations including British Gas, John Lewis, Lloyds Bank, the NHS and Virgin Media, use this accredited proofreading and copy editing course to train their staff. And many individuals testify that it is effective and great value for money.

The evidence: Since 2003 we have helped hundreds of people become successful proofreaders and copy editors. Many of them earn a full time wage and plenty create a new income stream to sit alongside their current jobs. You can see examples on our own website, or when you enquire.

You will learn the proofreading and editorial skills needed to become a certified, professional proofreader and copy editor.

* See our proofreading course video, student success stories and much more, in the 'media' section, below *

Proofreading course key features:

  • Certification: Quality Licence Scheme certificate of achievement.
  • Endorsed by: The Quality Licence Scheme.
  • Accredited by: CPD | EADL.
  • Government registered?: Yes. UKRLP number: 10008168.
  • Available to: UK and international learners.
  • Tutor support: Unlimited support from an expert.
  • Tutor marked assignments: 11 practical, tutor marked assignments.
  • Post-course help? Yes - expert proofreading careers advice when you finish.


This vocational proofreading course covers every aspect of proofreading and copy editing.

It is one of the most comprehensive and up to date courses on the market, covering current topics that are vital to a proofreader and copy editor’s role - including how to use Artificial Intelligence.

01: The basics

  • What the proofreader does.
  • The proofreader’s personal qualities.
  • Proofreading terminology.
  • The publishing process.
  • Document control. Processes and techniques for keeping track of documents when several people / versions / locations are involved. (New topic)
  • Integrating AI into a proofreading and copyediting role. (New topic)

02: Applying style

  • What a style guide is used for.
  • How to use a style guide.
  • Applying different styles to printed and online documents. (New topic)
  • Coordinating editorial style with brand and visual style rules. (New topic)

03: Spelling and grammar

  • Where to find reliable spelling and grammar facilities.
  • Explain the need for accurate spelling, grammar and punctuation when proofreading and editing.
  • Apply spelling, grammar and punctuation rules to a range of exercises.
  • Spotting and correcting spelling and grammar errors.

04: Proofreading onscreen

  • What a copy editor does.
  • Levels of editing.
  • The client’s brief.
  • Editing with the reader in mind.
  • Proofreading and editing using Adobe Reader annotations and sticky notes. (New topic)
  • Proofreading and editing using Microsoft Word, Mac Pages, Google Docs, LibreOffice Writer, Apache, OpenOffice Writer, Zoho Writer or WPS Office Writer. (New topic)
  • Working with others using MS Teams. (New topic)
  • How to proofread webpages. (New topic)
  • How to proofread text in a Content Management System. (New topic)
  • How to proofread metadata. (New topic)
  • How to proofread alt text. (New topic)
  • How to proofread transcribed text using (New topic)
  • How to proofread translated text from another language. (New topic)

05: Proofreading on paper

  • Proofreading on paper BSI symbols.
  • Proofreading methods and techniques.
  • Compiling and presenting a query list.
  • Marking up copy clearly and accurately.

06: Copy-editing basics

  • What a copy editor does.
  • Levels of editing.
  • The client’s brief.
  • Editing with the reader in mind.
  • Editing different tones and registers
  • Proofreading and editing these: (New topics)
    • Title pages.
    • Contents pages.
    • Lists of illustrations.
    • XML tags.

07: Copy editing - use of language

  • Learn summarising techniques.
  • Editing techniques that make text fluent, plain and simple to read.
  • Identifying and replacing clichés and inappropriate material.
  • Editing copy for multicultural and global audiences.
  • Copy editing in a ‘woke’ world. (New topic)

08: Checking accuracy and facts

  • Analyse words and phrases for accurate meaning.
  • Identify and correct factual errors.
  • Reliable fact checking in a fake news world. (New topic)
  • Dealing with misleading promotional copy. (New topic)

09: Legal checks

After studying this Lesson, you will be able to discuss how the following laws affect copy editors and apply them to a range of real world situations:

  • Copyright law.
  • Trademark law.
  • Defamation law.
  • Data protection law.

10: (Optional): Academic editing

This Lesson concentrates on editing academic and fictional documents.

