FAQs – National Professional Qualifications

When will the reformed NPQ programmes begin?

The DfE has announced NPQ programmes for 2021/2022 will start in November 2021 and February 2022.


Is anything changing with the National Professional Qualifications?

Yes.  Delivering on the commitments set out in the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy, the National Professional Qualifications will complete ‘the golden thread’ and will build on the evidence base and expert guidance already established in the ITT Core Content Framework and ECF.

The six new NPQ content frameworks were published on 13 October 2020 and from September 2021, this 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. They set out the details that participants should know and be able to do after completing an NPQ.  These reforms include:

  • reforming the 3 existing NPQs in Senior Leadership, Headship and Executive Leadership
  • replacing the current NPQ in Middle Leadership with three new NPQs for teachers and leaders who want to develop their expertise in specialist areas of teaching practice:
    • NPQ for Leading Teaching
    • NPQ for Leading Behaviour
    • NPQ for Leading Teacher Development


Who are the accredited NPQ Lead Providers?

Nine providers have been accredited by the Department for Education who will design a programme of face-to-face and online training:

  • Ambition Institute
  • Best Practice Network (home of Outstanding Leaders Partnership)
  •  Church of England
  •  Education Development Trust
  •  Harris Federation
  •  Leadership Learning South East
  •  Teacher Development Trust
  •  Teach First
  •  UCL Institute of Education


Can organisations other than Teaching School Hubs acts as Delivery Partners on NPQs?

Yes, Lead Providers can choose to work with other organisations such as large MATS who can deliver ‘at scale’. However, the DfE has invested in Teaching School Hubs so that they can provide an infrastructure to deliver the remit given by the DfE, including delivery of the suite of National Professional Qualifications (NPQs).  There is an expectation from Lead Providers that Delivery Partners will be in a position deliver ‘at scale’, Teaching School Hubs are specifically resourced for this level of delivery.


Will there be scholarships or other sources of funding to support participants accessing the new suite of NPQ programmes?

Scholarship funding to support participants to access the reformed suite of NPQs will be confirmed in due course.


What role will Ofsted play in relation to NPQs?

Providers of the reformed suite of NPQs will be subject to a quality assurance mechanism through Ofsted inspection to ensure the best support for schools and teachers.