NPA in Theory and Approaches to Youth Work

NPA in Theory and Approaches to Youth Work

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

The NPA in Theory and Approaches to Youth Work at SCQF level 6 introduces learners to the knowledge and techniques that are important in youth work, such as the different approaches that can be used to engage with young people and working with the wider community work sector.

Transferable skills such as self-reflection and evaluation abilities, time management, problem solving, planning, organisational and interpersonal skills will also be developed.

The qualification is available through schools, colleges and training providers.

Why deliver this qualification

NPAs are trusted because they are developed by practitioners from industry.

The NPA in Theory and Approaches to Youth Work at SCQF level 6 offers a  current, fit for purpose, bite-sized 'building block' of learning that is straightforward for centres to adopt and for learners to study. New skills can be gained quickly and cost effectively.

The framework enables centres to tailor their offer to meet local needs while the size of Unit also supports flexibility — eg 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 their vocational skills.

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

  • higher level education
  • employment

This NPA provides opportunities to develop:

  • Core Skills (which underpin all National Certificates)
  • 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 (usually in S5 or S6) or who may have just left school
  • mature students who may wish to return to education
  • individuals who are currently in employment or volunteering and wish to obtain a formal qualification
  • those who are looking to access HN programmes
  • learners who want to study at a pace and style that they determine
  • employees/volunteers who want to develop their careers
  • individuals who are seeking national recognition of their achievements
  • employers who wish their staff  to take part in short, continuing professional development courses


Entry is at the discretion of the centre. It would be beneficial if learners had some experience of working with young people, either in a paid or voluntary capacity.
Achievement of this level 6 award could provide progression to:

  • an HNC in Working with Communities or related area
  • a PDA in Youth Work
  • an NC in Working with Communities
  • an SVQ in the Youth Work or Community Development Work sector

Access to other courses will always be at the discretion of the delivering centre.


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 varying assessment conditions. Centres must refer to the Evidence Requirements for each Unit.

Assessment support packs are available for this qualification.

Centre’s should refer to the delivery and assessment guidance contained in each Unit.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Qualification structure

Group Award code: GJ8D 46

The NPA in Theory and Approaches to Youth Work at SCQF level 6 consists of two mandatory Units (14 SCQF credit points).

NPA in Theory and Approaches to Youth Work (300 KB)

Qualification Verification Summary Reports

2017 Qualification Verification Summary Report (188 KB)