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Pass rate up again as 48 achieve senior status

More than two thirds of candidates in last month’s National Qualification in Journalism exam have achieved senior status with the results published today.

Of the 71 candidates who sat the exam on Friday, 7 November at nine centres across the UK, 48 were successful – a pass rate of 68pc.

The pass rate is up six percentage points from the November 2013 figure of 62pc, although slightly down from the record 72pc rate achieved by the July 2014 cohort of candidates.

Howeve the examiners also raised concers over some of the answers to the ethics question on the media law and practice paper, one of four sections of the exam alongside the news report, news interview and logbook.

Commenting in the examiner’s report, chief examiner Steve Nelson said: “I am delighted that the pass rate has remained relatively high. The NQJ remains as tough a test as ever of the various skills and experience required to achieve senior status.

“The new emphasis on ethics and the growing importance of social media were both reflected in the examination process.”

The media law and practice exam produced a pass rate of 77pc, with 47 successful candidates out of a total of 61.

While there was a high pass rate for this section, concerns were raised over answers to the ethics question. It was noted that trainees were not leaving enough time to consider the ethical dilemas and apply the relevant parts of the Editors’ Code of Practice.

The news report section generated a pass rate of 68pc, with basic spelling errors and a lack of fresh ideas for follow-up stories noted as the main issues by examiners

Pass rate in the news interview section was 82pc, and there was a 100pc pass rate in the logbooks section, with all 54 candidates who submitted entries achieving success.

The full list of newly-qualified seniors is as follows:

Hannah Al-Othman, Lancashire Telegraph
Kimberley Barber, The News, Portsmouth
Andrew Bardsley, Bury Times
Liam Barnes, The Sentinel
Tui Benjamin, Bury Times
Peter Michael Blackburn, Nottingham Post
Victoria Bull, Hemel Hempstead Gazette
Alex Bysouth, Warrington Guardian
Bethany Cherryman, Watford Observer
Joe Cooper, Dewsbury Reporter
Sam Cooper, Pontefract & Castleford Express
Rachael Cousins, Lincolnshire Echo
Robert Cox, The Chronicle (Express & Star)
Rebecca Creed, Harwich & Manningtree Standard
Nikki Helen Cutler, Mid Sussex Times
Stephen Davy-Osborne, Western Gazette
Louis Emanuel, Bristol Post
Alice Foster, Epsom Guardian
Debra Fox, Cambridge News
Joseph Gammie, Reading Chronicle
Mary Goodchild, Western Gazette
Peter Grant, Bucks Free Press
Monique Hall, Herts Advertiser
Laura Hill, Harrogate Advertiser
Lauren Hirst, Warrington Guardian
Peter Hughes, Oxford Mail
Jonathan Humphries, North West Evening Mail
Ben Ireland, Nottingham Post
Jonathan Irving, News and Star
Elizabeth Mackley, Swindon Advertiser
Laura Jayne, Maltby Observer Series
Paul Miles, Maidenhead Advertiser
Jennifer Mills, South Wales Argus
Michael Muncaster, Batley and Birstall News
Paul Nizinskyj, Southend Echo
Jessica Phillips, Hereford Times
Oliver Poole, Worthing Herald
James Pugh, Shropshire Star
Maryam Qaiser, The Citizen
Sophia Rahman, Lancashire Telegraph
Jonathan Robinson, Lancashire Telegraph
Jamie Rose, Courier Media Group
Rosalind Saul, Hexham Courant
Huw Silk, Northants Evening Telegraph
Rebecca Smith-Dawkins, Nottingham Post
Joseph Sturdy, Courier Media Group
Liam Thorp, The Bolton News
Luke Warren, Crawley News


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  • December 17, 2014 at 1:27 am

    Congratulations guys, now your seniors, escape the regional papers game and go to PR

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  • December 17, 2014 at 9:18 am

    …but first learn to spell and punctuate better than Misery guts.

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  • December 17, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Congratulations to the 48 who completed their NCTJ training.

    A fantastic achievement considering: “1,607 students enrolled to sit NCTJ Diploma in Journalism courses on one of 78 accredited courses at 39 approved centres” (NUJ annual report 2013-14).

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  • December 17, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Stato – is that really just 48 people completed training out of 1,607 who started? That means 1,559 have wasted a lot of their own and other people’s time. Staggering if it’s true (you know what they say about stats).

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  • December 17, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Casper. Why bother? It really does not (note no use of contraction) matter in papers any more. But I suppose today’s press release is tomorrow’s page lead so better brush up!

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  • December 17, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    It’s not true.
    None of the 1,607 students who enrolled on NCTJ courses in 2013-14 would have taken their NQJ exam this year.
    The 71 who took their NQJ in November are all trainee reporters employed by newspapers. They will have completed at least 18 months on staff before taking their senior exams.

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  • December 17, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    I’m going to stick my neck out with this one, go against the flow and be off trend – but:

    Well done to each and every one of them. It is the result of their hard work, determination, support from trainers and colleagues and (regardless of what we/some of us think about how this industry is changing) demonstrates their faith in the future.

    Sorry, but it had to be said.

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  • December 17, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Dick Minim, there used to be at least two exams per year. As Hub sub states the recent graduates would have enrolled with the NCTJ at least 18 months ago.

    The figures are available in the NCTJ annual reports –

    2011-12 = 1,598 students from 68 accredited courses

    2012-13 = 1,483 students from 76 accredited courses

    Not including the people who train on non-accredited courses…..(see report for these figures)

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