National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership

National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL)

The National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL) from the National College for Teaching & Leadership (NCTL) is a new qualification that provides national recognition of your leadership development and professional achievement as a senior leader and is designed to support participants in becoming highly effective senior leaders with the skills, confidence and knowledge to contribute to the strategic development of the school or organisation as part of the senior leadership team.

This qualification has a flexible, modular structure which combines core modules with the freedom to specialise or develop your own professional areas of interest through the choice of elective modules.

EMLC is responsible for the assessment of the NPQSL qualification and will assess the submitted tasks against the senior leadership competencies. Successful graduation from NPQSL will demonstrate your ability to be an effective senior leader. The NPQSL final assessment process has been designed to enable you to demonstrate that you can deliver successful and sustainable school improvement in your school setting and can use the experience to reflect upon and improve your own leadership competencies. NPQSL final assessment is competency-based, testing the key competencies that are required for successful senior leadership.

The final assessment process comprises one assessed task in which you lead, for an extended period, on a school improvement priority across your school. The task, which needs to be achievable within a 12 month period, must produce demonstrable positive impact and sustainable change. Please note that if you are in Intake 2 you will have the choice to do the current two tasks (Closing the Gap and Leading a School Improvement Priority) or the revised combined task.

For the task you will be expected to draw upon your practical experience, research and relevant school, local and national data to inform your leadership decision making. You will also be expected to apply your learning from the essential (Educational Excellence – Closing the gap, Strategic Leadership – Succeeding in senior leadership) and elective modules you have completed and to draw upon your knowledge and expertise in relevant national policy priorities.

The task will include written evidence/appropriate documentation submitted by you and further evidence/verification from your sponsor and headteacher 

Please contact your provider in regards to which paperwork you need to submit.

Participants starting February 2014 and after need to complete the Combined Task

Costs and scholarships

Costs vary between licensees. Licensees will be able to provide full details of their costs but, as a guide, the cost of NPQSL is £1,400.

You’ll also need to pay £440 for your final assessment if you apply from:

  • an independent or non-maintained school
  • a school outside England

Many of our licensees offer group discounts and various packages. Contact your chosen licensee to find out more.

A limited number of scholarships is available for applicants from the English state-maintained sector. Find out more about scholarships.

For further information: