The NCTJ has published the annual report of its Quality Assurance and Standards Committee, which oversees quality, standardisation and fairness across its qualifications and services.
Following the death of Sean Dooley, Jonathan Baker was appointed chair of the committee in September 2023. Jonathan is an award-winning NCTJ-qualified journalist, editor and journalism trainer who has worked in print, radio and television journalism. He is author of Essential Journalism, the NCTJ’s guide for trainee journalists.
In the report, Jonathan noted that the annual independent audit conducted in autumn 2022 described the NCTJ as “a reflective organisation seeking continual improvement with a culture of careful and systematic planning”.
He said: “Such is the range of policies and protocols in all the appropriate areas, and the prompt handling of issues and problems when they arose, that the committee had no major concerns about the health and wellbeing of the organisation.”
The report details that remote sitting of exams introduced to ensure continuity during the pandemic has now been scaled back. Candidates with specific needs or circumstances can still apply for reasonable adjustments, which are considered on a case-by-case basis.
It is also noted that fewer students are electing to take shorthand as part of their diploma, but there had been an increased uptake in data journalism and journalism for a digital audience.
Jonathan said: “Both modules reflect the current direction of travel in the industry. AI tools are increasingly used in researching and creating content and have been included in the diploma syllabus.”
He added: “The committee commended the whole NCTJ team for its continuing commitment to fairness, transparency and high standards, and its determination to respond to new trends in a dynamic and ever-changing industry.”
Read and download the full report here.