Editing and Proofreading Skills for Government

This course maps to capability:

Important: Before registering, please click here to read some important information relating to COVID-19 requirements and IPAA WA in-person training.


This course is suitable for all those in the public sector who either experience difficulty in editing their own material or who need help in re-writing or editing reports, briefings and submissions written by other people.

The course focuses on editing techniques that will improve documents by making them more professional, factual, concise and persuasive. It will also help those attending to identify and correct common writing and editing errors and to improve their overall grammar and punctuation skills.

Course Content

  • The three essential elements of editing:
    • substantive editing
    • copy editing
    • line editing.
  • Editing your own writing:
  • if all writing is re-writing, when does the editing process begin?
  • Editing other people’s writing:
  • how to work with others to make their text more readable, error-free and more suited to its purpose. 
  • The elements of the sentence:
  • reconstructing sentences – case; number; person; tense; voice – to make them work. 
  • The major elements of copy editing:
  • grammar; spelling; punctuation; syntax; capitalisation;
  • what are the rules and what positive changes may be made by using plain English?
  • Proofreading tips

Course Outcomes

By the end of this course participants should be able to:

  • know how to make their own writing and other people’s writing more professional, concise, factual and persuasive
  • know what constitutes a well-written report, briefing or submission, and how to make it fit for purpose
  • understand and have a good working knowledge of the editing process
  • have a better understanding of the principles of modern grammar and punctuation
  • write more clearly and concisely, and re-write more effectively.

Benefits to your organisation

  • You will have more confidence in your staff to produce professional, well-written, error-free documents.
  • You will spend less time having to re-write and edit documents submitted to you
  • You will have more people in your department capable of editing their own and other’s documents.

Benefits to you

  • You will have more confidence in your ability to edit your own and other people’s writing.
  • Your own writing will be substantially improved.
  • You may enjoy an enhanced reputation in your organisation as a good editor.