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UK’s first qualification in podcasting launched by NCFE

David Grailey is chief executive of NCFE, the national awarding organisation
It’s one of the fastest growing methods of communication, increasingly becoming a key part of modern day culture, and now national qualification provider NCFE is launching the first qualification – in podcasting.
Podcasts are audio or video broadcasts, available on-demand to download onto a computer or MP3 player. They are used to broadcast a wide variety of information from entertainment, music and news to education and academia, public services, marketing and politics.
Research has confirmed the rapid growth in podcasting. In the past year, awareness of podcasting has grown by 70 per cent and the audience for podcasts has increased by 18 per cent.
NCFE has developed a Level 1 Award in Podcasting which will be available in centres across the UK from September 2008.
The qualification allows learners to investigate the process of planning, preparing and producing a podcast. It aims to help students understand the concepts of podcasting and to develop creative, ICT and communication skills.   
David Grailey, Chief Executive at NCFE, said: “NCFE is an innovator in vocational qualifications and customer focus. There are currently no other nationally accredited qualifications on the market in this subject area – despite this being an increasingly popular means of communication.
“Podcasting is fast becoming a part of everyday life – vicars are delivering sermons via podcasts, police departments are launching ‘crimewatch’ video podcasts and schools and colleges are recording lessons via podcasts. It’s therefore vital that we offer people both an understanding and the skills to utilise this technology.
“The qualification has also allowed us, as an organisation, to look at the benefits of podcasts within the education market and consider future plans to deliver our qualifications and syllabus through different mediums – including podcasts.”
NCFE worked with industry experts to develop the qualification. The qualification has also received substantial support from centres and employers, including Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies, Softease (which produces ICT tools for schools) and Rotherham Young People’s Services.
The award also compliments NCFE’s current portfolio of music technology qualifications.

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