New apprenticeship for a senior journalist approved

An apprenticeship standard and assessment plan for senior journalists has been approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE).

A group of employers from all sectors of the media, assisted by the NCTJ, designed the senior level standard to reflect the wide range of skills and knowledge required by journalists across all platforms to deliver excellence in the workplace. 

Toby Granville, editorial development director for Newsquest, who chaired the project, said: “I am delighted we have finally got this over the line. It’s taken a while to get there but it means that we will now have a full three-year gold standard apprenticeship programme managed by the NCTJ.

“As well as supporting graduate entry, this new programme will also take school leavers - with no formal journalism training or needing any kind of degree - on a journey from trainee to NQJ-qualified senior. I hope this will succeed in removing some of the barriers in bringing more diversity into the industry.”

Published today on IfATE’s website, the standard for a senior journalist and accompanying assessment plan will be ready to use by employers and training providers once the Secretary of State for Education has approved the funding band. Funding for training and assessment costs is expected to be set at a limit of £14,000 per apprentice.

The senior journalist apprenticeship, which takes at least 18 months to complete and is a level 7 standard, provides a structure for progression from the well-established junior journalist apprenticeship and the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism.

All journalists registered for the new apprenticeship must achieve the industry’s professional senior qualification, the NCTJ’s National Qualification in Journalism (NQJ), as well as the apprenticeship.

The NQJ has three assessments: an e-logbook; media law and ethics in practice online exam; and a practical skills-based assessment related to the specialist journalism role.

The apprenticeship assessment includes a project, presentation and professional discussion.

Daniell Morrisey, senior editorial early careers schemes manager at the BBC, said: “The BBC has been using the junior journalist apprenticeship since 2014 and we are delighted that this new standard, aimed at established journalists, is now available.

“As well as offering a structured route into the BBC, this standard may also create career development opportunities for existing BBC staff.”