A comprehensive review of the National Certificate Examination begins this week with the launch of an online survey of the views of newspaper editors across the UK.
The survey is the first part of a wider research programme to ensure the professional qualification will meet the needs of the industry and quality journalism standards in the future.
The NCTJ is contacting editors to ask them to complete the ten-minute survey by Friday, 18 February and leading employers will also be asked to participate in telephone interviews.
Focus groups for editors, publishers and trainers will follow in the spring in London, Edinburgh (at The Scotsman), Newport (at the South Wales Argus) and Leeds (at the Yorkshire Post) as part of the qualitative research. A further focus group will seek the views of newly-qualified senior reporters who have recently passed the NCE.
Those interested in attending one of the focus groups can contact the NCTJ’s editorial consultant, Paul Watson, on 01825 760102 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The final stage of the research will look at the potential support for broadening the professional qualification to all media sectors.
The outcome of the research will help shape the future qualification. The NCTJ expects consultation on any new exam format to begin this summer, with the revamped and renamed NCE being launched later next year.
Since its introduction in 1990, when it replaced the Proficiency Test, the NCE has undergone many changes. The newspaper practice, news report and interview exams provide a challenging test of senior status, and together with the logbook – which won a National Training Award for the industry – make up the qualification in its current form.
The review of the NCE follows last year’s successful introduction of the industry’s new entry-level qualification, the Diploma in Journalism.