It is optional, so you may skip it and go on to Lesson 11, if you wish.

11: Finding work

  • How to boost your speed and efficiency.
  • How to negotiate fees and tie up the details of proofreading and copy editing jobs.
  • How to find proofreading and editing work.
  • How to build your own freelance business.



80 CPD hours / points
Accredited by The CPD Standards Office

Course media


  • Free eBook - 10 simple steps to improve your writing - download
  • College prospectus -


Proofreading (QLS L4)

There is an unprecedented demand for skilled proofreaders and copy editors.

Each year, companies and organisations produce millions of documents and webpages that contain errors and inaccuracies. This affects their reputations.

They need certified proofreaders and copy editors to work on:

  • Reports, letters, and business documents.
  • Webpages.
  • Books.
  • Commercial copy and brochures.
  • Newspapers and magazines.

This proofreading and copy editing course covers all these areas and more, so you have the most up to date skills and knowledge, and the confidence to market yourself to potential clients.

You will also benefit from unlimited tutor support every step of the way, including personalised feedback on every assignment.

Successful proofreading course graduate Peter Fullagar told us “The tutor support makes the course outstanding. Excellent feedback given in a timely manner. The course content went beyond what I was expecting.

This vocational proofreading and copy editing course covers every aspect of proofreading and copy editing. Each lesson includes a practical assignment, based on real-world proofreading and editing.

Our comprehensive proofreading and copy editing course will teach you how to:

  • Proofread and copy edit documents, either in print or onscreen.
  • Apply style guides and BSI proofreading symbols.
  • Make written content easier to read.
  • Set up a freelance business and find paid work.

We have a proven track record in helping our proofreading and editing learners find work, set up as successful freelancers and learn new skills to use in the workplace.

Another recent graduate, Felicity Yau, has established herself as a successful freelance proofreader and copy editor. She is the latest of a number of learners who have gone on to successful freelance careers.

As a proofreader and copy editor, you could be:

  • Raising the quality of your organisation’s content.
  • Working in a specialised area, such as legal or academic publishing.
  • Running your own freelance proofreading and copy editing business.

If you have a keen eye for detail, becoming a proofreader and copy editor is a great way to earn good money.


This proofreading and copy editing course has been independently endorsed under the The Quality Licence Scheme. So at the end of this course successful learners will receive a Certificate of Achievement from The Quality Licence Scheme and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the Units the learner has completed as part of the course).

In addition, you will receive the accredited CMP diploma in proofreading and copy editing, which is recognised in the UK and beyond. It proves you are a qualified proofreader and copy editor.

These awards will enable you to apply for proofreading and editing jobs, find freelance work, or use your new skills in the workplace.


We have two tutors on our proofreading and copy editing course. Julian Brouwer and Shuna Meade are both professional proofreaders and copy editors with many years of experience.

They will provide you with personal feedback on every assignment, answer your questions and give you expert careers guidance, so you get the very best out of your proofreading course.


We have been running this course since 2003, and have a proven track record in helping people find work and establish themselves as successful freelance proofreaders and copy editors.

We give advice on which agencies to join, how to market yourself correctly, and we also help you to devise a step by step plan to help you find clients.

We also provide assistance in helping you with your CV, covering letters and interview preparation for any jobs you apply for.


1. Proofreading course - Accreditation

Although there is no official regulating body for the proofreading industry, it's always imperative to check that any proofreading course has been externally accredited. This means that the provider has undertaken a rigorous external inspection of its procedures, teaching material and tutors. Accreditation also protects your interests as a learner and safeguards you because the provider will usually have to adhere to a strict code of conduct.

2. Who are the tutors?

When choosing a proofreading course, it is vital to check who the tutors are, and whether they have any genuine experience within the field. Most online proofreading course providers will list the tutors on their website and will provide a comprehensive overview of their experience. You should also be able to find their LinkedIn bios, which will list all of their skills and experiences.

3. Tutor support

Check how much tutor support is offered. Some proofreading courses don't offer any, some limit theirs, while some offer their tutor support on an unlimited basis. There is no right or wrong choice. It all depends on what you are looking for.

