Senior editor and writer moves to NCTJ accreditation role

A respected writer, public relations director and former associate editor of Time has joined the NCTJ as head of accreditation.

The National Council for the Training of Journalists has appointed Michelle Patient as its new head of accreditation. She takes up her new role with the charity today and will be based at the NCTJ’s offices in Newport, Essex.

Michelle will manage all aspects of the accreditation scheme and will work closely with chief executive Joanne Butcher to establish a new cross-media accreditation board.

The board will oversee the development of a professional and proactive accreditation strategy that ensures pre-entry journalism training is of a high standard and produces employable skilled trainees for the media.

The head of accreditation will also guide NCTJ-accredited courses to deliver a new preliminary multimedia qualification for all journalists. This radical new structure to the NCTJ’s preliminary qualification, currently under development, was unveiled at the Journalism Skills Conference in December and is due to be trialled at selected centres in September.

Michelle is a graduate of Rutgers University, New Jersey, and also holds a master’s degree in modern cultural history from the University of York. She began her career at American Heritage, before working on a range of media including Architecture and Entertainment Weekly. In 2003, Michelle was appointed associate editor at Time in London. Most recently she has worked in public relations as associate director at Peretti Communications and account director at Neville McCarthy Associates.

Announcing the appointment Joanne Butcher said: “This year of change will be very exciting for the NCTJ and journalism training as a whole. As head of accreditation, Michelle will manage our crucial partnership with universities, further education colleges and private providers. She will help them embrace and meet all the challenges presented by multimedia news production and delivery.

“Michelle’s extensive experience, contacts and passion for journalism make her perfectly suited to this important and challenging role.”

Michelle said: “I am thrilled to be joining the NCTJ and look forward to working with training and education providers to achieve and maintain a world-class standard in journalism.”