Are you a proofreader?

Interested in proofreading for The Proofreading Agency?

Read on to find out if you’d be suited to this kind of work and how to apply.

NOTICE: Applications currently on hold. We are not currently recruiting further external proofreaders but you may still apply if you wish to be considered at a later date, in which case your application will initially be kept on file for up to a maximum of 3 years. 

What exactly do our proofreaders do?

Our proofreaders are freelancers who check the language of various types of document, from booklets and brochures to website text and even novels. It’s the proofreader’s job to look for and mark up any errors that they find in the document – these may be errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar, or inconsistencies in style. The author of the text, or our editorial team, can then review the proofreader’s suggestions and make corrections where necessary. The aim is to ensure that the finished product is accurate, consistent and error free. Proofreaders are sent work and return their completed assignments through the post, which gives them the flexibility of working from home.

What qualities make a good proofreader?

  • An excellent knowledge of English spelling, grammar and punctuation
  • An eye for detail
  • A methodical approach
  • Good concentration
  • Neat and precise handwriting

What experience and qualifications do I need to become a Proofreading Agency proofreader?

Relevant experience is an advantage but not essential. More important than this is that you demonstrate an aptitude for proofreading in our Online and Initial proofreading tests. Please see below for more details of our requirements:

  1. Graduate of any discipline; or
    • Undergraduate working towards a degree in English or a technical subject; or
    • If not a graduate you must have proofreading/copy-editing training from a recognised training provider such as the Publishing Training Centre, or SfEP
  2. Native speaker of English
  3. Aptitude for proofreading (evidenced by achievement of a high score in our Initial Proofreading Test)
  4. UK resident
  • Grade A or B in English Language / English Literature at A Level, or the equivalent

NB If you have technical knowledge in a particular area, this may be an advantage.

How would I be paid?

Our proofreaders fill out an invoice for each assignment and payments are made once a month.

How can I find out whether or not I have the necessary skills?

Complete our Online Proofreading Test; it’s designed as a self-assessment and it should give you an idea of whether or not you have the skills you need. Even if you already have proofreading skills or qualifications, if you’re thinking of applying to proofread for The Proofreading Agency you will need to complete this test, as we’ll ask you for your score when you apply.

How do I apply if I’m still interested?

If you enjoyed spotting the errors in the online test and achieved a score of at least 27 in one read through, you may well be the kind of person who’d make a great proofreader. If you’d like to apply for proofreading work, the next step is to print out and complete our Initial Test. Make sure that you write your name and Online Test score on the front of the Initial Test, in the box provided. You will find full instructions on how to mark up the test on p. 2 of the document itself. Send the Initial Test with your CV and covering letter to: Natasha Andrew, Proofreader Support, ZigZag Education, Unit 3, Greenway Business Centre, Doncaster Road, Bristol BS10 5PY. In your cover letter please let us know if you have any particular subject specialisms, e.g. if you have a Science degree, if you speak another language or if you have studied Music to a high level. Please ensure you send this with the correct amount of postage; ordinary postage stamps often fall a few pence short of the postage cost for a large document and this can prevent them from being delivered. Note: You will need Adobe Acrobat Viewer to view the Initial Test for Proofreaders; you can download the latest version for free from

I want to know more about proofreading and about setting myself up as a freelancer.

Our proofreaders’ links page is a great starting point.