National Professional Qualification
for Leading Teacher Development (NPQLTD)

  The NPQ application deadline has been extended to 12th September. Please aim to apply before this date to allow for the processing of your application.

Full NPQ scholarships are available for candidates from eligible schools - see NPQ Scholarship Update for more information.

National Professional Qualification (NPQ): Leading Teacher Development 

NPQLTD gives participants all of the essential knowledge, skills and concepts that underpin successful leadership of teacher development. Participants will cover ‘learn that’ and ‘learn how to’ statements in four areas:

  • 1 – Teaching
  • 2 – Designing Effective Professional Development
  • 3 – Delivering Effective Professional Development
  • 4 – Implementation

See the NPQLTD Framework tab for the full programme content.

What are the benefits?

The fully blended learning approach combined with performance coaching and enrichment activities make this an exciting and valuable opportunity for those who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading the development of other teachers in their school.

The NPQLTD qualification is aligned to Masters credits and can act as a springboard on to Liverpool Hope University’s MA in Leading in Education or the MBA in Educational Leadership.

Benefits for Participants

  • Become adept in supporting initial teacher training, early career teachers as well as the wider development of all colleagues across the school
  • Develop expertise across a number of specialist areas related to their role (e.g. designing professional development)
  • Purpose-built virtual learning environment enabled for mobiles and tablets
  • Guaranteed support to pass the final assessment
  • Content contextualised for your locality and updated to reflect national developments and legislation
  • Facilitation and support from serving school leaders in outstanding schools and delivery at local venues

Benefits for Schools

    • Regular progress updates for mentors and headteachers
    • Support succession of school leaders and build a cohesive, impact-focused school leadership team
    • A professionally aware and informed leader who can make evidence-based decisions and approach leading teacher development in an effective and efficient manner
    • The ability to review and evaluate practice in order to bring about change and get the best outcomes for young people and staff within the organisation 

How is NPQLTD delivered?

NPQLTD makes use of a blended delivery model consisting of face-to-face events, online study, webinars and coaching.

NPQLTD participants will attend 3 face-to-face events. Our nationwide delivery partnership network allows us to bring face-to-face training to a school near you and facilitated by local school leaders.

Participants access online learning and support via our virtual learning environment (VLE) Canvas. Through Canvas, participants are able to engage with learning communities of peers and access multimedia content. They can also access research and expert school-led practice aligned to the curriculum content for the qualification and receive high-quality feedback from experienced online mentors and in-school coaches.


NPQLTD Qualification Structure

In-School Performance Coach

Participants will need to nominate an In-School Performance Coach who will undertake a minimum of 6 hours in-school performance coaching throughout the 12 month development stage of the programme.

It is the role of the In-School Performance Coach to set specific goals to support the completion of the NPQ and to support with programme study, direction and learning development. Professional training and development is provided to the coach before the NPQ commences. See the In-School Performance Coach guide for more information.

Who is this for?

The National Professional Qualification for Leading Teacher Development (NPQLTD)  is suitable for teachers who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading the development of other teachers in their school.  They may have responsibilities for the development of all teachers across a school or specifically trainees or teachers who are in the first two years of their career. 

Leading the development of other teachers is complex. Although the role varies, many of those leading teacher development who will take this qualification are considered to be part of the middle leadership team. They may indirectly manage a team of mentors or coaches and their work is focussed on supporting initial teacher training, early career teachers as well as the wider development of all colleagues across the school.


Applicants must have completed 2 full years of teaching.

All applicants must have either QTS, QTLS, a Level 5 (or higher) qualification (any subject), or an international equivalent (see below). You must be able to evidence this with a copy of your certificate.

For those with QTS, you can download a copy of your certificate here

For those with QTLS, you can download a copy of your certificate here If for any reason you are unable to provide a copy of your certificate, you will need to ask a representative from the school where you are teaching to contact Capita Teachers' Pensions. Your employer should know how to do this via the Capita employer portal

If do not have QTS or QTLS, you will need evidence completion of a Level 5 qualification (any subject). For International applicants, you will need to apply for a UK ENIC Statement of Comparability to demonstrate your Level 5 qualification is comparable to UK qualifications.

