NCTJ and NVQ merge journalism training schemes

The NVQ training system for journalism has been effectively scrapped and is merging with the National Council for the Training of Journalists to create one vocational training qualification for journalists.

The NCTJ, which accredits courses at 41 colleges and universities across the country, will administer the new qualification which replaces the National Vocational Qualification in journalism, run by the Newspaper Society. The two bodies said today they hoped the new course would be a ‘gold standard’in journalism training.

Companies now using the Newspaper NVQ will transfer students onto the NCTJ’s training structure. Students currently on the NVQ course can choose whether to finish it or transfer to the NCTJ’s National Certificate Examination, the newspaper indsutry’s standard qualification.

Newspaper Society President Russell Whitehair said: ‘The NCTJ is well placed to provide a progressive one-stop shop for training and qualifications for all those wanting to join our newspapers as well as those who are developing their journalism careers with us.”

John Fry, chief executive of regional publishing group Archant and chair of the working group overseeing the merger, said: ‘Our industry is undergoing huge change with digital developments that present us with both challenges and opportunities. Journalists are at the heart of this revolution and it makes sense that we have a completely joined-up approach to skills and qualifications.

‘Archant newspaper divisions have been using the NCE and the NVQ successfully and there are benefits of both systems. But we need a more coherent strategy for journalism training and qualifications and the time is right for the industry to give the NCTJ its backing to oversee a merger of training routes.”

Joanne Butcher, chief executive of the NCTJ, said: ‘I have been hugely impressed by the training schemes of companies using the NVQ and their commitment to high standards of journalism training. They have a great deal to offer the NCTJ and I am pleased that our discussions have been so positive and constructive and that we have been trusted with overseeing all journalism training and qualifications.”

Director of the Society of Editors Bob Satchwell said: “Both as a director of the NCTJ and speaking on behalf of the Society of Editors, this is a welcome step in creating a single body that is setting the standard for journalism training.
“It is so important that we have one kitemark for journalistic standards. This is a significant move which will be seen in time as a huge benefit to the industry.”

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