Since the publication of revised National Occupational Standards in Publishing in 2001, much has changed. This is where we aim to keep you up to date with the latest developments and show you how you can benefit from the Standards.
In the 2002 revision of the National Occupational Standards, the knowledge and skills required in electronic publishing were not covered in anything other than cursory detail. Budgets and timeframes did not allow for substantive revision of this critical but rapidly changing aspect of publishing. However, a new project was funded in 2004 and completed in 2005. Because electronic publishing is so all-encompassing it was decided that the changes and additions would need to be implemented across the existing standards rather than in a new unit. A steering group was formed with willing volunteers from book and journal publishing, and a consultant, Iain Brown, appointed to rewrite the Standards. The resulting changes were then widely tested by the industry before being submitted for acceptance to The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, who control and audit the National Occupational Standards for all industries. Their approval was forthcoming in December 2004 and the Standards published on this website early in 2005.
They are ready for your use.
Following a recent review and upgrade of the Publishing NOS the need to revise them to take account of the particular nature of Journals Publishing was highlighted. A consultative committee was formed to examine the NOS and report on the need for change and the scope of the required changes.
Creative Skillset have recently completed a large project that has completely updated the National Occupational Standards for Publishing. The aim was to update the standards for books to incorporate contemporary digital practice and journals, and they were overwhelmed by the response from the industry. Sending out feelers throughout the industry, they drafted descriptions of departments and job titles and have successfully managed to create profiles for most of the positions held in thIS ever-growing industry.
Creative Skillset established a large steering group for the project: 27 members representing key trade bodies, large and small employers, membership bodies and other interested parties. The group met four times over six months. They then held seven focus groups, marshalling the experience of nearly 60 professionals. An additional 120 people said they couldn’t make the meetings, but wanted to send in their thoughts and opinions for consideration. This was one project that everyone wanted to be a part of!
The National Occupational Standards for Publishing in the book and journals sector are a free resource available in the UK. They are also approved by UK Commission for Employment and Skills and they can be accessed online via the Creative Skillset website.
It has been a long and often tortuous road, but the UK’s publishing industries – books, journals, periodicals, newspapers and online publishers are now once again represented within the government’s Skills for Business Network.
You may recall bits of the journey, at least as far as the World of books and journals is concerned (the bits that PTC has represented). The original Industry Training Organisation was merged into a National Training Organisation, and then this network was collapsed into much larger but far fewer Sector Skills Councils (SSCs). The publishing community stood outside the new network for several years but in 2008 agreed that it would throw its hat into the ring. The SSC of preference was Skillset, which served the training and development needs of the broadcast media sector, though there is also a side agreement with the Creative and Cultural Industries SSC for the Periodicals sector.
The purpose of all this hard labour, you may recall, is the worthy goal of linking industry to the government agenda on skills and training – aiming to ensure the right qualifications and skills are readily available to enable UK Plc to perform to its maximum capacity. In the case of books and journals, where most new entrants have at least one degree, often vocational, together with vibrant in-service training provision, the most important achievement delivered has been the National Occupational Standards, providing an important and well-used business tool identifying what people need to know, and need to be able to do, to perform a variety of publishing functions. To date over 25,000 downloads of the documentation testify to the considerable impact the Standards have had.
Your new Publishing Skills Council meets quarterly to further the skills agenda for its various constituents. If you have a view on training provision, qualifications or skills requirements for publishing and would like to voice it, then please get in touch. We would very much like to hear from you.
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