Suggested minimum rates

Although the negotiation of fees is obviously a matter for the individual freelance and client to resolve, the SfEP does suggest minimum hourly rates as a starting point for negotiations.

Suggested minimum rates from 1 March 2018

Type of work Suggested minimum hourly rate
Proofreading £24.30
Copy-editing £28.30
Substantial editing, rewriting, development editing £32.60
Project management £35.20
Indexing £25.00

Society of Indexers' suggested minimum.


The rates are reviewed annually, when they're either increased (broadly in line with inflation) or kept static during periods of economic downturn, but always with the aim of keeping them realistic yet still aspirational for our members. You can see further details on how the suggested rates are set and view the historical suggested minimum rates to see how these rates have changed over the years.

For details of suggested minimum rates in other areas of freelance work, the online NUJ freelance fees guide is recommended.

If you are a member, it is also worthwhile checking the SfEP rate for the job in the members' area. Here you'll find the rates actually paid for copy-editing and proofreading by various companies, submitted anonymously by SfEP members. This has been modelled on the NUJ rate for the job, which can be checked for other types of editorial work.