What does it cost?

The National Professional Qualification for Leading Teacher Development (NPQLTD) costs £899 plus VAT if applicable.
VAT will not be applied to DfE funded candidates or state-funded schools.


Full scholarship funding, with no cost to the participant, for the NPQ in Leading Teacher Development is available to all teachers who meet the following criteria:

  • have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading the development of other teachers in their school
  • work in a state-funded school in England

To view the full range of NPQ scholarships and funding pathways available please visit NPQ Funding 2021.

Access to funding remains conditional on successful verification of participants’ registration information against Teaching Regulation Agency records, so you must ensure that the information supplied to your NPQ provider matches your teacher record. You can check and update your record via the Teaching Regulation Agency’ Teacher Self-Service Portal.

NPQLTD Framework

National Professional Qualification (NPQ): Leading Teacher Development

In collaboration with an Expert Advisory Group, the Department for Education consulted extensively with the sector to design the reformed suite of NPQs. This has included invaluable input from teachers, school and trust leaders, academics and experts.

The frameworks set out two types of content. Within each area, key evidence statements (“Learn that…”) have been drawn from current high-quality evidence from the UK and overseas. This evidence includes high-quality reviews and syntheses, including metaanalyses and rigorous individual studies. In addition, the NPQ frameworks provide practical guidance on the skills that teachers and school/trust leaders should be supported to develop. Practice statements (“Learn how to…”) draw on both the best available educational research and on additional guidance from the Expert Advisory Group and other sector representatives.

The Education Endowment Foundation has independently reviewed the frameworks to ensure they draw on the best available evidence and that this evidence has been interpreted with fidelity. The NPQ frameworks will be kept under review as the evidence base evolves. As in any profession, the evidence base is not static and research insights develop and progress.

Designing Effective Professional Development
Learn that… Learn how to…

1. Teaching quality is a crucial factor in raising pupil
2. Helping teachers improve through evidence-based
professional development that is explicitly focused on
improving classroom teaching can be a cost-effective way
to improve pupils’ academic outcomes when compared
with other interventions, and can narrow the disadvantage
attainment gap.
3. Effective professional development is likely to involve a
lasting change in teachers' capabilities or understanding
so that their teaching changes.
4. Professional development should be developed using a
clear theory of change, where facilitators understand what
the intended educational outcomes for teachers are, and
how these will subsequently impact pupil outcomes.
Ideally, they should check whether teachers learn what
was intended.
5. Whilst professional development may need to be
sustained over time, what the time is used for, is more
important than the amount.
6. More effective professional development is likely to be
designed to build on the existing knowledge, skills and
understanding of participants.

Select evidence-based approaches and design effective professional development by:
● Ensuring any professional development is focused on a shared responsibility for improving outcomes for all pupils.
● Involving colleagues (particularly school leaders) in the selection of professional development priorities and approaches to ensure alignment with wider school improvement priorities.
● Diagnosing what teachers know and can do; starting professional development from that point and adapting the
approach based on the teachers’ developing expertise, and applying an understanding of the typical differences between novice and expert teachers.
● Identifying and focussing on the essential knowledge, skills and concepts of teaching a particular subject within a particular phase/domain and then planning activities that focus teachers’ thinking on these essential components.
● Sequencing and revisiting components to ensure all teachers secure foundational knowledge before encountering more complex content.
● Anticipating teacher misconceptions (e.g. about how pupils learn or effective teaching).
● Breaking down complex CPD objectives into constituent components and scaffolding tasks around them, whilst ensuring that teachers can reconstruct the components back into a whole through their understanding of the underlying principles behind a particular approach.
● Aligning professional development with subject, phase and domain specific curriculum materials to ensure generic components are applied appropriately across the curriculum.
● Using assessment information to check whether teachers learned what was intended; are implementing the intended approaches; whether it is having the intended impact upon pupils; and whether curricula are being adapted and improved over time as a result, as aligned to school improvement priorities.
● Drawing on sources of external expertise alongside internal expertise – particularly where that expertise supports improvement in subject knowledge. 

