NPA in Laboratory Science at SCQF level 6

The National Progression Award (NPA) in Laboratory Science at SCQF level 6 introduces the key skills required to pursue a career as a laboratory technician across a range of scientific disciplines.

The NPA has been designed as both a vocational qualification to meet the workforce demands of the science industry, and as an entry route to higher level qualifications at Scottish colleges and universities.

The NPA prepares candidates for employment at technician or technologist level in research and industrial laboratories, or in the biotechnology, chemical, microbiological, pharmaceutical, and environmental industries.

This qualification is available in colleges.

Why study this qualification

This NPA offers the practical skills that can be used in the real world, and is suitable for a wide variety of learners, including:

  • school leavers
  • adult returners
  • graduates seeking ‘technical skills’
  • employed laboratory technicians/technologists as part of their professional development
  • modern apprentices

Access

Access is at the discretion of the centre. However, it is recommended that candidates meet the following entry requirements:

  • at least three passes at SCQF level 5, with at least one in science (candidates who do not have Chemistry at SCQF level 5 should complete SCQF level 5 Chemistry bridging Units as an integral component of their Course)
  • Core Skills at SCQF level 5 for Numeracy, with the others at SCQF level 4 
  • any other equivalent qualifications

Employment and progression

This NPA articulates directly to the PDA in Laboratory Science and the HNC in Applied Sciences. From here, candidates can progress to HND and degree level courses at Scottish colleges and universities.

This NPA could open up employment opportunities as a laboratory technician in the biotechnology, chemical, microbiological, pharmaceutical and environmental industries.

Qualification structure

Group Award Code: G9G6 46 (52 SCQF credit points)
SCQF level: 6

NPA in Laboratory Science at SCQF level 6 (153 KB)

Structure

The NPA consists of four mandatory Units and four optional Units. Candidates can choose options from one of two routes.

Mandatory Units

  • Quality and Health and Safety Systems in Science Industries — DF82 34
  • Fundamental Chemistry: An Introduction — DX29 33
  • Mathematics for Science — F3T8 11
  • Microbiological Techniques — D042 12

 

Unit search

Qualification structure

Group Award Code: G9G6 46 (52 SCQF credit points)
SCQF level: 6

NPA in Laboratory Science at SCQF level 6 (153 KB)

Structure

The NPA consists of four mandatory Units and four optional Units. Candidates can choose options from one of two routes.

Mandatory Units

  • Quality and Health and Safety Systems in Science Industries — DF82 34
  • Fundamental Chemistry: An Introduction — DX29 33
  • Mathematics for Science — F3T8 11
  • Microbiological Techniques — D042 12

 

Unit search

How to assess

Assessment will vary according to the demands of the particular Unit.

Assessment Exemplars, Assessment Support Packs (ASPs) and National Assessment Bank (NAB) materials are available to download, for three of the mandatory Units and a selection of the optional Units, from SQA’s secure website.

Centres can use e-assessment tools for assessment where appropriate. Many of the Units can also be supported by e-learning.

Deliver this qualification

Resources

Qualifications Support Team (QST) - Action Grids