What are you looking for in an editor?

·       Somebody who has worked in your industry and understands the pressures, bottlenecks and pain points?

·       An expert who has the experience to work out which aspects to prioritise when a quick turnaround is essential?

·       An all-rounder with a good knowledge of multiple therapy areas who is comfortable rewriting and fact checking?

Petra Roberts

I’m Petra Roberts, and I provide editorial support to medical communications and medical education agencies, pharmaceutical companies, E-learning providers, healthcare advertising, public relations, and marketing companies. My employment experience in medical communications, publishing and information was gained at MediTech Media (a subsidiary of Nucleus Group), OCC, Hill+Knowlton Strategies (owned by the WPP Group), Nature Publishing Group, and Thomson Reuters, among others. In addition to in-house training, I have received ongoing classroom and online training from accredited providers.

How I work

You can either book set days, provide delivery dates and deadlines for your short tasks, so I can see if I have capacity, or ask me for an estimate to ensure the job stays within budget. I use my experience of similar jobs to estimate the time needed so I can manage my own time effectively and communicate any potential issues early on. Please provide within your request document word count or number of slides, and an indication of whether the material is especially technical/text heavy. We can collaborate on the best way to approach the brief or I can propose suggestions.

Some general pointers have been provided by the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading 21 top tips factsheet to help you make the most of your freelancers.

When I receive your brief, I will acknowledge receipt and follow up if I need further information. Please see my Projects page and Services page for further details on what I offer.

Work-related interests

I enjoy researching and analysing scientific text, and condensing verbose documents down into a more modular/granular format. These skills mesh well with the ongoing move to virtual or blended events, E-learning and digital projects…I regularly attend educational and networking events related to developments in the industry. I also follow the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading forums so I can keep up with the editing world and get tips on useful resources, time management and optimising workflow, relevant new technologies and remind myself how to keep fit and healthy in a demanding world.


I have a BSc in Biochemistry and I am an Advanced Professional Member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading.

Training and continuing professional development

In 2019 I was able to attain the highest grade of membership of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading, based on references, experience, an editorial test, and training. I was especially proud of this achievement because it provided an objective assessment of my progress in my chosen career. Classroom and online training courses are listed below.

Society for Editors and Proofreaders (now Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading): Project Management, Introduction to Web Editorial Skills, Professional Copyediting, Efficient Copyediting, Onscreen Editing 1 & 2, References, Editing Digital Content

Publishing Training Centre: Grappling with Grammar, Editing: STM, Proofreading, Staying within the Law (copyright and permissions), Introduction to Web Technologies, Instructional Design, Rewriting and Substantive Editing, Editing Illustrations

Society of Indexers: Introduction to Indexing

Popular Communication: Colour Proof Assessment, Introduction to Print

Indigo: Writing Dynamics

Thomson Reuters: Management 101, Leading through Change, Situational Management, Hire Right, Financial Essentials

Forcefield: Introduction to Marketing, Presentation Skills

Other interests

When I’m not involved in business matters, with all deadlines met, I like to have some leisure time by the coast with family (in Swansea, where I was brought up). I live about as far from the sea as is possible in the UK (Bedford). You might have a clue where the name ‘Swanford’ came from by now… Kefalonia is a favourite for holidays so I am learning Greek.

I’m lucky enough to be commuting or visiting distance from London so I can check out shows, exhibitions and galleries for the day. Please see my Services page for more about my working life. I also enjoy creative craft projects (sewing, knitting and cross-stitch).