The National Council for the Training of Journalists is taking further action to help accredited centres and learners in light of the new national lockdown coming into force this week.
Contingencies being made include removing proctoring fees for online exams sat remotely throughout January and February.
An updated contingency plan has been published today, outlining the NCTJ’s commitment to supporting centres and learners, including a continuation of tutor webinars, diploma workshops, video masterclasses for students and ongoing flexibility.
Joanne Butcher, chief executive of the NCTJ, said: “We are determined to step up the support we are giving our centres, learners and partners and to do as much as we possibly can to make life easier, without compromising our standards, in such challenging times for everyone.
“The NCTJ’s ongoing response to the pandemic is to prioritise everyone’s safety and well-being, to ensure business as usual where we can, to adapt and innovate, to offer extra support where it’s needed, and to communicate and consult on our decisions in a timely way.
“We want this to be a lockdown to remember – in a positive way!”
The NCTJ is committed to the safety of its learners, centres and staff, and wants disruption to NCTJ exams or assessments minimised as much as possible.
Last year, students and trainees were offered the option to sit their exams securely from home using cutting-edge remote invigilation solutions.
This is continuing in 2021, and the NCTJ team is in discussions with centres about the need to reschedule and/or schedule additional exam dates.
All diploma exams scheduled to take place in January 2021 will go ahead as planned. Any centres choosing not to run these assessments in-centre can opt for their candidates to sit remotely instead.
A collaborative webinar series for accredited course providers is continuing this month, enabling tutors and training providers to share ideas and experiences as they navigate their way through teaching and assessment during the pandemic.
Another series of video masterclasses on introductory journalism skills is planned, following the success of last year’s virtual summer school, and we will be providing additional support for distance learners through the Journalism Skills Academy.
Emma Robinson, accreditation manager at the NCTJ, said: “As tutors embark on a new year in lockdown, dealing with remote exams, learning and teaching, the NCTJ is committed to supporting all our accredited centres.
“Our webinar series for centres will continue, starting with a session to discuss our contingency arrangements in late January, and we will be in touch directly with further details.
“We look forward to meeting our student representatives at student council events for apprentices and candidates on accredited courses, starting in February 2021.
“We are also keen to hear feedback from our tutors about how else the NCTJ can offer support and guidance.”