About NQGAs

National Qualification Group Awards (NQGA) is the term which covers National Certificates (NCs) and National Progression Awards (NPAs).

NPAs and NCs develop skills much sought after by employers. They encourage learners to think differently and aim higher. As such, these qualifications are relevant to anyone, including those considering self-employment.

National Certificates (NCs)

National Certificates prepare people for employment, career development or progression to more advanced study at HNC/HND level.

They also develop transferable knowledge including Core Skills.

These certificates are aimed at 16-18 year old or adults in full-time education and are at SCQF Levels 2-6. Each one is specific to a subject or occupational area.

For example, the flexible Art and Design programme gives learners the opportunity to develop creative expression by learning a range of complementary skills and processes.

There are NCs in subjects as diverse as Sound Production, Technical Theatre and Child, Health and Social Care.

National Progression Awards (NPAs)

National Progression Awards (NPAs) are available in a variety of sectors, from Construction and Childcare to areas such as Digital Literacy and Social Software.

They're aimed at assessing a defined set of skills and knowledge in specialist vocational areas. They also link to National Occupational Standards, which are the basis of SVQs.

NPAs are at SCQF Levels 2-6 and are delivered in partnership between schools, colleges and employers. Although many schools get involved, they're mainly used by colleges for short-study programmes, such as return-to-work courses.

An example of an NPA is PC Passport (SCQF Levels 4-6). This offers a suite of vocational IT qualifications available from beginner to advanced level (focusing on industry-standard software and skills).

Other NPAs include Musical Theatre, Acting and Performance, Sound Production, Music Business and Social Software.

Browse National Certificate and National Progression Awards