National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ)

Education platform and bespoke integration for the media industry's professional body

The National Council for the Training of Journalists delivers the industry leading training scheme for journalists in the UK. It has a professional awarding body and an accreditation board, and 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 was founded in 1951 to run the newspaper industry’s training scheme and has since developed into a registered charity serving all sectors of journalism.

NCTJ website on a computer


NCTJ decided to work with us to deliver their sophisticated new site due to our experience working with associations and membership organisations. The requirement was to deliver a robust and scalable platform for future development, to replace their old site where the design, functionality and capacity was no longer fit for purpose.

The primary objective was to help raise the profile of the organisation, along with providing a feature rich portal for over 12,000 users which seamlessly integrates with their back-office service management and personal development software, KIM.

The NCTJ Team
The NCTJ Team



increase in number of students maintaining online portfolios


increase in average time on site


satisfaction in user experience


After carefully planning the requirements and learning their complex business logic, we re-engineered the user portal to seamlessly integrate with their existing database solution, paying particular attention to the data transfer and migration process to ensure minimal impact on the organisation.

A new roles-based security system enables students to easily manage their accounts online, view exam results, maintain their media portfolio, register for new courses and to purchase course materials through the online shop. And tutors have their own access, connecting them to students and their profiles, and can manage exam papers in the secure portal.

The new design and architecture makes it easy for students and prospective students to browse a deep navigation and extract what they need quickly, and makes communication within the portal possible between the different user roles.

Built in communication features greatly improve the experience for tutors and students, who now more regularly use the system to great effect.

A web mock-up

Highlight: KIM integration

We developed an API to allow the synchronisation of user data in real-time with NCTJ’s back-office system, allowing immediate access to updates in students’ details. This has saved a lot of time and headaches over the legacy system which ran overnight.

The beauty of an API implementation, is that the two systems don’t necessarily need to talk the same language – the website, built in PHP on a Linux server, can happily send data to KIM – a Windows-based system.

12th November 18

We love our new website, it automates and simplifies many old processes and works brilliantly for us and our users.

Shevon Houston – Events and Website Manager, NCTJ

4th December 18

Meeting face-to-face with KIM to agree what information the website would share with their system made this project interesting and unique. As if building a bridge from two sides of a river, meeting in the middle, we had to agree on which data to share and how.

David – Senior Web Developer, Granite 5