The earlybird registration window for NPQ programmes starting in Autumn 2019 will close on Friday 26 July 2019. Full scholarship funding may be available for candidates in eligible regions. Contact our NPQ team to find out more.

The National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) focuses on the key skills needed for headship and meets the highest standards for leadership development anywhere in the world.

Key Features
9 day

School placement

Identified according to location, phase and specialism


Award winning online courses

Flexible facilitated study working alongside peers


MA credits

Gain Masters credits towards an MA in Educational Leadership with Chester University

Who is this for?

The National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) is for those who are, or are aspiring to become, a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school.

This includes those who are, or are aspiring to be, a headteacher or head of school with cross-school responsibilities such as a National Leader of Education (NLE).

Qualification overview

NPQH provides recognition of leadership development and professional achievement for anyone aspiring to be a headteacher. Trainees have access to high-quality learning materials and accounts of practice from outstanding leaders. They will reflect on their own leadership through discussion with peers and put theory into practice while continuing to improve their own leadership skills in order to have a greater impact within their institution.

The National Professional Qualification for Headship has a flexible combination of blended learning and support opportunities that includes face-to-face sessions, online learning, leadership learning groups, personal tutor, peer support, coaching and school placement. Candidates will complete three modules 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.

NPQH delivery model

NPQH allows you to accrue 100 credits towards an MA in Educational Leadership with Chester University. Assessment criteria is matched so there is no extra cost for the credits and you can enter the MA course by making a secure claim for previous learning through the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) process.

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.

Distance learning

In the event that there isn’t a convenient group to attend near you it is possible to study for an NPQ in a distance learning group. We will replicate the face-to-face events and activities online. Overseas candidates will be grouped according to time zones to try to meet each learner’s scheduling needs.

What does it cost?

For candidates within the UK the NPQH costs £2250. 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

International candidates wishing to complete the NPQH should click here for course costs.

Application process

In order to be accepted onto NPQH 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 and embark upon headship.

Prospective candidates are asked to self-assess their experience, ability, and impact in the six NPQH content areas. Applications must have the support of a nominated sponsor who is required to assess the applicant against the seven NPQH leadership behaviours and confirm their support of the application.

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

The ‘NPQH gateway assessment form’ and supporting ‘NPQH guidance for applicants and sponsors’ are available to download below.

NPQH gateway assessment form

NPQH guidance for applicants and sponsors

Terms and conditions

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

How to register

We are delighted to confirm that we have been licensed by the Department of Education to deliver all of the National Professional Qualifications (NPQML, NPQSL, NPQH and NPQEL).

Registrations are taken through our partner Best Practice Network. The registration window for programmes starting in Autumn 2019 is now open and will close on Friday 20 September 2019.