The apprenticeship standard has been designed to meet the exacting standards required by employers across a wide range of digital newsrooms and other journalistic settings.
It has a recommended minimum training period of 18 months: candidates must complete the National Qualification in Journalism (NQJ), then – as in the junior journalist apprentice model – move on to complete an end-point assessment (EPA) to complete their apprenticeship. Apprentices will have a maximum of four months to successfully complete the EPA.
The EPA consists of a work-related assignment which includes a project presentation and a professional discussion. The NCTJ is applying to the Education and Skills Funding Agency to be approved as an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) to deliver the EPA for this standard.
The senior journalist apprenticeship is aimed at people who have already gained the Diploma in Journalism or completed the junior journalist apprenticeship or they may have no previous journalistic training. Typically, they will be graduates, but will not necessarily have studied journalism/media studies as part of their degree.
Those with no prior learning in journalism will need to learn basic journalism skills (to Diploma level) before moving on to the more advanced skills, knowledge and behaviours applicable to the NQJ. An employer will determine the entry criteria it requires of candidates at the point of recruitment. As a minimum for any apprenticeship standard, you must have achieved level 2 qualifications in maths and English before starting the end-point assessment.
For many employers, the NQJ is the qualification that marks a trainee’s transition to senior journalist. Therefore, a senior apprenticeship is a brilliant way to progress through the ranks by on-the-job training and off-the-job learning.