Avoid creating unnecessary workload by:
● Making use of well-designed frameworks and resources instead of creating new resources (e.g. sources of subject knowledge, the Early Career Framework and associated core induction programme for early career teachers, ITT Core Content Framework, suite of National Professional
● Ensuring that any professional development time is used productively and that colleagues perceive the relevance to their work.

Avoid common teacher assessment pitfalls by designing approaches that:
● Ensure formative assessment tasks are linked to intended outcomes.
● Draw conclusions about what teachers have learned by reviewing patterns of performance over a number of assessments.
● Use multiple methods of data collection in order to make inferences about teacher quality.

Delivering Effective Professional Development
Learn that… Learn how to…

1. Professional development is likely to be more effective
when design and delivery involves specialist expertise
from a range of sources. This may include internal or
external expertise.
2. Teacher developers should choose activities that suit the
aims and context of their professional development
programme. Successful models have included regular,
expert-led conversations about classroom practice,
teacher development groups and structured interventions.
However, these activities do not work in all circumstances
and the model should fit the educational aims, content
and context of the programme.
3. All schools with early career teachers undertaking
statutory induction must adhere to the regulations and
relevant statutory guidance.
4. School staff with disabilities may require reasonable
adjustments; working closely with these staff to
understand barriers and identify effective approaches is

Deliver effective professional development by:
● Providing clarity on where content fits into school improvement priorities and, where appropriate, a wider curriculum for professional development.
● Choosing appropriate development approaches including modelling, explanations and scaffolds, acknowledging that novices need more structure, support and exemplification.
● Narrating thought processes and debriefing experiences to build teachers’ metacognition (e.g. narrating what the
expert teacher is seeing, thinking and doing when they are planning or observing teaching).
● Ensuring that time is protected for teachers to plan, test and implement new, evidence-informed ideas.
● Developing and leading a team of colleagues who can facilitate a range of professional development approaches.
● Ensuring that colleagues are able to continually develop specialist subject, phase and domain expertise.
● Making reasonable adjustments that are well-matched to teacher needs (e.g. to content, resources and venue). Plan, conduct, and support colleagues to conduct, regular, expert-led conversations (which could be referred to as mentoring or coaching) about classroom practice by:
● Building a relationship of trust and mutual respect between
the individuals involved.
● Tailoring the conversation to the expertise and needs of the individual (e.g. adapting conversations to be more or
less facilitative, dialogic or directive).
● Using approaches including observation of teaching or a related artefact (e.g. videos, assessment materials, research, lesson plans), listening, facilitating reflection and discussion by asking clear and intentional questions, and actionable feedback with opportunities to test ideas and practise implementation of new approaches.
● Where appropriate, creating opportunities to co-observe a lesson segment, exploring and modelling what a teacher with a particular area of expertise sees and thinks.

Play a formal role for trainee and early career teachers by:
● Applying, where relevant, an understanding of the Early Career Framework, the ITT Core Content Framework, the Teachers’ Standards and the Standard for Teachers’ Professional Development to the school’s training and induction offer.
● Understanding the roles and responsibilities within the induction process and ensuring early career teachers access their statutory entitlements.
● Contributing to a programme of professional development for mentors, trainee and early career teachers that satisfies the statutory requirements and aligns effectively with other
programmes of professional development activity within the

