Students grill NCTJ leaders

Three students who have completed NCTJ-accredited courses met the training body’s board of directors to give their views last week.

The three are Student Council representatives for their courses. They are among dozens of other students representing hundreds more on NCTJ-accredited courses across the UK.

The council was set up last year to forge a direct link between students and the NCTJ.

Oliver Joy is on the BA Multimedia Journalism course at Bournemouth University; Michael Davies is on the BA Journalism course at Liverpool John Moores University and Andrew Woodman completed the fast-track Newspaper Journalism course at noSWeat Journalism Training earlier this year.

Students outlined some of the issues they brought to the attention of the NCTJ at the Student Council meeting in February. These included a request for the shorthand exam format be revised, to include targeted verbatim quotes, rather than an entire passage.

Students also wanted any unsuccessful exam scripts returned, to help them prepare for a re-sit, and there was confusion from some reps about paying for NCTJ exam fees as some centres include the costs in their course fees while others do not.

Joanne Butcher, chief executive of the NCTJ, said a new shorthand exam format is being trialled and that more will be done to help centres be transparent about what is included in their course fees. She also confirmed that students will be able to see their exam scripts following exams.

The students also said more could be done to promote the Journalism Diversity Fund and that the NCTJ website needs expanding, to which Joanne Butcher said an intern is being recruited to focus on promoting the fund and a website redevelopment project is also underway to address this very issue.

Michael Davies said: “The Student Council meetings are very useful to us as students. It is reassuring to know that we do have a voice and a chance to make it known the issues that affect us during our studies.”

For more information about the Student Council and its representatives, visit