NPA Nail Enhancements

NPA Nail Enhancements

This NPA is the only Nail Enhancements National Progression Award at SCQF level 5 offered by an Awarding Organisation. The NPA is made up of 2 mandatory units at SCQF level 5 and 2 optional units at SCQF level 6. This qualification provides candidates with the key knowledge and skills required to complete freehand nail art designs.

With no formal entry qualification requirements this NPA is suitable for a wide range of candidates from school leavers to adult learners who wish to gain entry into the beauty industry. It also allows for straightforward progression to further study in SVQ Level 2 in Beauty at SCQF level 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 aspects of the basic principles of freehand nail art designs which with further training could lead to a range of employment opportunities within the Hairdressing or Beauty industry.
Candidates will develop knowledge about the nail structure and develop practical skills in application, infill and removal of gel and/or acrylic nails, analyse the nails before selecting appropriate products to enhance the client’s nails, learn practical skills in nail extension, infill of extension and removal of extension.

  • No other Awarding Organisation is offering a National Progression Award at SCQF Level 5 Nail Enhancements.  Assessment support packs are developed to exemplify the Award.
  • 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, SVQ Level 2 in Beauty.
  • Enable candidates to develop the basic skills required to seek employment at trainee level in the Hairdressing or Beauty 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: School leavers; Adult returners who wish to gain entry into the Hairdressing or Beauty industry; individuals who wish to gain an introduction to Nail Enhancements, and candidates who wish to progress onto further awards but do not meet the entry requirements.


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. Gel Nails and Nail Art Freehand 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 Hairdressing or Beauty qualifications and provides relevant exit skills to enable a smooth transition to SVQ Level 2 Hairdressing or Beauty 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

Qualification structure

NPA Nail Enhancements (510 KB)

SCQF level: 5

Unit title Code SQA credit points SCQF level
Mandatory Units
Nail Art Freehand F4P3 11 1 5
Artificial Nail Enhancement: Tips and Overlays F4NT 11 1 5
Optional Units
Gel Nails F6XJ 12 1 6
Acrylic Nails F6XH 12 1 6

It is expected that successful completion of the new NPA in Nail Enhancements at SCQF Level 5 may lead to employment in a trainee position in the Beauty industry. This is obviously not an award which is expected to take the student directly into full time employment as a fully qualified Hairdresser or Beauty Therapist.