Click any of the frequently asked questions below to see the corresponding answer.
For most people, it makes sense to be mentored in proofreading first, but we also offer mentored copy-editing. We now offer specialist mentoring too.
I see you specify the basic training needed before mentoring, but I'm taking a different course. Is it just as good?
Since the SfEP runs many training courses of its own, it would be wrong of us to comment on other providers. However, with rare exceptions, the only courses we accept as preparation for mentoring are those named.
Are there no exceptions to these specified courses? I've heard that you'll consider 'equivalent training'.
We can usually allocate your mentor within a week or so, but sometimes there is a waiting list and it may take several weeks. In addition, your mentoring has to be fitted around your mentor's own work schedule.
All mentors send out similar amounts of work, typically as four or five assignments. You get feedback at each stage, to give you a chance to learn and improve. If you show particular weaknesses, your mentor may give you extra material. Beyond that, if you ask your mentor for a further project, you should pay them privately at an appropriate rate.
This is flexible. It partly depends on you, and how much free time you can spare, so mentoring can last anything from ten weeks to six months. After that, you might start forgetting what you have learnt. If you need more time, for whatever reason, that's usually fine – as long as your mentor agrees and there is no waiting list.
Proofreading mentees will get at least one assignment on hard copy, but otherwise your work will be on screen, either in PDF or in Word (using Track Changes). The material may be one or more chapters of a book, typically with notes, tables and artwork, or journal/reference articles, perhaps even a leaflet.
Your assignments will be jobs that your mentor has already done and returned, so they know the material is suitable and they know where the problems are. This means your learning is not tied to a client's deadline. It is very rare that a mentor assigns a 'live' job (where the deadline is in real time).
No. You are learning the job and developing your knowledge, skills and judgement with an insider to guide you, and the Society is paying half the cost. Mentoring is one-to-one training combined with work experience.