NPA Local Food Production

NPA Local Food Production

National Progression Awards (NPAs) assess a defined set of skills and knowledge in specialist vocational areas, linked to National Occupational Standards.

The NPA in Local Food Production at SCQF level 6 gives learners the opportunity to explore how the food they eat is produced and to contrast global food markets with food produced and consumed locally. They will also have the opportunity to develop practical skills in one of three areas — Horticulture; Animal Husbandry or Aquaculture — and to explore the steps involved in taking a primary food product to market.

This NPA develops technical and transferable skills; oral, written and evaluation abilities; resource management; problem solving and planning; and organisational and communication skills.

It covers routes to market, product development, added value, marketing, and legal requirements; and explores issues surrounding local and global food production and consumption, environmental issues, food security and sustainability.

It is available through schools, colleges and training providers.

Why deliver this qualification

NPAs are trusted because they are developed by practitioners from industry and are supported by the sector skills council (SSC), Lantra. Industry has recognised that this qualification fits the job.

The NPA in Local Food Production at SCQF level 6 offers current, fit for purpose, bite-sized chunks of learning that are straightforward for centres to adopt and for learners to study. New skills can be gained quickly and cost effectively.

The framework of mandatory and optional Units enables centres to tailor their offer to meet local needs while the size of Unit also supports flexibility — Units can slot into school timetables; and they are a more manageable size for employee training.

NPAs provide opportunities for partnership delivery that can provide benefits for partners and increase options for learners.

NPAs can add value and breadth to a CV for a learner by developing vocational skills.

This NPA covers SCQF level 6, allowing clear progression and development routes to:

  • higher level education
  • to employment

E-assessment supports flexibility and saves time and other resources. For example, assessment is on-demand using pre-verified questions and they can be accessed 24/7. In addition, marking is instantaneous and there is instant feedback for formative questions.

This NPA provides opportunities to develop:

  • Core Skills
  • transferable skills
  • employability skills

The NPA could be offered in one of the following modes:

  • full-time (eg as a fast-track into full a NC or HN programme
  • part-time (eg day-release)
  • open and distance learning
  • infill into existing classes
  • evening provision

Who does this qualification suit

The NPA is suitable for:

  • learners who are at school or who may have just left school
  • mature candidates who may have been out of education for a long period of time
  • those who are looking to access HN programmes
  • learners who want to study at a pace and style that they determine
  • employees who want to develop their careers
  • individuals who are seeking national recognition of their achievements
  • employers who wish their employees to take part in short continuing professional development courses


Entry is at the discretion of the centre. However, it is recommended for learners entering the SCQF level 6 award to have completed some training at SCQF level 5. If learners do not possess a basic food hygiene qualifications, they would benefit from studying towards one. For learners undertaking the Primary Food Production: Aquaculture Optional Unit they would also benefit from undertaking a Sea Survival course.


The level 6 award could provide progression to:

  • SCQF level 7
  • an HNC/HND in Horticulture, Agriculture, Aquaculture, Hospitality, Food Science or related areas
  • SVQs in the land-based sector
  • employment in the food production sector


Centres not already approved to deliver this qualification need 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

Assessment of this award will be a combination of practical and knowledge assessments under closed- and open-book assessment conditions. It is recommended that centres refer to the assessment and Evidence Requirements for each Unit.

The delivery of the award is at the individual centre's discretion.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Qualification structure

Group Award code: GJ3V 46

The NPA Local Food Production at SCQF level 6 consists of two mandatory Units (12 SCQF credit points) and also requires a further optional Unit (6 SCQF credit points).

NPA Local Food Production at SCQF level 6 (GJ3V 46) (365 KB)