About Us

New Era Academy Supporting Teachers & Learners since 1941

New Era Academy is a regulatory awarding board that offers graded examinations covering a broad range of disciplines across the Communications and Performance Exam streams. We are a UK-based, independent examinations board regulated by Ofqual in the United Kingdom and by CCEA in Northern Ireland.
We provide a varied, robust, and innovative range of syllabi tiered over 4 entry levels and 8 Grades suitable for all learning abilities and creative potential. New Era Academy’s Level 3 exams (Grades 6, 7, and 8) are also accredited with UCAS and are eligible for UCAS points toward UK university entrance.

Our Aims

We aim to make quality examinations accessible to everyone and ensure every student has equal opportunities to improve their learning, skill, and creative potential. Our framework of graded examinations across our diverse syllabus:

  • Promotes the personal, social, creative, and intellectual development of the individual
  • Develops increased self-confidence in learners
  • Encourages all Learners to realise their unique potential
  • Develops capabilities in speech, communication, presentation, and performance art
  • Fosters an appreciation of literature, poetry, and drama
  • Acknowledges and rewards levels of achievement and progression through the syllabus grades
Our group recital syllabus helps learners develop their creative and artistic skills with New Era Academy performance exams.

What We Do Regulated Awarding Body

New Era Academy is a regulatory board that offers syllabus-based graded examinations covering a broad range of disciplines across the Communications and Performance Exam streams. These are in line with the current UK Assessment Framework.

We are a UK-based, independent examinations board regulated by OFQUAL in the United Kingdom and by CCEA in Northern Ireland. We provide a varied, robust, and innovative range of syllabi tiered over 8 Grades, and 4 pre-grades, suitable for all learning abilities and creative potential. New Era Academy’s Level 3 exams (Grades 6, 7, and 8) are also accredited with UCAS and are eligible for UCAS points toward UK university entrance.

Teachers can prepare their learners to accomplish the specifications for each grade, detailed in our broad and innovative syllabus. Once learners have mastered and honed their new skills, the teacher schedules an examination date and location with our NEA team. One of our highly accomplished Examiners conducts the examination sessions to assess learners’ performance standards and competency for the stated learning objectives.
The exam formats, take into account the discipline, grade, performer category, and exam specifications to test and stretch performers to unlock their creative potential, and receive independent and qualified appraisal by our trained examiners in compliance with the industry regulator.

Our musical theatre syllabus helps groups of learners develop their creative and artistic skills with New Era Academy performance exams.

Regulated Examinations Quality You Can Trust

New Era Academy Examinations are regulated in the UK by OFQUAL and in Northern Ireland by CCEA. That means our qualifications meet the high standard set by our regulating bodies. To maintain our credentials, we undergo rigorous annual compliance checks and are proud of our record of high standards.
Both OFQUAL and CCEA are recognised regulators that design and award qualifications to test learners’ knowledge, skill, and understanding of a subject and award certification to learners who demonstrate required attainment levels.
Regulation means our exams must follow the guidelines and rules set out by the above. We have to prove our compliance every year with both bodies. All our exams are regulated for certification. We do offer some non-regulated exams for certain group formats and Special Needs learners. NEA is especially passionate to support those young people with special needs, and we will individually tailor the non-regulated exam format for the specific capabilities of the individual.

Interview techniques are a valuable life skill that New Era Academy offer in our communications exams syllabus, that builds students confidence.

Our Examiners Highly Reputable

New Era Academy appoints experienced industry professionals and experienced teachers, trained and qualified to assess learners in their respective disciplines against the defined syllabus specifications.
Our examiners create a relaxed and friendly atmosphere for the examination sessions, putting participants at ease whilst maintaining their professional persona. They are each passionate about gaining the best from every student they examine to help them achieve their individual goals and aspirations. Our Examiners conduct examinations both online and in person across the UK and overseas. For all in-person examination sessions, our examiners will travel to the examination locations, so the teachers and learners are able to value their expertise face-2-face.
We hold an annual training workshop to refresh examiners’ assessment and moderation skills and provide relevant updates. We have a very strong and loyal community of examiners dedicated to the New Era Academy’s philosophy of personalised approach to assessment and learning.
Interested in becoming an NEA Examiner and part of our supportive community? Apply now

Annual Excellence Awards Every October

New Era Academy has for many years, been bestowing our Excellence Award to our highest achievers and shining stars.
Every October, we review the year’s results and recognise, for each of our 11 awards, those learners who have achieved the highest distinction mark for the Discipline and Grade. Learners across the UK and internationally are eligible for the awards which are confirmed by the New Era Board of Directors every September, with recipients advised by the end of October.

