The registration window for NPQ programmes will close on Friday 31 May 2019. There is a 20% early bird discount for applications received by 31 May (please use discount code NLEL19). Limited scholarship funding is available in some areas (see scholarship notice).

The National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership (NPQEL) for those aspiring to, or already in, a leadership role across more than one school

Key Features

F2F events

With outstanding facilitators supported by guest sector experts and business leads


Performance coaching sessions

6 performance coaching calls focused on improving performance and leadership skills


Award winning online courses

Flexible facilitated study working alongside peers


360° diagnostics

Track your progress with leadership skills diagnostics


Multi-school improvement project

Work within a peer-set to lead improvement across several schools


Masters credits

Accrue Masters level credits

Who is this for?

NPQEL is suitable for colleagues aspiring to, or already in, leadership roles across more than one school. This includes headteachers, executive headteachers, chief operating officers and directors of school improvement.

Qualification overview

NPQEL provides the opportunity to recognise the achievements of leaders across a group of schools. Experienced and talented leaders will form Peer Leadership Challenge Groups, undertaking a joint improvement project, before embarking on a course of study covering strategic planning, organisation change and business development. Candidates have access to high-quality learning materials and accounts of practice from outstanding leaders, including executive leadership coaching. We will provide guest speakers from major UK businesses and peer mentors from different sectors to offer perspectives and approaches from outside the education system.

The qualification has a flexible combination of blended learning and support opportunities that includes face-to-face sessions, online learning, leadership learning groups, dedicated personal tutor and peer support. Candidates will complete three courses covering three learning areas: Strategy and Improvement, Teaching and Curriculum Excellence, and Managing Resources and Risks, each facilitated within a 4-week period. All focus on improving the effectiveness of leadership practice and developing behaviours around commitment, collaboration, personal drive, resilience, awareness, integrity and respect.

NPQEL delivery model

Programme delivery

The face to face elements of our NPQ programmes are delivered in groups around specific locations. These locations are usually chosen for their ease of access and/or proximity to the majority of applicants.

The face to face events for the NPQEL will be held in Birmingham on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 6th November and Thursday 7th November 2019
  • Wednesday 8th January 2020
  • Wednesday 18th March 2020
  • Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th July 2020

The venue will be the Park Regis Hotel, Birmingham. A four star hotel in central Birmingham, located 20 minutes walk from Birmingham New Street Station or five minutes walk from Five Ways Station.

For each of the two day events, a residential stay including a three course evening meal with fellow candidates is included as part of the cost of the course.

What does it cost?

The National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership costs £4,950 to undertake with OLP inclusive of final assessment. Full DfE scholarship funding is available for leaders from schools in Category 5 & 6 areas subject to certain criteria.

More details about eligibility criteria for scholarship funding

Terms and conditions

Please make sure that you read our terms and conditions before you register.

Application process

In order to be accepted onto NPQEL with OLP, prospective candidates must first pass our gateway assessment process. Our gateway assessment has been designed to ensure the readiness and suitability of applicants to undertake the qualification.

Applications must have the support of a nominated sponsor who is required to assess the applicant against the seven NPQEL leadership behaviours and confirm their support of the application.

Applicants must upload a completed copy of their NPQEL gateway assessment form as part of their registration for the qualification.

The ‘NPQEL gateway assessment form’ is available to download below.

NPQEL gateway assessment form

How to register

Registrations are taken through our partner Best Practice Network.

The registration window for NPQ programmes starting in Autumn 2019 is open.
There is a 5% early bird discount for applications received by 31 May.
Scholarship funding is limited so we are advising all candidates to apply as soon as possible to avoid disappointment (see scholarship notice).