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Former editor Dooley takes on training ombudsman role

Former regional newspaper editor Sean Dooley has been appointed as the National Council for the Training of Journalists’ independent ombudsman, overseeing the quality and fairness of its qualifications.

Sean, (pictured), retired from his role as editor-in-chief of Sentinel Newspapers in Stoke-on-Trent last November.

He will chair the NCTJ’s Quality Assurance and Standards Committee following the training body’s recognition as a professional awarding body by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

His role will be as a moderator to ensure courses across the country deliver the same standards in teaching and qualifications.

NCTJ chief executive Joanne Butcher said: “I am delighted that Sean Dooley, former editor of The Sentinel, Stoke-on-Trent, and the inspiration for so many young regional newspaper reporters, is our independent ombudsman overseeing the transparency and fairness of our qualifications.”

Sean worked at The Sentinel for 18 years and led the team that launched Sentinel Sunday in 2000.

He began his journalism career at the Mercury Press Agency on Merseyside and worked for weekly and daily papers in Liverpool and Manchester before editing a current affairs magazine.

He was also previously news editor of the Lincolnshire Echo and deputy editor of the South Wales Evening Post, and edited the Gloucestershire Echo in Cheltenham before moving to Stoke.

In addition, Nottingham Trent University lecturer Amanda Ball has been appointed principal examiner and will chair the new examinations committee.

Joanne said: “We are also fortunate that Amanda Ball is taking on the role of our most senior examiner.

“Mandy, who is incredibly popular with both trainers and students, chaired the working party that put so much hard work into updating our procedures and syllabuses and is the perfect person to take overall responsibility for all journalism subjects.

“Sean and Mandy together make a formidable team and are a huge asset to the NCTJ.”

The NCTJ’s recognition as a professional awarding body by the QCA will it to help secure future funding to award qualifications. In particular, it will assist further education colleges to secure Learning and Skills Council funding to deliver NCTJ journalism courses.

To gain the QCA recognition, the NCTJ had to show its capacity for corporate governance, resources and expertise, centre approval and quality assurance.