NPA Doing Business Online

Grow your Business – Online

NPA Doing Business Online homepage photoThe National Progression Award (NPA) in Doing Business Online at SCQF level 5 has been developed to support the ‘Getting British Business Online’ initiative. This NPA aims to help small businesses improve their IT skills and grow their business online, and features the Google suite of tools.

‘Getting British Business Online’ is a nationwide campaign developed by Google, BT, Enterprise UK and e-skills UK (the sector skills council for IT). It offers small businesses the tools and knowledge to do business online and build their own free website hosted by Google. This qualification forms part of this campaign, delivering training to individuals interested in taking a formal learning route to improve their business by getting online.

This is a business qualification using Units that have been developed from the sector skills council, e-skills UK, and National Occupational Standards for IT Users.

The NPA aims to develop:

  • skills to create a live website for business
  • knowledge and understanding of how to use the internet and e-mail to improve the productivity of a business
  • knowledge of how to optimise a website's position in search engines and monitor traffic to a site
  • knowledge of e-commerce options
  • skills to manage personal access to online sources securely
  • knowledge to apply laws, guidelines and procedures for safe and secure internet use
  • the ability to review the benefits and drawbacks of it tools and systems used, in terms of productivity and efficiency
  • Core Skills

Why deliver this qualification

The NPA in Doing Business Online can be delivered in bite size chunks, face to face or online. This is primarily through part-time day, evening and flexible learning to suit candidate needs. Part-time study would also be suitable for schools, colleges or training providers who are offering the Units over a fixed number of learning sessions per week.

The NPA can be offered with minimal disruption and the delivery method may free up staff time. The popularity of the subject area could potentially attract a broad range of candidates.

Who does this qualification suit

This qualification is suited to:

  • employees of small businesses
  • those considering setting up their own business
  • individuals looking to improve their employability skills
  • those interested in what’s involved in getting a business online


Entry is at the discretion of the centre. Candidates would benefit from having skills, knowledge or experience in the following areas:

  • For the Improving Productivity Using IT Unit and the Using Email Unit, the Core Skills of ICT at SCQF level 4 and Communication at SCQF level 3 or equivalent would be beneficial to candidates.
  • For the other Units in this NPA, it would be beneficial to have gained Units at the level below in the same or similar subject areas taken from the NC Digital Media Computing or PC Passport qualifications.
  • Good basic communication skills together with practical computing and IT user skills gained by experience.
  • Experience of using general business hardware and software.


As the NPA Units are taken from the SVQ for IT Users (ITQ) level 2, then by taking additional Units from the SVQ, it would be possible to gain the full SVQ. Following this could be an SVQ at level 3.

There are also opportunities to progress to other SQA Units such as those from the PC Passport and National Certificate Digital Media Computing qualifications, using the knowledge and skills built up in the NPA.


Centres with devolved authority are eligible to seek approval through their own internal approval process.

These centres should come forward for approval and should contact the Business Development Team for guidance in completing the combined CA1/SA1 form.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA's general requirements as outlined in the guide to approval.

How to assess

Assessment is competence based in the workplace or a simulated environment. Assessment is mainly by practical task assignments such as creating a website and using e-mail which could be maintained in a candidate activity log for checking. In most cases, assessors will be determining whether the activities carried out by the candidate were safe, legitimate and effective. Knowledge can be assessed by general questions or completion of short statements.

Opportunities exist for the integration of assessment for the Units that have some overlap.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Unit(s) and delivery tools

Group Award code:GA12 45 (16 or 17 SCQF credit points)
SCQF level: 5


Candidates will be awarded the NPA in Doing Business Online at SCQF level 5 on successful completion of four mandatory Units and one optional Unit.

Mandatory Units

Improving Productivity Using IT — F99E 04
Using the Internet 2 — F9A0 04
Using Email 2 — F9A4 04
Website Software 1 — F9D3 04

Arrangements Documents

Further Details

Return to NQGA Computing, IT and Related Areas subject page