The NCTJ is an End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) approved by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to deliver end-point assessments for the junior journalist and senior journalist apprenticeship standards.
Apprentice junior journalists complete the NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, the industry standard entry qualification for trainee journalists, to meet the ‘gateway’ requirements to progress to the end-point assessment before completing the apprenticeship programme.
Apprentice senior journalists complete the NCTJ level 6 National Qualification in Journalism, the professional qualification for senior journalists, to meet the 'gateway' requirements to progress to the end-point assessment before completing the apprenticeship programme.
Information on the EPA for a senior journalist apprentice will be uploaded here shortly.
There are two parts to the EPA for a junior journalist apprentice:
1. The apprentice will complete a work-related project during the final six weeks of the apprenticeship. It must demonstrate that the apprentice has gained all the core journalism knowledge and skills listed in the junior journalist standard and the additional specialist skills relevant to their company’s media sector.
It must also demonstrate an understanding of the application of those knowledge and skills and practices acquired both on and off-the-job. The apprentice may choose the topic with the approval of their employer and the NCTJ and the project may be produced across any platform(s). It also includes a project statement with a rationale and reflective review of their learning during the apprenticeship.
2. The EPA also includes an independent assessment of the qualities (behaviours) of the apprentice. This is completed by the employer and/or the training provider.
Information on the EPA process for a senior journalist apprentice will be uploaded here shortly.
1. 90-day notice period
The employer and/or training provider must contact the NCTJ no later than three months before the end of the apprenticeship to confirm if the apprentice(s) has completed the ‘gateway’ qualification, the Diploma in Journalism, and can therefore progress to the end-point assessment or to highlight which subjects are still to be achieved to enable progression.
2. Project plan
Once we have confirmed that an apprentice is eligible to progress to the EPA, the NCTJ will issue a project plan form for the apprentice to complete and return to the NCTJ for approval.
3. Project plan approval
The NCTJ will confirm within two weeks, by email, approval of the project plan. If the NCTJ requires any further information or has concerns about whether the plan is sufficient to demonstrate they have met all the knowledge and skills, the plan will be returned with a request for further information or may be refused as not suitable to meet the requirements of the end-point assessment. In this case, the apprentice may resubmit a revised project plan or a new project plan for approval.
4. Project submissions
Completed projects, project statements and qualities assessments are submitted for marking via Dropbox during the final six weeks of the apprentice's training scheme.
5. Marking the projects
The NCTJ uses trained and experienced examiners with the necessary industry-based skills and expertise to mark the work-related projects. The NCTJ applies its internal marking and moderation procedures that are followed for all qualifications providing robust quality assurance and rigorous and fair assesment and standards. Assessment criteria are produced in line with regulatory guidelines and have been developed to meet the industry standard and to ensure quality assessment that maintains the standard over time.
6. Results and feedback
EPA results are issued within five weeks of submission for marking to the NCTJ. This allows for our internal quality assurance processes and procedures and external quality assurance. Results are issued direct to the employer and the apprentice and the training provider will also be notified. If an apprentice fails the end-point assessment, feedback will be given by the NCTJ assessor in the form of a feedback report which details why the project has failed.
An apprentice may resubmit their project for re-assessment no sooner than six weeks after the intitial results have been issued.
The NCTJ (EPAO) is responsible for applying for the apprentice's final apprenticeship certificate. The NCTJ applies for the certificate to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) by submitting the evidence to ensure satisfactory completion of the apprenticeship programme. The ESFA will issue the final apprenticeship certificate directly to the employer.
The NCTJ will issue a diploma qualification certificate within six weeks of completion.
The end-point assessments for the junior journalist and senior journalist apprenticeship standards are externally quality assured by Ofqual.
Fees are applicable for apprentice registration and certification, NCTJ diploma/NQJ assessments and the end-point assessment. Current fees are published here.