Rob Selwood

Rob Selwood, one of the leading figures in British journalism training, has died, aged 62, after a short illness.

As chief executive of the National Council for the Training of Journalists, Selwood was the man who promoted the National Certificate Examination (NCE),

formerly the Proficiency Test, which has inducted generations of journalists into the profession.

Among the successful products of the NCTJ’s training are broadcasters Kate Adie and Sue Lawley, former editors Kelvin MacKenzie and Roy Greenslade, columnist Richard Littlejohn and authors Andrew Morton and Frederick Forsyth.

Selwood was taken ill soon after the NCTJ had marked its 50th anniversary on 29 November. He died on 17 December at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford.

He spent more than 20 years with the training organisation, which he joined in 1978 as part-time book-keeper after working in the family business.

He became office manager in 1988 and was appointed acting chief executive in 1993. The position was confirmed the

following year.

When Selwood took the helm, the NCTJ was at its lowest ebb. It had financial problems and many in the news media doubted its relevance and ability to survive.

Using his business skills, Selwood painstakingly steered the organisation back into solvency. While doing so he had to keep the support of the mixed constituency of employers and union representatives that controls the NCTJ.

Christopher Dicks, the outgoing NCTJ chairman said: ” Rob Selwood was an excellent chief executive whose efforts created a strong and successful training operations.”

As well as the NCE – for many editors the bedrock test of core journalism skills -Selwood developed or established the NCTJ’s position in distance learning, short mid-career courses for those already in the business and in-house consultancies.

He was well aware of the training potential of the internet, and ensured that the NCTJ had a strong web presence.

Rob Selwood is survived by his widow, Sophie, and their children Jane and Mark.

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