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Head of Awarding The NCTJ – National Council for the Training of Journalists

The NCTJ is recruiting a new Head of Awarding who will also be the Responsible Officer, ensuring the organisation’s performance and standards as it continues to grow and develop.

  • Location: Newport, near Saffron Walden
  • Salary: £60,000- £70,000
  • Closing date: 9 a.m. Tuesday 5th March

About the role

The NCTJ is recruiting a Head of Awarding who will be responsible for the awarding organisation’s business and operations. Reporting directly to the Chief Executive and collaborating with senior management across the organisation, you will help to shape the strategic direction of the charity. This will involve crafting business plans for the awarding organisation, focusing on growth strategies, accreditation, and qualifications, plus driving change by implementing innovative approaches to assessment and awarding, including the incorporation of cutting-edge technology.

As Head of Awarding, you will also be the ‘Responsible Officer,’ ensuring compliance with recognition conditions, regarding governance, qualifications, standards, public confidence and accessibility. You will act as the primary point of contact for awarding organisation regulators, maintaining transparency and public confidence. This will include having oversight of policies, procedures and standards, which, coupled with the annual self-evaluation audit, are essential to uphold the efficiency, accuracy, and integrity of their assessments.

Additionally, the position involves supporting the work of the NCTJ’s awarding team managers and collaborating with the head of qualifications. You will analyse assessment results, organise effective exam board meetings, and ensure seamless operations of digital platforms. Financial ownership of the awarding organisation budget and collaboration on strategic initiatives with various departments, including marketing and communications, add further dimensions to this multifaceted role.

The successful candidate will play a crucial role in implementing new qualifications, fostering innovation, and contributing to the long-term vision of the NCTJ.

Who we are looking for

As the Head of Awarding, you will have proven experience within the awarding sector and have extensive knowledge and understanding of awarding regulations, quality systems and processes.

You will have worked as the Responsible Officer previously or worked closely with the RO to understand the accountabilities and duties of the role, including reporting to and liaising with regulators.

As the Head of Awarding, you will also need to understand other key awarding features such as apprenticeships and end-point assessment, qualification development and assessment methodology.

You will have a commitment to innovation, be comfortable pioneering the use of technology, digitalisation, and AI in assessment processes, embracing its benefits in awarding and the journalism sector whilst also being aware of the risk and regulatory red lines that need to be taken into account.

As a leader, you will have the ability to empower and delegate responsibilities to the team’s managers whilst creating a collaborative and innovative working culture. You will have a strategic approach with an involvement in the detail when needed.

This is an exciting time to join the NCTJ as the Head of Awarding, as you will lead the implementation of new qualifications, including their leadership programme, and other new product and service offers to enhance and expand their portfolio to support the journalism and related sectors.

You will appreciate the importance of journalism in their democratic society and identify with their charitable values. You will be passionate and proactive in identifying industry challenges, such as the changing nature of journalism skills and, as such, contribute to the NCTJ’s strategic goals, supporting the promotion of journalism careers and building bespoke qualifications with industry leaders.

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

Paloma Zamora | paloma@peridotpartners.co.uk

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Paloma Zamora

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About the National Council for the Training of Journalists

Founded in 1951, the National Council for the Training of Journalists is the media industry’s charity that delivers the premier training scheme for journalists in the UK.

They provide a world-class education and training system that develops current and future journalists for the demands of a fast-changing multimedia industry. The NCTJ’s range of products and services includes:

  • Course accreditation
  • Qualifications
  • Awards
  • Distance learning
  • Careers information
  • Training and continuing professional development
  • Information and research
  • Communications and events

The NCTJ is an independent registered charity. The organisation has won a National Training Award and an international e-assessment award.

The NCTJ is a professional awarding body recognised by Ofqual, Qualification Wales and CCEA Northern Ireland.

Employees are based at its own self-contained offices in Newport, Saffron Walden, Essex, and there are more than 250 freelance examiners, trainers and industry volunteers. The organisation’s structure includes trustees of the charity, a board of directors, qualifications and examination boards, editors’ focus groups, forums for heads of journalism and course leaders and a Student Council.

The organisation’s £2m funding comes from media companies, sponsors and income generated from its products and services. NCTJ also administers the Journalism Diversity Fund, which awards bursaries to those who cannot afford to train as journalists.

As well as being the examining body, the NCTJ runs its Journalism Skills Academy, which offers expert, quality, professional training for journalists throughout their careers. It supports employers in creating a highly skilled, motivated and impactful workforce that will contribute to the sustainability of journalism by ensuring the media is trusted and respected in the eyes of the public.

The NCTJ has become one of the most important journalism organisations in the UK and is unique in bringing together our partners from all sectors of media, journalism education and training.

The NCTJ ultimately exists to help create a better society through diversity, quality and trusted journalism.

The NCTJ’s mission

The charity aims to provide a world-class education and training system that develops current and future journalists from all walks of life for the demands of a fast-changing media industry.

Their mission is to be recognised as the industry charity for attracting, qualifying and developing outstanding journalists from all backgrounds who work to the highest professional standards.

The NCTJ’s values

The charity’s strategy is based on the distinctive characteristics – the values – of the organisation.

The NCTJ’s objectives

  • Offer outstanding professional qualifications which guarantee the high standards of journalism needed in the workplace and trust in journalists by the public.
  • Facilitate equality of opportunity in the journalism profession by taking action to encourage a diverse and inclusive culture.
  • Accredit high-quality courses delivered by education and training providers and recognise courses of excellence.
  • Foster continuing professional development for journalists and journalism trainers throughout their careers.
  • Provide services and products that are demonstrably helpful and relevant to stakeholders.

    To access a full job description and application details,
    please fill out the form below.


    Thank you for your interest in this role. Please download the Job Description and Person Specification.

    To formally apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (ideally maximum 2 sides of A4 each) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification, including your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “The NCTJ – Head of Awarding” into the subject field.

    For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

    Paloma Zamora | paloma@peridotpartners.co.uk

    As a sector-leading executive search consultancy, we know the importance of creating recruitment processes which are fair, inclusive and free from bias. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity and developing a process that values differences.

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    Recruitment selection processes are based on evidence of competence stated in the person specification and in relation to our values.


    Closing date: 9 a.m. Tuesday 5th March 2024
    Candidates informed of outcome: Thursday 7th March 2024
    First stage interviews: w/c Monday 11th March 2024
    Second stage interviews: w/c Monday 18th March 2024

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