Diplomate Program

The diplomate program is designed for BELS-certified editors who have had extensive experience in scientific communication in English and who are highly proficient.

All statements of fees refer to US currency.

The Procedure

The procedure comprises two steps: applying for candidacy and, once the application is accepted, submitting a portfolio of edited material with a statement of circumstances surrounding the editing.


To be eligible for diplomate status, the candidate must have been a BELS-certified editor for at least 2 years and be able to document at least 6 years of editorial experience.

If you fulfill the criteria described above, you are invited to complete the Application for Diplomate Candidacy (fee: $100).


If you are accepted for diplomate candidacy, you will receive a portfolio guide. The guide provides you with information about the elements that must be included for your portfolio to be considered for review. You will have 2 years in which to submit your portfolio with a $300 evaluation fee. If your portfolio fulfills the criteria, the BELS registrar will choose three reviewers, all of whom are BELS diplomate editors. Once the reviewers' scores have been tabulated, you will be informed whether you have passed and earned the ELS(D) designation.

If your first try was not successful, you may resubmit your revised portfolio with the $150 application fee any time within your 2 years of eligibility.

Certification Maintenance

Earning the Diplomate designation, ELS(D), will automatically count for the next certification renewal requirement. Certificants should simply complete the credit tracker with the “Diplomate” option and return with the appropriate fee to renew certification for another 5 years. The time when the Diplomate was earned will not matter, but this option may only be used once by any individual to renew certification. The certificant’s original certification cycle will not change regardless of when the Diplomate is earned during the 5-year renewal period. This option of applying the Diplomate designation to fulfill the certification maintenance requirement is available to a certificant only once; once applied, the usual renewal process shall be followed. Learn more about BELS Certification Maintenance here.

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