NPA (National Progression Award) Barbering

NPA (National Progression Award) Barbering

The NPA in Barbering at Level 5 on the SCQF consist of 5 units each at SCQF Level 5. This qualification provides candidates with a sound knowledge in Barbering skills including effective customer communication and prepares them for the relevant practical treatment.

With no formal entry qualification requirement this NPA in Barbering is suitable for a wide range of candidates from post school leavers to unemployed individuals. It also allows for progression onto SVQ Level 2 in Barbering at SCQF levels 6 and 7.

Assessment is made up of both open book written assignments and practical performance supported by assessor.

Why deliver this qualification

This qualification introduces candidates to methods and techniques used in the Barbering industry which with further training could lead to a range of employment opportunities. Candidates will develop knowledge skills and techniques in shaving - an introduction, cutting facial hair, basic gents haircutting, scalp massage as well as giving product recommendations and appropriate aftercare advice.  They will develop effective communication skills to determine client needs then plan, prepare for and perform the relevant practical treatment.

  • Assessment Support Packs (ASP) provided for all Units
  • Flexible delivery
  • Integration of assessment across Outcomes and Units
  • Links to National Occupational Standards
  • Prepare candidates to progress to further study at SCQF levels 6 and 7, in particular SVQ Level 2 in Barbering.
  • Enable candidates to develop the basic skills required to seek employment at trainee level in the Barbering industry
  • No formal entry qualifications
  • Enable candidates to progress to workbased qualifications within the sector and the completion of National Occupational Standards.

Who does this qualification suit

This award is suitable for a wide range of candidates and is suitable for: Post 16 School leavers; Adults returning to education; HM Prison Service and Unemployed candidates who wish to enhance their career prospects.


Access to this award is at the discretion of the centre.

Each unit of the award states that entry is at the discretion of the centre, however, it should be noted that some of these units can be delivered holistically e.g. Gents Cutting to Incorporate Clippering and Razoring and Cut Facial Hair. This may assist centres in creating a logical timetable for delivering the Units which facilitate candidates to build the required knowledge and skills. The units are designed to encourage candidates to take responsibility for their own learning and work to specifications – this could include practical tasks and design tasks. 


This qualification provides clear progression routes to other Barbering and Hairdressing qualifications and provides relevant exit skills to enable a smooth transition to SVQ Level 2 Barbering and/or SCQF Level 6.

How to assess

Open book written assignments and practical performance supported by assessor observation checklists. 
Assessment Support Packs are available.  If a centre designs its own assessments, these should be of a comparable standard.

Qualification content and delivery tools


Group Award Code: GF4L 45

SCQF level: 5

Title Unit code SQA credit value SCQF level
Gents Cutting to Incorporate Clippering and Razoring H1N811 1 5
Cut Facial Hair H1N911 1 5
Gents Shaving: An Introduction H1NA11 1 5
Gents Scalp Massage H1NB11 1 5

It is expected that successful completion of the new NPA in Barbering at SCQF Level 5 may lead to employment in a trainee position in the Hairdressing industry, specifically Barbering. This is obviously not an award which is expected to take the student directly into full time employment as a fully qualified barber.