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Trainers praise NCTJ as first remote journalism exams run ‘smoothly’

ToneyA pioneering set of journalism examinations conducted remotely due to the coronavirus crisis ran “smoothly, organisers have said.

The National Council for the Training of Journalists held its first remote exams for journalism students onn Wednesday.

The NCTJ is piloting the scheme over the course of May and June with the use of “cutting-edge secure proctoring technology” – a piece of software which monitors candidates sitting exams remotely to ensure they don’t cheat.

The first exam to be held under such conditions was a sitting of ‘journalism for a digital audience’ by candidates who study with News Associates in London and Manchester.

News Associates managing editor James Toney, pictured, said: “Big credit needs to go to the team at the NCTJ for the speed they have introduced these remote examinations.

“It’s been a huge undertaking, not just securing and then piloting the correct software but also assuring the reliability and validity of their industry standard qualifications.”

He added: “We couldn’t be happier with the support we are receiving from the NCTJ, which greatly reduces the uncertainty for those taking their exams in the weeks ahead.”

An NCTJ spokeswoman told HTFP: “Thirty-seven candidates from two centres yesterday sat the first remote exam sitting, journalism for a digital audience, and overall it ran very smoothly.

“We are still very much at the start of the process, and remote exam sittings will continue to take place during May and June, but we’re delighted to be underway.

“We appreciate that this option isn’t suitable for everyone, but we’re pleased to be able to offer many students, trainees and apprentices the opportunity to sit their exams securely at home, giving them the chance to achieve their NCTJ qualifications without further delay.”

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