The NCE for sub-editors is designed to examine all-round competence in a range of fundamental skills at a level appropriate to a sub-editor who has completed the training programme.
To be eligible for this NCE, trainees must complete the same rigorous training as a reporter, within the field of sub-editing. This includes completing the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism qualification.
There are three parts to the qualification:
- subbing: candidates are required to complete an eight part on-screen subbing exam including a hard copy proofing exercise and a section which measures overall design ability.
- newspaper practice for sub-editors: an examination requiring candidates to demonstrate that they are conversant with day-to-day newspaper practice, can operate professionally, and can apply the principles of newspaper law.
- logbook: a document recording training progress, including evidence of regular in-house assessments and a selection of cuttings demonstrating that the trainee has satisfactorily covered a range of key tasks.
This document must be available to the editor at all times. It is the joint responsibility of the editor and the trainee that it is kept up to date and submitted, fully completed, to the NCTJ for assessment when the trainee sits the NCE.
Guidelines on content, presentation and submission of logbooks are available from the Related Documents.
Examination papers and logbooks are marked by teams of assessors who are or have been working journalists. They are then subjected to rigorous moderation to ensure consistency of marking.
The pass mark for each of the three sections is 60 per cent.
Passes of 60 per cent or more in a particular section are carried forward.
Re-sits for the subbing and newspaper practice sections are available three times a year on NCE exam days. Failed logbooks may be re-submitted at any time.
After each NCE the NCTJ publishes an examiners’ report which includes advice for future candidates. Trainees are strongly urged to read it and note its recommendations.