National Professional Qualifications (NPQs)

Leadership Matters. Unlock your potential – and the potential of future generations – with our NPQs.  We are delighted to share with you our NPQ offer for 2021/2022.  National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) are the most widely recognised qualifications in the education sector for current and aspiring leaders.  We’re delighted to be partnered with one of a select group of national providers to design, deliver and assess six reformed NPQs – Teach First.  Click here to view our brochure.

The NPQs will compete the golden thread of continuing professional development (CPD) for teachers, from the early stages of teacher development with the Early Career Framework (ECF) through to executive leadership, delivering a new generation of NPQs.  During one of the most challenging years for schools, it’s never been more important or exciting to see thinking about how best to support school leaders.  National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) have been an important part of developing teachers and leaders for over 20 years, and, whilst the new frameworks will not be put into practice for another year, we were really excited to see the release!

So why are these new frameworks particularly exciting? Upon analysis, we find they are:

1. Research-informed – the content of these frameworks and the underpinning evidence have been independently assessed and endorsed by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF)

2. Aligned and coherent – the arrival of these frameworks also means that there is now alignment between the ITT Core Content Framework, the Early Careers Framework, up through all levels of leadership to Executive Leadership. Drawing on the same core evidence-base, and having shared language, will help drive collaboration, communication and focussed improvement in schools

3. Domain-focused and specialised – each framework is split into key domains of leadership, and it is clearly visible how they build on one another in different levels of NPQSL (Senior Leadership), NPQH (Headship) and NPQEL (Execute Leadership)

4. Progression and support – these frameworks were conceived a part of the DfE’s Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy. David Weston has written here about how these frameworks and standards see an increased focus on professional development and support for teachers

From September 2021, a reformed suite of NPQs will be available for teachers and leaders who want to develop their knowledge and skills in school leadership and specialist areas of teaching practice. The reformed suite of NPQs is designed to offer the best possible support to teachers and leaders wanting to expand their knowledge and develop their skills, helping them to become more effective teachers and leaders inside and outside the classroom.

Specialist NPQs 

There are three specialist NPQs for teachers and school leaders who want to broaden their expertise in particular areas. The following programmes are for those who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading teaching in a subject or year, leading behaviour and/or supporting pupil wellbeing in their school, or leading the development of other teachers in their school.

  • NPQ in Leading Teaching (NPQLT)
  • NPQ in Leading Behaviour and Culture (NPQLBC)
  • NPQ in Leading Teacher Development (NPQLTD)


Leadership NPQs 

For those looking to progress into senior leadership and beyond, the following NPQs build foundational knowledge to rapidly progress a school or trust’s key improvement priorities – all while creating and embedding a culture that allows the school, staff and pupils to thrive:

  • NPQ in Senior Leadership (NPQSL)
  • NPQ in Headship (NPQH)
  • NPQ in Executive Leadership (NPQEL)



Full details of the National Professional Qualifications can be found here 


How to apply and next steps
All programmes start on 1 November 2021.

Please register your interest through our expression of interest form.

If you’re interested in our NPQs but would like to be considered for the next round of applications, with programmes starting in February 2022, please register your interest.


Contact Us

We’re here to help. If you’ve got any questions about the programmes or would like to talk through your options, email us at or