As we enter a new digital age of journalism, the NCTJ diploma has been updated to a Level 5 qualification to reflect the complex multimedia skills delivered on their accredited courses.

The NCTJ diploma has been constantly evolving to include digital journalism skills over recent years.

From September 1 2020, the level of qualification awarded will reflect these shifts by changing from a Level 3 to a Level 5 diploma.

After consultation with NCTJ-accredited courses, it has been agreed that the standards and rigor of the qualification match the higher Level 5.

Both full-time, part-time and undergraduate trainees registered on News Associates courses from September 1 will be enrolled onto the new Level 5 qualification.

The content and structure of the qualification remains the same but marking guides will be adjusted slightly to ensure the appropriate extent of knowledge is demonstrated to gain the higher-level qualification. See more about the changes here.

News Associates head of journalism Graham Moody said: “It’s great for the trainees to have their effort and workload recognised as being Level 5.

“The NCTJ is a tough and very valued qualification and deserves to be set at this higher level.”

Many of the adjustments to the diploma modules this year are to keep up to date with the changing nature of UK newsrooms, and reflect the ways that contemporary readers consume the news.

There will be renewed emphasis on creating digital video content that is mobile-friendly – the Journalism for a Digital Audience module assessment will now ask candidates to write a mobile-friendly headline.

Some additions have also been made to the Essential Journalism unit to further incorporate video technologies and remote working techniques.

There have been some changes to the Public Affairs module, to keep it up to the date with political developments following the UK’s departure from the EU.

If you have any questions about this please email News Associates editorial development manager Lucy Dyer on [email protected] or contact the NCTJ directly.