National professional qualifications frameworks: from autumn 2021

Description of the 6 reformed national professional qualifications (NPQs) available to teachers and school leaders from autumn 2021, and 2 additional NPQs which will be available from autumn 2022.

Applies to England



These frameworks are for the reformed national professional qualifications (NPQs) that are available from autumn 2021, and those offered from autumn 2022. They have been developed in consultation with expert advisory groups from across the education system.

The changes to NPQs build on the evidence and expert advice already established in the new core content framework for initial teacher training, and the Early Career Framework (ECF). The NPQ for early years leadership complements the current suite of NPQs.

The content frameworks set out the things that participants should know and be able to do after completing an NPQ. Providers of NPQs are expected to use these frameworks to design their course.

They reflect the Teachers’ standards and Headteachers’ standards to ensure coherency with the requirements already used by the teaching profession.

Who this guidance is for

This guidance is for:

  • organisations developing the new NPQs
  • teachers and leaders considering applying for or participating in the new NPQs
  • leaders who are encouraging staff to undertake the new NPQs

Current NPQs

Information about existing NPQs is available.

Published 13 October 2020
Last updated 25 February 2022 + show all updates
  1. Revised a 'Learn how to’ statement related to managing children's behaviour and supporting their personal, social and emotional development in 'National Professional Qualification (NPQ): Early Years Leadership framework'.

  2. Added 'NPQ: leading literacy framework' and 'NPQ: early years leadership framework'.

  3. Updated to reflect changes in funding eligibility and add information about additional national professional qualifications which will be available from autumn 2022.

  4. Updated to include an eligibility list of schools that are within the top 30th percentile in relation to pupils on pupil premium as of the end of the previous academic year.

  5. Updated 'from September 2021' to 'from autumn 2021'.

  6. First published.