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Heather Buzila

The NEC in Detail: Director of Professional Standards and Director of Publications

Cartoon image of a woman of colour in professional attire holding a pile of papers with "Career Builder" and the Editors Canada logo on the top of the first page.
Cartoon image of a woman of colour in professional attire holding a pile of papers with "Career Builder" and the Editors Canada logo on the top of the first page.
Copyright: esheluxina

This is the fifth in a series of posts describing the roles of the Editors Canada national executive council by Heather Buzila.This series is also available in French (cette série est également disponible en français). 

Following on my post about the directors of marketing and communication and member recruitment and retention, I’ll continue to give you an overview of two national executive council (NEC) directors’ duties and responsibilities. The final post in this series will be shared next month.

This post will focus on the roles of director of professional standards and director of publication. 

Director of professional standards

The director of professional standards’ portfolio includes the areas of Editors Canada responsible for professional certification, the Editing Essentials test, and the Professional Editorial Standards (PES). This includes overseeing the certification steering committee (CSC) and the standards committee.

Great qualities to have for this director position include excellent organization skills, an eye for detail and a willingness to pitch in when needed. 

These qualities are especially important when working with the CSC, which is arguably the association’s busiest committee. The director of professional standards often attends CSC meetings and may help recruit and mentor new members. Sometimes this includes helping recruit for specific CSC roles, such as test setters or markers. The volunteer who fills this director position does not need to have completed any professional certification exams, but that would be a definite asset. 

The director works as the liaison between these committees and the NEC when needed, such as when motions need to be made in order for the committees to continue with their work. For example, when the CSC was looking to offer early-bird pricing on certification exams, the director facilitated a discussion with the NEC and then reported back to the committee with the results of the vote. And during the standards committee’s recent update of the PES, the director worked with the committee and the NEC to review the updated standards and ensure a substantive motion was submitted in time for the AGM. 

Director of publications

The director of publications oversees Editors Canada’s publications and the publications committee, which is responsible for completing much of the necessary work to make resources available to the public. Examples of some of Editors Canada’s publications include the Edit Like a Pro series and handbooks like From Contact to Contract.

An understanding of the publication process is very helpful for this position, but it is not a requirement. Flexibility and patience are two valuable qualities to have, since timelines shift and work assignments may change throughout the publication process (in part because of the large time commitment for volunteers). It’s also helpful to have a vision for what the end result of a publication will be and how it will meet the needs of the intended audience — this helps to keep long-term projects on track and within the desired scope.

The director of publications is involved in project management. They help the publications committee oversee all the necessary steps from project conceptualization to publication. They also liaise with the publications committee, the executive director and any contractors as required to get contracts created and signed for services such as graphic design. 

The director works with the publications committee to conceptualize projects using feedback from the NEC, committees and Editors Canada members to identify gaps and needs that can be addressed through new or updated publications. And when the committee receives outside requests to use Editors Canada publications, in part or as a whole, the director assesses and replies to the request, applying internal policies and fair dealing principles

Upcoming role descriptions

In my next (and last) post in this series, I’ll focus on the roles of director of training and development and director of volunteer relations. 

If you have any questions about the director positions or would like more information, please email me at pastpresident@editors.ca

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Previous post from Heather Buzila: The NEC in Detail: Director of Marketing and Communications and Director of Member Recruitment and Retention

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