Upgrade your membership

Page owner: Professional development director

How to upgrade your membership

Please read these pages to ensure that you understand the upgrade requirements before you begin your application.

There are particular requirements for each grade:

All the information you need is detailed in these pages.

Some examples of different routes to membership are shown in the case studies.

Please note: If you apply to join as an Intermediate, Professional or Advanced Professional Member, you must submit the evidence to support your application within one month of joining. If no upgrade form has been received within that time, we will enrol you as an Entry-Level Member but you can upgrade at any time.

The upgrade form is designed to be flexible and open-ended, to allow you to enter as much information as you need to for the best chance of success.

Take your time

The form allows you to save your application in a secure part of the members' area: no one except you can access it until you decide to submit it. This enables you to store a draft of your form for an unlimited amount of time. When you revisit the form you will be asked whether you wish to edit or delete this material, so you can take the time to collect the material and make sure that your application presents an accurate picture of your professional training and experience. You can polish and edit, until every part of your application is concise and clear; when you do more training or complete more jobs, you can add them to what is already there. If ever you think of something that might be relevant but is not covered by our guidelines, you can note it down and think about what supporting detail or explanation would help the Admissions Panel to see how it contributed to your editing skills. The form also allows you to upload supporting documents – but don’t go mad: it takes time to read The Decline and Fall!

Excel spreadsheets of your experience can be very useful to the Panel though. You might also keep a list somewhere of how close you are getting and what gaps you might need to fill. If you have more than 5 items to list in the Freelance Experience section, you should also find it easier to list these in a separate spreadsheet, as this will enable you to calculate the total hours more easily.

Please remember to include all the relevant information in the form itself, with additional information being provided only to back up/support information given (rather than providing new information). 

Important: Applicants should also remember that they need to apply the same care and diligence to their application as they would to an editing/proofreading job. 

A note about training: We look for English-language training from English-language providers, and do not normally award any points for courses in other languages. Evidence of training in the core skills of copy-editing and/or proofreading should also be demonstrated for application to any membership level. If you aren't sure whether a course is core skills based or more focused on editorial skills (eg, project management, grammar or better ways of using Word), then please contact the professional development director at profdev@sfep.org.uk.

You don't need to repeat information

You do not need to re-key any information that has already been included in a previous online application; your ‘old’ form(s) will be available to the Admissions Panel and will be sent with your new application to the Panel. It is worth mentioning at the end of your form, in the Further Information section, that you are only including information subsequent to your previous online application(s). The office will then easily make the relevant connections.

Questions about upgrading

Please remember that any details relating to an upgrade application, either planned, submitted or in progress, shouldn't be posted on the SfEP forums, on social media, or publicly in general, as the Admissions Panel must not be able to identify applicants by the information submitted. This includes information about your experience, training or work for specific organisations, as this could potentially jeopardise an upgrade application. 

Questions about upgrading are best sent directly to Anya Hastwell, professional development director, at profdev@sfep.org.uk

Ready to start?

When you are ready to apply, start filling in the upgrade form. For this you will need your SfEP membership number.

  1. Although the upgrade pages for each grade listed above and the case studies explain the broad requirements for each grade, if you have different experience or training that you believe is equivalent, you are encouraged to tell us as much as you can about this so the Admissions Panel can consider your application. You will need to provide detailed information.
  2. If you have questions about your application, refer to the FAQs first. If these do not answer the question, please email the SfEP office. A PDF list of popular training courses and the points they attract is available in the members' area under 'Professional development'.
  3. If you are reapplying within 1 year after an unsuccessful upgrade application, special conditions apply.

    Please note: To appeal against an unsuccessful upgrade application, you will need to pay a processing fee of £36. Please also note that upgrade fees are non-refundable.

Ready to apply for an upgrade?

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