Become a Board-Certified Editor

Q: How do I apply and register for the certification examination?

To be eligible for BELS certification, you must usually have a bachelor's degree or equivalent from an accredited academic institution and at least 2 years of experience as a manuscript editor in the life sciences. A manuscript editor is defined here as one who is concerned not only with the form but with the intellectual content of a manuscript.

You may submit an Application Form to the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences at any time. Include your resume or curriculum vitae (an education history and summary of editing or other relevant experience); one letter from an employer or client describing and verifying your employment for the required length of time; photocopies of transcripts, diplomas, or other documentation of your education; and your application fee of $65 US.

If you are requesting an exception, be certain to state which one and to submit the appropriate documents. 

You will be notified shortly about your eligibility to register for the certification examination. Eligibility is determined on the basis of a complete set of application materials that demonstrates satisfactory fulfillment of the eligibility requirements. If you are eligible, you will be sent a dated notice and information regarding registration to sit for the exam.

You may, within 2 years, notify the Board that you wish to take the examination by submitting the exam registration form and a fee of $350 US. Once the registration fee has been paid, BELS will enter you into the Prometric (the computer-based testing company BELS uses) exam system. Prometric will then send you instructions on how to find a testing center near you. They will also send communication on how to schedule your exam timeslot that best fits your availability. 

If you would like more information about certification contact us.

Q. How do I prepare for the test?

You can download a copy of the Study Guide from the website. Daily work as an editor is the best preparation, but the Study Guide gives a list of references that might be helpful.

Q. How is the examination administered?

The exam will be administered through computer-based testing done through Prometric.  Prometric is the global testing services provider with the experience, expertise, resources and customer-focus to ensure the long-term success and growth of your assessment program. Prometric has testing locations in more than 160 countries around the world. You also have the option to take the test remotely, at home or another location of your choice, using your own computer. For information on testing remotely, please visit the remote assessment page on the Prometric site for more information.

Q. How do I know if there is a testing center offering the exam near me?

You can visit the Prometric site to search for a testing center location near you.

Q. How can I determine if a location availability and hours are affected due to COVID-19?

You can find site status locations and updates on the operational standing of each test center following COVID-related closures here:

Q. How often is the examination held?

BELS will be offering the exam one month per quarter each year. 

January 1st-31st, April 1st-30th, July 1st-31st, October 1st – 31st. 

Q. If I have a disability that may require special accommodations to take the examination, what should I do?

Please visit the Prometric testing accommodations page for more information.