When you are just starting out as a freelancer, it is very helpful to be able to borrow from a bank of knowledge regarding best practices in the business. At the EFA website, we have our Resources page, and one of the very valuable resources on that page is the Code of Fair Practice. The Code describes itself and its history succinctly right at the top:
“The Code of Fair Practice was originally created by the Freelance Editorial Association, which merged with the Editorial Freelancers Association in 2000. The code, in defining ethical standards and contract guidelines for editorial freelancers and clients, helps freelancers negotiate agreements and promotes fair business practices.”
Unlike some of our other resources, the Code of Fair Practice is available for the public to view. This means that not only freelancers but also our clients can use the code to better understand the freelancer/client relationship upon which they are embarking. There are no secrets inside—just good timeless advice about setting rates, professional communications, setting expectations, working with subcontractors, resolving conflicts, etc.
The last revision of the Code was in 2007, so it might be time for some wonderful volunteers to evaluate its contents again based on our 2019 standards of inclusion and non-discrimination, for example; but, overall, the resource retains its value. Reading the code and sending your clients to it is a good reminder that, as members of the EFA, we are agreeing to hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards of the freelance community and expect to be treated as professionals.
EFA Chapter Development Chairperson
Robin is a freelance editor in Northern California and has been a member of the EFA since 2009. She can be found on Instagram and Twitter @sacramentorobin.