Launched in Johannesburg in 1993, PEG represents practitioners who operate in the South African publishing industry, in corporate communications and the media, and in the academic sector. PEG is a founding member of LAMP (an umbrella alliance of Language and Media Professionals), whose mission is to promote the interests of all those professionals who serve this key sector of the South African economy. LAMP also represents our sector on book- and reading-development bodies. PEG was registered as a non-profit company (NPC) in February 2015.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, PEG was a national body with three principal branches: Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, each run by a committee of volunteers. Since moving to online activities in March 2020, PEG has been able to offer members across South Africa, and internationally, access to an extensive online webinar programme. Continuing professional development remains a key offering and the first PEG Accreditation Test was administered in August 2020 to benchmark excellence in the field of editing.
PEG’s members include professional text editors in any of South Africa’s written official languages, plus others: writers, copy editors, subeditors, overwriters, translators, proofreaders, indexers, book designers, and book and magazine DTP specialists. We also welcome those who are not yet practising but have an interest in the field or wish to make a career in it. We encourage our members to contribute towards the achievement of PEG’s objectives. By sharing their professional experience and expertise with colleagues, our members contribute to:
- elevating and upholding standards of work in the profession
- improving the public perception of copy editing and proofreading as a craft
- raising awareness of a much-needed service.
PEG’s stated objectives are to:
- promote high standards of copy editing and proofreading
- uphold the professional status of copy editors and promote professional behaviour among our members
- promote contact among members, the exchange of ideas and the dissemination of information on matters of professional interest
- promote an understanding of the work of copy editors among potential clients and the general public
- establish and maintain liaison with other societies of copy editors worldwide.
As a member of the Professional Editors’ Guild, I undertake to abide by the following Code of Conduct:
- I will strive to produce work of the highest possible standard, I will accept full responsibility for my work and I will draw the attention of my client or employer to any unresolved problems.
- I will refrain from accepting work that I do not have the capacity to complete to the required professional standard. Should I unwittingly accept such work, I will inform my client or employer to this effect at the earliest opportunity and, if requested, help my client or employer to find a replacement copy-editor or proofreader.
Continuing professional development
- I will constantly pursue self-improvement to improve the quality of my work.
- I will treat as confidential all personal and sensitive information contained in the work that is handled by me. At all times I will maintain professional detachment, impartiality and objectivity in my work.
- I will respect all the rights (specifically the copyright) of the authors, my clients or employers of the work handled by me. I will disclose any conflict of interest immediately when I become aware of such conflict.
- I undertake that I will personally complete work allocated to me and will not subcontract it out, for whatever reason, without obtaining the written permission of my client or employer.
- I will strive to keep to agreed deadlines and conditions of delivery and will inform my client or employer in good time should I not be able to comply with the agreement.
- I will not accept any work that I have reason to believe is intended for unlawful or dishonest purposes or that is contrary to the public interest.
- I will not give or receive bribes or kickbacks.
- I will not sign a certificate of editing or provide similar confirmation for work I have not completed myself.
- I will make every attempt to verify facts in the work handled by me and avoid spreading fake news and information.
- In negotiating remuneration, I will be guided by the principle of fairness. In particular, I will refrain from charging excessively low or high rates. This does not preclude me from offering my services free for a friend (pro amico) or for a good cause (pro bono). I will consider the currently published scale of copy-editing and proofreading fees by the Professional Editors’ Guild or related organisations as my guide when quoting for work.
- I will respect and support my fellow professionals and share my professional knowledge for the good of the profession.
- I will refrain from encroaching on or recruiting the clients of fellow professionals.
- I will support and further the interests of the profession and my fellow professionals. I will always conduct myself in such a way as to be a credit to the Professional Editors’ Guild and the profession as a whole.
- I will not collude with or participate in communicating information of a defamatory and/or discriminatory nature and will desist from using abusive language and hate speech that attacks or may cause pain and/or harm to any person.
- I will abide by the South African Constitution, Acts and laws. This includes no direct or indirect discrimination against (or disparagement of) any person or entity, in actions or statements, on the basis of one or more of the following: race, gender, sex, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, HIV status, belief, political opinion, culture, language or birth.
Appropriate conduct and disciplinary process
- I will always act decorously so as not to bring the Guild into disrepute.
- In particular, I will use PEG’s social media (including but not limited to the online chat groups, Facebook and LinkedIn) responsibly and with due regard for accepted social media etiquette and with the necessary respect for others, especially where the platform is intended for professional discussion.
- I understand that a breach of this Code of Conduct will lead to disciplinary action being taken against me if I do not abide by these guidelines for professional conduct.
If you are already a PEG member, you may be interested in taking out an entry in the PEG Directory of Members' Services. Formerly a print publication, the Directory is now a web-based searchable tool enabling potential clients or employers to find editors and language professionals according to region, specialisms and skills. The Directory will give you an opportunity to promote your skills, knowledge and fields of interest to any potential clients or employers.
As a PEG member, you are able to update your Directory entry yourself. All you’ll need is, first, your PEG password to give you access to your profile and, secondly, to follow the House Style conventions for Directory entries. You may update your profile as often as you wish, as and when your details change.