NPA Technical Theatre in Practice

NPA Technical Theatre in Practice

The National Progression Award (NPA) in Technical Theatre in Practice at SCQF level 6 is designed to provide candidates with a range of design skills for use in technical theatre. Candidates use design skills as well as specialising in specific areas such as lighting, sound, prop making or model set construction.

Candidates may also have the opportunity to integrate their skills through a project, depending on which optional Unit is selected from the framework.

The NPA is part of SQA’s national qualifications framework in Drama. Specifically, it is one of a new suite of small NPAs which cover a range of aspects of the theatre industry.

This qualification is available in schools and colleges.

Why deliver this qualification

The structure of this NPA allows centres a high degree of flexibility in delivery.
The NPA in Technical Theatre in Practice can be offered as:

  • an alternative to, or in addition to, an NC Technical Theatre programme in college or school
  • an interdisciplinary course in school or college, eg Drama department/Craft Design and Technology (CDT) department
  • a full-time short course, day release or evening class
  • part of year one in a two year NC programme at college or as part of a school/college partnership
  • a stand-alone CPD course

As a result, this qualification appeals to a wide variety of potential candidates and opens up the possibility of interdisciplinary working.

Who does this qualification suit

This NPA is accessible to school and college candidates, as well as adult returners/learners who have an interest or relevant experience in technical theatre. It may also be used for Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and could also interest anyone currently in an amateur dramatics group.

It allows candidates to develop a defined set of skills and knowledge in the specialist vocational area of technical theatre which are directly relevant to current and/or future practice. It will give candidates the ability and confidence to work independently and perhaps go on to continue their studies.


While entry is at the discretion of the centre, candidates would benefit from previous experience of a course that included some element of design and problem solving skills or related work-based experience and skills at SCQF levels 4 and 5.


Successful candidates may progress to:

  • NC Technical Theatre or HNC Technical Theatre
  • Higher education
  • employment in technical theatre or the creative industries sector


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

Centres without devolved authority will have to 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

Unit assessment may take place on an ongoing basis during the delivery of the NPA. It is also possible for an integrated approach to assessment to be adopted.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Qualification structure

Group Award Code:G9KR 46 (18 SCQF credit points)
SCQF level: 6

NPA Technical Theatre in Practice at SCQF level 6 (227 KB)


The framework consists of NQ Units drawn from the framework of the National Certificate in Technical Theatre at SCQF level 6 (G98C 46). There are two mandatory Units and one further Unit should be selected from the optional section.

Mandatory Units

Technical Theatre in Context — F5L5 12
Theatrical Design — F697 12

Optional Units (choose one from 5)

Theatre Stage Lighting Operations - F693 12
Theatre Stage Sound Operations - F694 12
Theatrical Prop Making - F5LE 12
Creative Project - F58F 12
Theatre Stage Model Set Construction - F699 12

Any other information

Most Units have Assessment Support Packs (ASPs) which provide sample assessment material including an instrument of assessment, specified briefs and checklists. ASPs are available for:

Technical Theatre in Context — F5L5 12
Theatrical Design — F697 12
Theatre Stage Lighting Operations — F693 12
Theatre Stage Sound Operations — F694 12
Creative Project — F58F 12

These can be downloaded from SQA’s secure website.