Our award recipients have recently received their 2022/23 NEA Annual Award in our beautiful presentation boxes with certificates and trophies from their teachers by post.

The New Era Academy Excellence Awards are across 3 Categories of Communications, Performance, and Diploma Exams. We are proud to announce our 2022/23 Annual Excellence Award recipients are as follows:

New Era Academy Annual Excellence Awards in Sri Lanka
NEA Stream Excellence Award Discipline & Grade 2023 Recipients
Communications Exam
Peggy Law Certificate of Excellence
Speech & Drama - Grade 3 - Foundation Medal
Ruby Feely
Eponine Larks
Communications Exam
Ray Cooney Certificate of Excellence
Speech & Drama - Grade 8 - Gold Medal
Sean Carron
Communications Exam
Ronald Marsh Certificate of Excellence
Public Speaking - Grade 5
Darcy Cromie
Communications Exam
Bernard Price Certificate of Excellence
Interview Technique - Grade 5
Aedín Reid
Communications Exam
Jenny Seagrove Certificate of Excellence
Reading - Grade 8 - Gold Medal
Shuk Man Chong
Performance Exams
Myrtle Moss Certificate of Excellence
Acting - Solo - Grade 6 - Bronze Medal
Kayley McNabb Webb
Chu Tin Yuet, Jody
Performance Exams
Sir Roger Moore Certificate of Excellence
Acting - Solo - Grade 8 - Gold Medal
Niamh Burnham
Performance Exams
Bill Kenwright Certificate of Excellence
Musical Theatre – Solo - Grade 8 - Gold Medal
Emily Flanagan
Performance Exams
Ellen Ismay Certificate of Excellence
Mime - Grade 3 - Foundation Medal
Kaspar Taylor
Performance Exams
Ray Winstone Certificate of Excellence
Devised Drama – Solo - Grade 5
Rebecca Strang
Diploma Exams
Sister Aengus Fitzpatrick Award
Level 6 Diploma in Speech & Drama

Benefits For Teachers and Trainee Teachers

New Era Academy is proud to work with a community of Teachers across the UK and Internationally who choose to deliver our wonderful syllabi and who share our philosophy of personalised and individual attention to develop student’s learning and development in the full range of performance and communication disciplines.
We welcome teachers and student/trainee teachers to benefit from being part of our NEA community, to take advantage of the:

  • Dynamic and broad-ranging, innovative syllabus that we review and refresh every 3 years
  • Our transparent and detailed assessment framework complemented by NEA’s personalised and professional approach
  • The opportunity to develop and enhance their learners’ creative and artistic capabilities and performance skills tested by our meticulously designed syllabus
  • The ability to book exam sessions for your learners online, or at a location convenient to you and your learners
  • New Era Academy’s specialised Teaching Diploma exams and accreditations for teachers. Successful completion of our Teaching Diplomas entitles you to use the letters ANEA or LNEA as recognised and respected certifications.
  • Annual Professional Development days, Teacher Training Courses, and a community that you can leverage for shared experiences, professional collaboration, and like-minded socialising.
Our Shakespeare syllabus helps learners develop their acting skills with New Era Academy performance exams.
Our Shakespeare syllabus helps learners develop their acting skills with New Era Academy performance exams.

Benefits For Learners and Parents

Our learners are usually introduced to NEA via their independent or school teachers, having signed up to explore and enjoy the joys of creative and artistic endeavours! We have developed, over many years, a broad-ranging syllabus that offers something of interest for everyone. There are many benefits that learners will reap through accomplishing credentials with NEA including:

  • A wide choice of disciplines across the two streams of Communications and Performance Exams; ranging from Acting, Musical Theatre, Mime, Shakespeare, Public Speaking, Drama, and many others.
  • Detailed syllabus guidelines to assist in preparation for the exams.
  • Improve learning skills and capabilities, with the exams, which are designed to help learners participate with creative freedom.
  • Achieve excellence by progressing through the grades from preparatory to advanced competency at Grade 8 and onto Diplomas.
  • Different Solo, Duologue and Group exams help them gain confidence in public speaking, acting, communication, and performance.
  • Increase Learner engagement through different Group exams and group performances
  • An academic assessment of their achievements that can make the foundation of their future learning or help them establish professional careers.
  • NEA qualifications and credentials are acknowledged in the UK and abroad, so you can leverage these to advance in your studies and performance art.
  • NEA caters to all learners and those with special needs can find non-regulated exam opportunities to develop their creative and artistic abilities.

