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


National professional qualifications (NPQs): executive leadership framework

Ref: DfE-00183-2020PDF, 548KB, 61 pages

National professional qualification (NPQ): headship framework

Ref: DfE-00182-2020PDF, 539KB, 60 pages

National professional qualification (NPQ): leading behaviour and culture framework

Ref: DfE-00184-2020PDF, 365KB, 33 pages

National professional qualification (NPQ): leading teacher development framework

Ref: DfE-00185-2020PDF, 318KB, 24 pages

National Professional Qualification (NPQ): Senior Leadership Framework

Ref: DfE-00187-2020PDF, 539KB, 60 pages

National professional qualification (NPQ): leading teaching framework

Ref: DfE-00186-2020PDF, 447KB, 46 pages


These frameworks are for the reformed national professional qualifications (NPQ) that will be available from autumn 2021. They have been developed in consultation with an expert advisory group 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 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 considering applying for, or participating in the new NPQs
  • school leaders who are encouraging staff to undertake the new NPQs

Current NPQs

Information about existing NPQs is available.

Published 13 October 2020
Last updated 1 July 2021 + show all updates

  1. Updated ‘from September 2021’ to ‘from autumn 2021’.

  2. First published.