Become an accredited course

NCTJ accreditation is the hallmark of excellence in journalism training, providing a world-class standard that is recognised throughout the media industry as the best indication that new recruits have the fundamental skills and knowledge needed to become multi-media journalists and can operate effectively in a busy newsroom.

In order to maintain this gold standard, we need to be sure students and employers are not short-changed. That means ensuring an NCTJ-accredited course does exactly what it says on the tin by delivering vocational training to a high standard that everyone who cares about the quality of journalism understands and values.

Where do I start?

We believe our accreditation process, while challenging, is fair, reasonable, straight-forward and professional. To make up your mind whether NCTJ accreditation is right for you and whether your course is able to encompass the NCTJ’s principles, aims and performance indicators, please download the accreditation standard and information pack below.

Please note that we do not accredit centres but individual journalism courses.

Still not sure?

NCTJ accreditation is not a step to be taken lightly. Because we expect those who seek our kite mark to sign up fully to our standards, we want you to make a fully informed choice.

If you have any queries or you are not sure whether your journalism programme will meet our criteria, contact us on 01799 544014.

The NCTJ is always happy to discuss course outlines, arrange accreditation advisory visits and work in partnership with you to develop a programme that turns out highly skilled, highly motivated and highly employable trainee journalists.

How long does it take?

There are four stages involved in gaining accreditation. These are:

  • an advisory visit. This is optional but we strongly recommend it as the best way to speed up the process and iron out any potential obstacles. You will submit a self-assessment questionnaire (SAQ), provided to you by the NCTJ, in advance of the advisory visit
  • Once you feel your course is ready for accreditation, you re-submit an updated SAQ and the supporting documents that show your course is ready for accreditation. The supporting documents are listed on the last page of the SAQ and must be submitted at least three weeks before an accreditation panel visit 
  • A formal visit by a panel of editors and/or senior journalists who will decide whether or not the course meets the NCTJ’s standards
  • a panel report and recommendation which is submitted to the NCTJ accreditation board for approval

How long does accreditation last?

The maximum accreditation period is two years but this may be less when, for example, there are significant development areas, or for newly accredited courses where students have not yet sat NCTJ exams. Shortly before your accreditation is due to expire we will contact you to arrange another accreditation panel visit.

How much does it cost?

Centres pay for advisory and accreditation panel visits. Once accredited, centres pay an annual membership fee. Details of these can be found on the fees list.