National Professional Qualification
for Headship

The National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) is the first choice qualification for anyone aspiring to be a headteacher. The qualification not only focuses on the key skills needed for headship, but also meets the highest standards for leadership development anywhere in the world. NPQH is a high bar that will challenge and develop talented leaders from all backgrounds to deliver educational excellence in a self-improving system, and high quality outcomes for pupils and students.

NPQH - A graduate interview

NPQH - An introduction


Who is this for?

NPQH is suitable for candidates who are be highly motivated to become a headteacher, no more than 18 months from applying for headship. Candidates must pass the gateway assessment before registering with a provider.

You can view our programme metrics here.

What are the benefits?

  • Focus on and develop the key skills needed for headship
  • Internationally recognised, high standard for leadership development
  • Challenge and development to deliver educational excellence in a self-improving system which will enable high quality outcomes for pupils and students

How is it delivered?

Trainee heads are expected to completion the qualification within a 12 month period. Trainee headteachers benefit from:

  • five face-to-face training events
  • three online courses working alongside peers
  • termly face-to-face and online coaching sessions
  • regular online conferences to support and complement learning 
  • access to two 360° leadership skills diagnostics
  • support from a nominated in-school mentor
  • facilitation and coaching from serving school leaders in outstanding schools
  • a nine-day school placement (identified according to location, phase and specialism)
  • mobile enabled virtual learning environment enabling flexible access to course resources and support community
  • option to accrue 100 credits to contribute towards an MA in Educational Leadership with Chester University

What does it cost?

The fee for NPQH is £2,250.

Full DfE scholarship funding is available for leaders from schools in opportunity areas subject to certain criteria.

Costs for international candidates and schools can be found here

Best Practice Network is accredited to deliver NPQs by the Department for Education.