National Professional Qualification
for Senior Leadership - International

Applications are now closed for the Spring 2022 NPQ Intake. If you would like to join the Autumn 2022 NPQ Intake please register your interest.


The National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL) is accredited by the UK Department for Education (DfE). The qualification is delivered by the Best Practice Network, the leading provider of UK accredited qualifications for education professionals worldwide.

We were recently rated ‘Exceptional’ by the DfE’s quality assurance agent and voted ‘Company of the Year’ at the BETT Awards. We are the market leader, and to date have supported over 500 candidates from 60+ countries to access and complete an NPQ.

National Professional Qualification (NPQ): Senior Leadership

NPQSL gives candidates all of the essential knowledge, skills and concepts that underpin successful senior leadership with candidates learning how to:

  • Contribute to establishing and sustaining the school’s strategic direction
  • Contribute to establishing and sustaining an effective culture across the school
  • Establish and sustain effective planning and preparation across the school
  • Ensure teaching across the school stimulates pupil thinking and understanding
  • View the NPQSL Framework tab for the full programme content

What are the benefits?

In recent years, Best Practice Network has grown into a nationwide network of 165 schools, multi-school organisations, dioceses and university partners.  The extensive expertise and diversity of our partner network allows us to develop rich, phase-specific, programme content which is delivered and facilitated by local experts in local schools.

  • Facilitation and support from serving school leaders in outstanding schools
  • Purpose-built virtual learning environment enabled for mobiles and tablets
  • Delivery at local venues
  • Guaranteed support to pass the final assessment
  • Content contextualised for your locality and updated to reflect national developments and legislation
  • Regular progress updates for mentors and headteachers

Programme Delivery

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

NPQSL candidates will attend 4 face-to-face events if they choose to complete the programme via the blended delivery model. Our international delivery network allows us to bring face-to-face training to a school near you and facilitated by local school leaders (please contact us for international locations).

Candidates access online learning and support via our virtual learning environment (VLE) Canvas. Through Canvas, candidates are able to engage with their peers, access multimedia content and submit work for assessment.


Online-only Delivery Model

NPQSL candidates can choose to complete the programme via our online delivery model. This delivery model replaces the face-to-face events with facilitated webinars as well as extra tutor support and study packs. 

Delivery Outline

NPQSL Framework

The NPQ frameworks are based on a robust method of design and development, building on the evidence base and expert guidance already established in the ECF and the ITT Core Content Framework. The NPQ frameworks reflect the Teachers’ Standards and Headteachers' Standards to ensure coherency with the requirements already used by the teaching profession.

Please see the NPQLT Framework below. If your computer or device does not support the Adobe plugin you can download the framework pdf here.

Who is this for?

The National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL) is for school leaders who are, or are aspiring to be, a senior leader with cross-school responsibilities.

The role of a senior leader within a school is complex. Although the role varies, many senior leaders contribute to all aspects of the school through the leadership team as well as having a specific whole school responsibility of their own. This means the role is often both operational and strategic and relies on working with and through colleagues (in particular, through middle leaders) to ensure every pupil gets an excellent education.


Applicants must have completed 2 full years of teaching following achieving QTS/QTLS/Level 5 (or equivalent) qualification and, as a minimum, already in a middle leadership role.

All applicants must have either QTS, QTLS, a Level 5 (or higher) qualification (any subject), or an international equivalent.

If you do not have QTS or QTLS, you will need to have completed a Level 5 qualification (any subject).

What does it cost?

NPQSL International costs £1550 plus VAT where applicable. VAT is chargeable on courses funded by private individuals.