4. How regularly is the course updated?

Proofreading is a very fast-moving industry with changes to technology happening almost every day. It is important to check that any proofreading course you are looking to purchase, is up to date and in sync with latest trends - especially regarding software.

5. Practical tutor marked assignments

A proofreading course that allows you to put the theory into practice is usually the best option. It's also essential that your assignments are personally marked and graded by a proofreading professional.

6. Help finding proofreading work

It is always good to check if the learning provider offers you support at the end of your course. Many online proofreading courses offer help with CVs, covering letters, interview preparation and much more. It's also worth checking if they provide any assistance in helping you break into the freelance world.

7. Personal tutor references

When applying for jobs, it is always of great benefit to have a glowing reference. Check if the proofreading course you are looking at offers a personal reference for any jobs you apply for.

8. Staff training options

Some proofreading courses offer staff training options. If you want to book a proofreading course for your team, or an individual member of your organisation, it is best to contact the course provider directly to discuss this. It's also helpful to check which other organisations the provider works with.

9. History

Check how long the proofreading course has been running for. There are plenty of 'get rich quick' proofreading courses around, as well as many new courses being offered for as little as £10. We are not saying that these courses do not work, but it's always good to practice due diligence before making a purchase.

10. UK Register of Learning Providers

If you are looking to study a UK based proofreading course, it is helpful to ensure that the provider is on the UK Register of Learning Providers.

11. Success stories

It's important to check if a proofreading course actually works and does what it claims to do. Success stories are a very good way of doing this, and most proofreading course providers list their learner's success stories on their websites.

These can easily be verified and validated through sites like LinkedIn and you can also ask the provider to put you directly in touch with the course participant. Most providers will more than happy to facilitate this for you.

Who is this course for?

Proofreading (QLS L4)

Our proofreading and copy editing course is suitable for people of all ages and abilities. We've worked with:

  • beginners wanting to become professional proofreaders and copy editors
  • people who need to work accurately in the workplace
  • businesses of all sizes
  • website and blog owners who need to check their own content
  • freelance writers who need to produce error free copy
  • individuals who want to proofread as a hobby
  • existing proofreaders / editors looking to refresh or upgrade their current skills and demonstrate their credibility within the freelance market


Proofreading (QLS L4)

No previous academic proofreading or copy editing experience or previous qualifications are required for this proofreading course. It is available to people of all ages and abilities. The only thing we ask is that you have good written English.

Career path

Proofreading (QLS L4)

This proofreading course has an excellent track record for success.

You could be:

  • Using your new proofreading and copy editing skills in the workplace
  • Raising the quality of an organisation’s content.
  • Working in a specialised proofreading area, such as legal or academic publishing.
  • Running your own freelance proofreading and copy editing business.

Questions and answers


Accredited CMP Level 4 Diploma in Proofreading & copy editing

Digital certificate - Included

Quality Licence Scheme Certificate of Achievement

Digital certificate - Included


Course rating


What does study method mean?

Study method describes the format in which the course will be delivered. At Reed Courses, courses are delivered in a number of ways, including online courses, where the course content can be accessed online remotely, and classroom courses, where courses are delivered in person at a classroom venue.

What are CPD hours/points?

CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development. If you work in certain professions or for certain companies, your employer may require you to complete a number of CPD hours or points, per year. You can find a range of CPD courses on Reed Courses, many of which can be completed online.

What is a ‘regulated qualification’?

A regulated qualification is delivered by a learning institution which is regulated by a government body. In England, the government body which regulates courses is Ofqual. Ofqual regulated qualifications sit on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF), which can help students understand how different qualifications in different fields compare to each other. The framework also helps students to understand what qualifications they need to progress towards a higher learning goal, such as a university degree or equivalent higher education award.

What is an ‘endorsed’ course?

An endorsed course is a skills based course which has been checked over and approved by an independent awarding body. Endorsed courses are not regulated so do not result in a qualification - however, the student can usually purchase a certificate showing the awarding body’s logo if they wish. Certain awarding bodies - such as Quality Licence Scheme and TQUK - have developed endorsement schemes as a way to help students select the best skills based courses for them.