The National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) is the first choice qualification for anyone aspiring to be a Headteacher. Following a significant review, NPQH has been redesigned.

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 is for individuals who are, or are aspiring to become, a Headteacher or head of school with the intention of applying for a headship within 18 months of commencing the qualification. Click the link to see the overview video.

Contact us if you are not sure if you are eligible for this qualification.



New Candidates

Registration for Autumn 2020 is open and will close on 24th July.

Applicants completing their programme application are asked to identify whether they have been recommended by a delivery partner. Please select West Herts Teaching School from the drop down list and then enter our Partner Allocation Code, which is WHTS.


View our step-by-step process for application

NPQH Application Guidance

NPQH Sponsor Guidance

Watch our NPQH: Submitting a Successful Application online briefing, aimed at supporting prospective trainee heads with their gateway application. View the recording

NPHQ Gateway Application

Please use the above link to register.




NPQH is delivered at high quality venues throughout the East.


Please see below for fees

The qualification is assessed and accredited by the National College for Teaching and Leadership and consists of a flexible, modular structure that combines core modules with the freedom to specialise and to develop your own professional areas of interest through the choice of elective modules. Modules cover three learning areas:

  • Educational excellence
  • Operational management
  • Strategic leadership

All modules focus on improving the effectiveness of leadership practice and consist of workplace learning and practice activities; face-to-face workshops and online learning. Candidates will have the opportunity to:

  • Access high-quality learning materials and look at accounts of practice from outstanding leaders
  • Reflect on their own leadership through discussion and debate with peers
  • Put theory into practice and continue to improve their own leadership in order to have a greater impact within their institution

Activities within modules have been designed to stimulate and challenge thinking, build knowledge, skills and expertise, and promote change and improvement in leadership behaviours, capability and capacity.

Delivery model

 Trainee Heads are expected to complete the qualification within a 12 month period.  During this time you will:


  • Five face-to-face training events
  • Five online courses working alongside peers*
  • Termly face-to-face and online coaching sessions
  • Regular online conferences to support and compliment learning
  • Access to two 360⁰leadership 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 Credits and Transfer Scheme (CATS) points to contribute towards a Master's degree

* Online courses take around 15 hours and cover a four week period.  The courses are facilitated by sector experts and provide a structured pathway through the module resources.  Course activities are completed collaboratively helping enhance comprehension and application


The assessment criteria will be used to judge whether trainee Headteachers are ready for Headship. The criteria will be drawn from the NPQH competency framework. The final assessment process will comprise three assessed tasks and a final presentation/interview:

  • Task 1: Leading school improvement priority in own or agreed school
  • Task 2: Leading school improvement tasks, working in partnership with the placement school
  • Task 3: Case study and presentation/interview


School type


All state-maintained schools and academies in England


Independent / Overseas Schools

£2250 + assessment fees

* Final assessment activity will be funded for all candidates from English state-maintained schools and academies.

Delivery for your school alliance

If your school alliance has at least 10 staff that you wish to register for NPQH then we can set up a bespoke group for you. This will provide you with the benefit of using your own facilities for face to face training and determining the dates and delivery model (twilights, school holidays, half-days etc).

A collaborative group will also bring a financial benefit as the candidate fees can be reduced to reflect the number of candidates and any savings made by using your school’s facilities.

For more information, please contact us on 0117 9209 4260117 9209 426 or email the team. 

children reading