If we were to list some of the attributes of someone ideally suited to
the proofreading task it might look something like this:
• High process compliance focus.
• Strong attention to detail.
• High self discipline.
• A completer finisher.
• Ability to concentrate on a task for long periods.
• Happy working alone for long periods.
• Low natural tendency to subconsciously correct errors in
• Ability to resist management pressure to rush work.
Without these attributes, it is highly unlikely that an individual is
going to be able to do a good job of proofreading if they are called
upon to do so for a significant proportion of their time. Some would
argue that, even if they only perform proofreading for small periods
of their time, unless they have most of these attributes, they will still
do a poor proofreading job.
Firstly, we would recommend selecting individuals who meet a
profile suitable for proofreading if they are to be asked to perform
proofreading duties for a significant part of their jobs.
Secondly, we would recommend that organisations look closely at
the roles which are required to perform proofreading in the artwork
process and consider if the typical skill set of individuals in these
roles lends itself to effective proofreading. If not, then consideration
should be given to changing the process to put critical proofreading
activity in the hands of those with the appropriate skills.