Just like any other task, anyone responsible for performing proofreading activities needs to understand exactly how they are supposed to perform each task in an optimal way.
Work instructions and procedures should be designed to explain exactly what needs to be done and the best methods for carrying out individual tasks. As we discuss later, the specific methods used in proofreading are particularly important given the human mind’s ability to subconsciously correct mistakes without an individual being aware of it.
Education and training needs to ensure that these work methods are explained, demonstrated and practiced sufficiently in order to ensure that people can reliably repeat the tasks required of them each time they are required to perform them.
Particular attention should be paid to people who will not perform their proofreading tasks on a regular basis, or who perform the tasks in isolation, to ensure that methods are consistently and completely adhered too.
Given the critical role of proofreading in the artwork context in ensuring that artwork mistakes do not find their way into finished products, the competence of individuals should also be verified before they are allowed to proofread production artwork. Answering a small number of questions to demonstrate a procedure has been read is very unlikely to be adequate to ensure proofreading competency.
This is one in a series of blogs giving a view of the causes of proof reading errors. We also have a document verification and proofreading web based course available. To obtain an e-copy of our Top 15 Causes of Proof Reading Errors booklet, or enquire about the training please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.