Feedback for Editors – What It Means and How to Deal With It

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If you are undergoing your trial with Proofed, you will get feedback from the admin team on at least your first ten documents. Once you’re an established Proofed editor, your documents will still be checked from time to time, or every time for certain customers. Here, we explain what your feedback scores mean and how to approach feedback in the most positive way to benefit you and your work.

Feedback Scores

When you get feedback on a document, it will come with a positive, neutral or negative score. This is what the scores mean – and what they don’t mean!


We give a positive score if your work is perfect or near perfect; your positive score might be accompanied by one or two pointers about things you missed.

Positive means
You’re absolutely on the right track – keep it up but (if pointers are given) watch out for the issues we’ve highlighted.
Positive doesn’t mean
The pointers we’ve given are very minor matters that you can ignore.


You might get a neutral score accompanied by a number of pointers about things you missed, errors you introduced, or style matters you need to be aware of.

Neutral means
You’re a capable editor and your approach here was sound, but the document still wasn’t right.
Neutral means
We believe you can do better if you take our feedback on board.
Neutral means
We might have to dock your pay for this document (depending on the amount of admin time it took to fix it – this usually doesn’t apply to on-trial editors).
Neutral doesn’t mean
You have done a completely awful job.
Neutral doesn’t mean
We don’t want you to edit any more documents.
Neutral doesn’t mean
You won’t get through your trial period*.
Neutral doesn’t mean
It’s okay – the admin team can always fix documents for you.
Neutral doesn’t mean
It’s fine to keep on getting neutral scores.

*Getting neutral scores at the start of your trial period is not necessarily an indicator that you won’t make it – our feedback and guidance is there to help you improve the way you proofread/edit.


You might get a negative score accompanied by many pointers, or very few pointers, about things you missed or errors you introduced. The number of pointers isn’t really the deciding factor for a negative score – it’s about how poorly you edited the document and how likely it would have been to attract a justified customer complaint.

Negative means
You’re not following our proofreading/editing guidelines.
Negative means
You’ve submitted work that is unfit to return to the customer.
Negative means
We need to see an immediate change in your approach for us to continue your contract.
Negative means
We will almost certainly have to dock your pay for this document (depending on the amount of admin time it took to fix it).
Negative doesn’t mean
We don’t want you to edit any more documents (unless we tell you to stop).
Negative doesn’t mean
You won’t get through your trial period*.
Negative doesn’t mean
It’s impossible to get back on track.

*Getting negative scores at the start of your trial period is not necessarily an indicator that you won’t make it – our feedback and guidance is there to help you improve the way you proofread/edit.

Quality Checking by the Admin Team

The admin team checks many documents every day. Please bear in mind the following points. • Each document has an unmovable customer deadline, which the admin team has to meet.

• If a document has an error in the first few pages, the checker will then have to carefully read the whole document in case there are others.

• We highlight the errors left in documents in our feedback and sometimes send a comparison document, so you can see the changes we made.

• If we spot errors early in a document and there is enough time before the deadline, we may ask you to look at the document again.

What We Check For

• Correct documents uploaded in the chosen dialect and labelled with Proofed ID

• Specified services applied, such as proofreading, editing, formatting, substantive editing

• Clear, readable English that does not read like non-native English

• Every attempt made to preserve the writer’s meaning without adding or subtracting any elements of what they were trying to say and without changing their intended meaning

• Sentences and paragraphs that make sense

• Correct grammar and spelling throughout

• Correct and consistent punctuation, including dialect- and/or referencing style-specific use of quote marks, dashes and serial commas

• Use of style elements that follow the guidelines in our commenting tool and Common Proofreading Pitfalls

• No double spaces left in

• Correct introduction of acronyms

• Consistency in heading/subheading capitalisation

• Correct use of academic conventions, where appropriate

• Any appropriate requests made by the customer to be applied

• Appropriate use of polite, typo-free comments

• Any in-text citations and reference lists formatted consistently in line with relevant style guides

• Deadlines met or prompt communication with the admin team if an extension is needed

We will give feedback on as many of your first ten documents as we can and fairly regularly once you’ve progressed to longer documents. This can vary from ‘All okay’ to much more detailed feedback if we find things amiss.

● Please don’t see the review team as your safety net – their job is not to fix documents that weren’t up to scratch. You should only be uploading work that is of customer-ready quality with no remaining issues. Always work on the assumption that the first person to see your work will be the customer, not the Proofed team.

● If your work is checked and the reviewer does spot issues, the work might need to be re-proofread, either by you or someone else, and your pay may be docked. If a customer complains about work we’ve auto-approved and we have to redo the work and/or recompense them, we may dock your pay.If this happens, how much is docked depends on how long we had to spend to bring it up to standard.

● Your document will be shown as ‘awaiting approval’ until it has been reviewed or auto-approved.

● We are slightly more flexible when reviewing your first few documents while you get the hang of things;

however, if the work is very much below the standard required then a dock in pay may still be applied.

● Please bear all feedback in mind for future documents. Do not contact us about your feedback. If you have questions about it, aSuite should be your first port of call for information. Frequent challenges to our feedback are not acceptable and are rarely answered.

How to React to Your Feedback

We give you feedback in order to support you, not to criticise you. Your scores are there to help us – and you – to gauge how you are doing. Yes, a run of neutral and negative scores can sometimes herald the end of your time with Proofed, but it doesn’t have to be that way if you are willing to take steps to fix the situation. If you get neutral or negative scores, here’s what to do.

• Don’t over-react or panic – the way ahead is in your hands, so you need to be calm and focused.

• Check out our resources, including When Things Go Wrong, in your user area.

• Don’t contact admin to apologise, explain, debate or dispute your feedback or point out any errors we’ve made in our feedback comments (we try to avoid such errors, but they occasionally creep in when we are working at lightning speed to fix a document and upload it before a deadline).

• Focus on short documents for a while to rebuild your skills and confidence.

• We know it can be frustrating when we seem only to mention the few things you’ve missed, rather than all the things you got right. We do notice when you’ve done good work, but if we find an error in a document, we have to check and fix the whole thing. If a customer spots errors, they will simply not trust the rest of the work. You need to be your own critic and pick up all those issues for yourself – that’s what proofreading involves, after all.

• If you find that the thought of feedback is affecting you when you’re not working, or making you nervous or anxious when you are, it might be that working with Proofed is not for you.

• Be honest with yourself – are you really committed to getting your work for Proofed in the best possible shape every time? If so, there are probably things you know you could do that would improve your performance and you should go ahead and do them. If not, then please get in touch to terminate your contract, rather than continuing to take work from Proofed.