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Proofreading - QLS Level 4 Diploma Course

Course Format:Online Course (With Optional Paper-Based Course Notes)
Self-Study Time:Approximately 240 Hours (Self-Study)
Delivery Time:1-3 Working Days (Email)
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Course Description

The Proofreading - QLS Level 4 Diploma Course introduces learners to the skills that are required for being a freelance proofreader. Whether you are intending to do proofreading for a living or you simply wish to improve your knowledge, this course will give valuable practical experience through its assignments and will lead to a valuable accredited certification.

There are eight units within the Proofreading Diploma course, and each covers instructional material as well as assignments. Each unit will explore a different aspect of proofreading to provide the learner with a real insight into this topic. The Proofreading Diploma course materials also include Appendix I, a glossary of grammatical terms; Appendix II, a list of standard symbols used in proofreading; and a Bibliography listing helpful references, including relevant websites.

On successful completion of this course students will receive a QLS Level 3 Endorsed Certificate of Achievement.

The Proofreading - QLS Level 4 Diploma Course Includes the Following Units:
The following topics are covered: Why the proofreader is needed; Proofreading versus copy-editing; Proofreading symbols; Electronic proofreading; Reference works; Exercise 1.1 Checking understanding of key points in chapter; and Exercise 1.2 Correcting errors involving grammatical words.
The following topics are covered: Nouns and noun phrases; Genitive case marking of nouns; Common versus proper nouns; Capitalisation rules: Practical issues; Compound nouns; Pronouns; Central pronouns; Other pronouns; Case study I: Lack of a gender neutral pronoun; Case study II: Coordinated subject/object pronouns; Exercise 2.1 Identifying subject and object noun phrases; Exercise 2.2 Genitive case marking; Exercise 2.3 Capitalising proper nouns; Exercise 2.4 First versus later mentions of a proper noun; Exercise 2.5 Identifying central pronouns; and Exercise 2.6 Evaluating coordinated pronouns.
The following topics are covered: Verbs; The verb in the basic sentence; Non-actional versus actional verbs; Direct versus indirect objects; Subject-verb agreement; Other grammatical properties of the verb; Verb phrases; More complex verb phrases; The modal auxiliary verb; Adjectives; Adverbs; Prepositions; Exercise 3.1 Identifying verbs and their objects; Exercise 3.2 The grammatical properties of the finite verb; Exercise 3.3 Distinguishing auxiliary and main verbs; Exercise 3.4 Distinguishing adjectives and adverbs; and Exercise 3.5 Identifying prepositions.
The following topics are covered: Dependent versus independent clauses; Restrictive versus non-restrictive relative clauses; Exercise 4.1 Distinguishing conjunctions, conjunctive adverbs and relative pronouns; and Exercise 4.2 Identifying clause types.
The following topics are covered: Apostrophe; The greengrocer's apostrophe; Its versus it's and your versus you're; Comma; Use of the comma in lists; Use of the comma in coordinate sentences; Use of the comma with dependent clauses; Use of the comma with parenthetic material; Use of the comma in apposition; Use of the comma in dates; Use of the comma to separate the same word when it appears in succession; Semicolon; Colon; Punctuation of quoted material; Exercise 5.1 Use of it's versus its and your versus you're; Exercise 5.2 Use of the comma; Exercise 5.3 Using the apostrophe, comma, semicolon and colon; Exercise 5.4 Punctuating clauses and sentences; and Exercise 5.5 General exercise in proofreading.
The following topics are covered: Use of Latin abbreviations; Other foreign terms; Who, whom, that, which; Fewer versus less; Homophones; British versus American vocabulary; Exercise 6.1 Latin abbreviations; Exercise 6.2 Choice of relative pronoun; and Exercise 6.3 Fewer versus less.
The following topics are covered: Split infinitives; Stranding a preposition; Beginning a sentence with a conjunction; Sentence adverbs; Misuse of dash and ellipsis; British versus American grammar; Exercise 7.1 Prepositional pied-piping in a relative clause; Exercise 7.2 Replacing the sentence adverb; and Exercise 7.3 Use of dash and ellipsis.
The following topics are covered: Exercise 8.1 Working to a style sheet; and Exercise 8.2 Preparing a style sheet.
Course Format & Delivery

You will receive access to the course materials through an online portal for a 12-month period. Students can use the portal for accessing their course materials, submitting assignments and to log tutor questions. 

Please Note: An optional hard-copy version of the course notes can be purchased for an additional £48.00. This is useful for learners who also want to study away from the computer and means they have course notes they can keep and refer back to beyond their online course license.

Delivery of the hard-copy materials is usually within 5 to 10 working days by a recorded delivery service.


As this is a Level 4 course, learners should have previously studied to a Level 3 standard or equivalentA good level of literacy is also a requirement if the extended assignment work is to be completed successfully.

Course Duration & Online Support

You can start this course at any time, and you would be registered for a one-year period. You also have access to a personal tutor who can be contacted through the online portal or by email. Your tutor is available to assist with any queries and to mark your assignments for the Awarding Organisation.

As the course is self-study, you can complete it as quickly as you like. Support extensions are available if students do not complete the course within the one-year period.


Students will be required to complete a number of assignments. Your personal tutor will review, mark and provide you with feedback on your work. Coursework assignments can be returned by uploading to the online portal, by email or by post.

We recommend that assignments are completed and returned as word-processed documents through the online portal. Handwritten documents can be accepted but need to be clear and legible and may be subject to a longer marking time.

QLS Level 4 Endorsed Certification

At the end of this course, successful learners will receive a QLS Level 4 Endorsed Certificate of Achievement from the Quality Licence Scheme and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the components the learner has completed as part of the course).

The Quality Licence Scheme is part of the Skills and Education Group, a charitable organisation that unites education and skills-orientated organisations that share similar values and objectives. With more than 100 years of collective experience, the Skills and Education Group’s strategic partnerships create opportunities to inform, influence and represent the wider education and skills sector.

The Skills and Education Group also includes two nationally recognised awarding organisations; Skills and Education Group Awards and Skills and Education Group Access. Through our awarding organisations we have developed a reputation for providing high-quality qualifications and assessments for the education and skills sector. We are committed to helping employers, organisations and learners cultivate the relevant skills for learning, skills for employment, and skills for life.

Our knowledge and experience of working within the awarding sector enables us to work with training providers, through the Quality Licence Scheme, to help them develop high-quality courses and/or training programmes for the non-regulated market.

The course has been endorsed under the Quality Licence Scheme. This means that NCC has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet defined quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to a regulated qualification* but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills gained. The Learner Unit Summary may be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this subject. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 4 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of demand/complexity involved in successful completion by the learner. 

The course itself has been designed by NCC to meet specific learners’ and/or employers’ requirements which cannot be satisfied through current regulated qualifications. The Quality Licence Scheme endorsement involves robust and rigorous quality audits by external auditors to ensure quality is continually met. A review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.

You can find more information on level descriptors from our Certification Overview Page.

*Regulated qualification refers to those qualifications that are regulated by Ofqual / CCEA / Qualification Wales

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Proofreading - QLS Level 4 Diploma Course
Proofreading - QLS Level 4 Diploma Course
From as little as £52.20 per month