Learn that… Learn how to…
1. Implementation is an ongoing process that must adapt to
context over time, rather than a single event. It involves
the application of specific implementation activities and
principles over an extended period (e.g. implementation
planning, ongoing monitoring).
2. Successful implementation requires expert knowledge of
the approach that is being implemented and the related
area of practice (e.g. behaviour), which is shared
amongst staff.
3. Implementation should involve repurposing existing
processes and resources (e.g. governance, data
collection) rather than creating a separate set of
4. Effective implementation begins by accurately diagnosing
the problem and making evidence-informed decisions on
what to implement.
5. Thorough preparation is important: time and care spent
planning, communicating and resourcing the desired changes provides the foundation for successful delivery.
Teachers and leaders should keep checking how ready
their colleagues are to make the planned changes.
6. Implementing an approach with fidelity (i.e. as intended)
increases the chance of it impacting positively on school
practice and pupil outcomes. Any approach should
specify which features of the approach need to be
adopted closely and where there is scope for adaptation.
7. A combination of integrated activities is likely to be
needed to support implementation (e.g. training,
monitoring, feedback) rather than any single activity.
Follow-on support (e.g. through high-quality coaching) is
key to embedding new skills and knowledge developed
during initial training.
8. Delivery of a new approach is a learning process –
expect challenges but aim for continuous improvement.
Monitoring implementation is an essential tool in
identifying, and acting on, problems and solutions.
9. The confidence to make good implementation decisions
is derived, in part, from confidence in the data on which
those decisions are based. Reliable monitoring and
evaluation enable schools to make well-informed choices,
and to see how their improvement efforts are impacting
on teacher knowledge, classroom practices and pupil
10. A school’s capacity to implement an approach is rarely
static (e.g. staff leave, contexts change). Sustained
implementation requires leaders to keep supporting and
rewarding the appropriate use of an approach and check it is still aligned with the overall strategy and context.
11. Implementation benefits from dedicated but distributed
school leadership. Senior leaders should provide a clear
vision and direction for the changes to come. At the same
time, implementation is a complex process that requires
feedback from staff and shared leadership
12. Implementation processes are influenced by, but also
influence, school climate and culture. Implementation is
easier when staff feel trusted to try new things and make
mistakes, safe in the knowledge that they will be
supported with resources, training, and encouragement
to keep improving. 

Plan and execute implementation in stages by:
● Ensuring that implementation of professional development is a structured process where school leaders actively plan, prepare, deliver and embed changes.
● Making a small number of meaningful strategic changes and pursuing these diligently, prioritising appropriately.
● Reviewing and stopping ineffective practices before implementing new ones.

Make the right choices on what to implement by:
● Identifying a specific area for improvement using a robust diagnostic process, focusing on the problem that needs solving, rather than starting with a solution.
● Providing credible interpretations of reliable data that focus on pupils’ knowledge and understanding.
● Examining current approaches, how they need to change and the support required to do so.
● Adopting new approaches based on both internal and external evidence of what has (and has not) worked before (e.g. pupil outcome data and research-based guidance).
● Ensuring it is suitable for the school context, recognising the parameters within which the change will operate (e.g. school policies) and where the school is in its development trajectory (e.g. addressing any significant behaviour problems would be an immediate priority).
● Assessing and adapting plans based on the degree to which colleagues are ready to implement the approach (e.g. current staff motivation and expertise).

Prepare appropriately for the changes to come by:
● Being explicit about what will be implemented, and the overall desired outcomes.
● Specifying the elements of the approach that appear critical to its success (i.e. the ‘active ingredients’) and communicating expectations around these with clarity.
● Developing a clear, logical and well specified implementation plan, and using this plan to build collective understanding and ownership of the approach.
● Using an integrated set of implementation activities that work at different levels in the school (e.g. individual teachers, whole school changes).

Deliver changes by:
● Managing expectations and encouraging ‘buy-in’ until positive signs of changes emerge.
● Monitoring implementation (including by clearly assigning and following up on the completion of critical tasks) and using this information to tailor and improve the approach over time (e.g. identifying a weak area of understanding and providing further training).
● Reinforcing initial training with expert follow-on support within the school.
● Prioritising the ‘active ingredients’ of the approach until they are securely understood and implemented, and then, if needed, introducing adaptations.

Sustain changes by:
● Using reliable monitoring and evaluation to review how the implementation activities are meeting the intended objectives and continue to align with school improvement priorities.
● Continuing to model, acknowledge, support, recognise and reward good approaches.
• Treating scale-up of an approach as a new implementation process (e.g. from one department to another).

Next Steps

When you are ready to apply please visit the Online Application Form.

You will need to identify and nominate a sponsor. This should be someone with a detailed and professional knowledge of the applicant’s work, impact, professional characteristics, and leadership behaviours.

You will also need to identify an in-school performance coach who might be the same person as your sponsor. Please see In-School Performance Coach for more information about the role.