Find a Local Teacher New Era's Teachers Directory

Our teachers have chosen to work with the New Era Academy Syllabus because it is a recognized and comprehensive framework for speech and drama training. The syllabus is supported by an excellent examination protocol that provides personalized feedback for each student.

In July 2023, we are proud to launch the New Era Academy Teacher Directory to help parents and learners find a local speech and drama teacher. You can be confident that the quality of learning and structure provided by your chosen teacher and the New Era Academy Syllabus will be excellent.

One of New Era Academy's Teachers and students in Group Performance in Speech & Drama at Colebrook school

Join the New Era Academy Teacher Directory Today

Contact the New Era team at exams@neweraacademy.co.uk or call on 0330 133 1885.


New Era Academy Industry Affiliations

NEA is a proud corporate member of The Society of Teachers of Speech & Drama (STSD), the professional membership organisation for qualified, specialist teachers of Speech and Drama, to encourage the highest standards of teaching and to promote the study and knowledge of Speech and Dramatic Art in every form.

New Era Academy is committed to always delivering the highest standards to our Teachers and learners.  We work closely with CDMT (Council for Quality in Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre). They offer quality assurance and membership services to institutions delivering training, education, and assessment in the performing arts. 

We value our good standing with our industry regulators in the UK (Ofqual) and Northern Ireland (CCEA), as well as the UCAS tariff points for our Level 3 exams.

Meet NEA's Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors represents the best of our industry and is proud to take a holistic approach to steer New Era Academy to be the respected business it is for the past 80 years.

Collectively, the Boards are responsible for upholding the standards NEA is known and respected for, maintaining our regulatory compliance, determining changes and enhancements to the syllabus, and managing the business growth and expansion across the UK and into international jurisdictions that value UK qualifications with UCAS tariff points. Our Board of Director Members are:

  • Kim Ismay (FNEA) – Actress and Chairperson, New Era Academy
  • Derren Nesbitt (FNEA) – Actor and CEO, New Era Academy
  • Miranda Jacobs (FNEA) – Director of Examinations, New Era Academy
  • Tina Doyle (FNEA) – Chief Examiner, New Era Academy
  • Brian Ellis (FNEA) – Actor
  • Christine Faithfull (FNEA) – Teacher
Derren Nesbitt Actor and CEO of New Era Academy and Board Director
Derren Nesbitt
Miranda Jacobs Director of Examinations for New Era Academy and Board Director
Miranda Jacobs
Kim-Ismay-Actor-Chairperson-of-New-Era Academy and Board Director
Kim Ismay
Brian Ellis FNEA, Actor and New Era Academy Board Director
Brian Ellis

NEA is Proud to have Our Esteemed Patrons

New Era Academy is proud to have these esteemed industry stalwarts supporting New Era Academy in their work to inspire and encourage the next generation of actors, performers, public speakers and orators.

Ray Winstone is a well-known English television, stage and film actor and patron of New Era Academy
Ray Winstone
Jenny Seagrove is a well-known English actress and patron of New Era Academy
Jenny Seagrove
Ray Cooney OBE is a well-known English playwright, actor,, director and patron of New Era Academy
Ray Cooney OBE
Will Brenton is a well-known English writer/producer-director and patron of New Era Academy
Will Brenton

Our Past Patrons

NEA is grateful for the unwavering support our past Patrons have given to us. Whilst we are very sad they are no longer with us, they will forever be remembered.

New Era Academy patron Bill Kenwright CBE (1945-2023) an avid supporter of NEA.
Bill Kenwright CBE
Derren Nesbitt and Sir Roger Moore in The Saint
Sir Roger Moore
with our CEO Derren Nesbitt.