NPA Dance SCQF level 4

NPA Dance SCQF level 4

National Progression Awards (NPAs) assess a defined set of skills and knowledge in specialist vocational areas

The National Progression Award (NPA) in Dance at SCQF level 4 is an introductory qualification in Dance in which learners explore choreography and gain an appreciation of dance skills and techniques.

It allows to learners to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in choreography and two different styles of dance selected from the following: Classical, Contemporary, Jazz, Alternative, Scottish and Ethnic.

The qualification can be delivered through secondary schools, colleges, training providers and school/college partnerships, private dance schools or performing arts centres.

Why deliver this qualification

The NPA in Dance may be delivered flexibly on a part-time, stand-alone basis, or embedded within a broader programme of study.

It offers timetabling flexibility for schools, which suits modes of delivery for Curriculum for Excellence. Scotland’s colleges may deliver the NPA as part of an articulated pathway to NC and HN programmes of study. Achievement of this qualification is nationally recognised.

Who does this qualification suit

This NPA may appeal to a wide range of learners who have an interest in dance and the performing arts, including:

  • school pupils
  • college students
  • students from performing arts centres and private dance schools
  • adult learners/returners
  • individuals who wish to pursue a career in the area of dance


Access to this award is at the discretion of the centre. However, learners would benefit from having an interest in Dance and performance.


The level 4 award could provide progression to:

  • NQ Dance Unit(s) (SCQF level 5)
  • NPA in Dance Level 5 (SCQF level 5)
  • National 5 Dance Course (SCQF level 5)


Schools and colleges are auto-approved to deliver this qualification.

Centres with devolved authority for approval should use their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority will have to come forward for approval and should contact SQA’s Business Development Team for guidance.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA’s general requirements for technical/occupational competence as outlined in the Guide to Approval

How to assess

Most of the assessment is practical-based with assignments/tasks.

Units in the NPA have an assessment support pack (ASP) which provides sample assessment material including an instrument of assessment, specified briefs and checklists. Centres wishing to develop their own assessments should refer to the ASPs to ensure a comparable standard. These ASPs can be downloaded from the NQGA section of SQA’s secure site.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Qualification structure

Group Award code: GG7M 44 (18 SCQF credit points)
SCQF level: 4

Group Award Specification - NPA Dance SCQF level 4 (392 KB)

The NPA in Dance is a 120 hour programme of study in total. There is one mandatory Unit and two optional Units. A minimum of 18 SCQF points are required to achieve the award. However, each Unit can also be delivered on a free-standing basis.