NPA Sound Production: Recording

NPA Sound Production: Recording

The National Progression Award (NPA) in Sound Production: Recording at SCQF level 6 equips candidates with the knowledge, skills and understanding required for potential employment within the creative industries sector or for progression to further academic qualifications. It bridges the gap between entry level education and professional career development.

The NPA is linked to the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Sound, which has a thorough grounding in audio recording practice and also allows individual and personalised skills development through the optional Units.

This qualification is available in colleges and schools.

Why deliver this qualification

The NPA in Sound Production: Recording can be accessed by a broad range of candidates, and provides a flexibility valued by candidates and centres. It can be offered full-time, part-time, through open or distance learning, or through evening classes.

The Unit structure allows for personalisation and choice and areas for specialism. In addition, this Course may open up the opportunity of continued study for candidates.

Who does this qualification suit

This qualification is a starting point for those interested in working in the audio industries, or can be used as Continuous Professional Development for those already employed or self-employed. The NPA helps develop a candidate’s individuality through the creative process, and uses problem-based learning approaches to foster creative and technical skills and competences as well as critical problem solving and project management skills.

The NPA is aimed at school and college students and adult learners who have an interest in and/or experience of sound production. This NPA is also aimed at those already working in the music and performing arts sector of the Creative Industries.


Access is at the discretion of the centre. There are no formal entry requirements, but candidates would benefit from previous experience of a sound production or music course/Units or related study or have an interest and some experience of sound production. For those candidates not in education, relevant work experience would also be useful.

Some Units indicate prior attainment which would be useful for candidates. For example, it would be useful if the candidate had completed the optional Unit Sound Engineering and Production at SCQF level 5 before attempting the mandatory Unit at level 6, although this is not essential.


Successful candidates may find employment opportunities as: a sound production assistant/recording assistant in a recording studio or rehearsal facility; at entry level for an audio visual services company, for example in multimedia web development; in radio station technical operations, particularly a community based one; or as a freelance sound recording engineer.

Candidates can improve their employment prospects by taking further qualifications. They could progress to NC Sound Production, NC Music, HNC Sound Production or HNC Music, or they may choose to complete other NPAs such as NPA Sound Production: Recording, NPA Music Business or NPA Music Performing.


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

The Units take a practical approach to both delivery and assessment. The majority of assessment is practical-based. Candidates should have ample opportunities to develop competence and skills through formative assessment opportunities and ideally these would be in the workplace or a similar environment.

The NPA’s structure and Unit content has been developed to allow for integrative and cross assessment.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Qualification structure

Group Award Code: G9L4 46 (18 SCQF credit points)
SCQF level: 6

NPA Sound Production: Recording at SCQF level 6


Candidates must achieve two mandatory Units and one optional Unit.

Mandatory Units

Sound Engineering and Production — F58H 12
Sound: Understanding the Signal Path — F58G 12

Qualification Verification Summary Reports

Qualification Verification Summary Reports were formerly known as Internal Assessment Reports.