National professional qualifications (NPQs): what you need to know

Find out which national professional qualifications are on offer, and what the rules are for eligibility and funding.

Last reviewed on 19 October 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 47813
  1. How do NPQs work?
  2. What NPQs are available?
  3. How are NPQs funded?
  4. How can NPQs fit into CPD planning?

How do NPQs work?

National professional qualifications (NPQs) are training courses for school leaders and teachers to improve their skills and support career progression. 

They are designed to be taken flexibly around existing work – they don’t require a break from working at your school to complete.

NPQ courses:

  • Take between 12 and 18 months (depending on the course)
  • Involve face-to-face sessions, webinars and self-directed study
  • Are run by Ofsted-inspected providers

To apply for an NPQ, the staff member will need to find a local provider and register with the DfE (providers are listed on each NPQ page below).

What NPQs are available?

The SENCO NPQ will be a requirement from 2024

The special educational needs and disabilities co-ordinators (SENCOs) NPQ will replace the NASENCO in September 2024. 

SENCOs who