NPA Computer Refurbishment at SCQF level 4

NPA Computer Refurbishment at SCQF level 4

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

The NPA in Computer Refurbishment at SCQF level 4 introduces the necessary skills and methodologies required to refurbish, recycle and set up a computer system. 

Learners will be taught foundation knowledge of the main hardware and software components of a computer system, health and safety procedures, and data protection. They will also obtain hands-on experience of disassembling and cleaning a computer, data cleaning, re-assembling a computer, installing operating systems and application software, and testing a system to ensure correct operation. The skills to troubleshoot and resolve problems will also be developed.

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

Why deliver this qualification

The NPA in Computer Refurbishment at SCQF level 4 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.

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

As the NPA introduces learners to the basic hardware and software of a computer system, it is a suitable foundation qualification for a wide range of computing-based qualifications, particularly Group Award GD7P 44/45 National Certificate in Computing: Technical Support at SCQF levels 4/5. This NPA also prepares learners for employment.

Since the Units in the NPA were designed to match closely to the Level 1 Diploma in Recycling Activities (QCF) (WEEE) Computer Refurbishment, credit transfer may be arranged by centres. More information about credit transfer can be found in the Group Award Specification.

This NPA provides opportunities to develop:

  • Core Skills (sign-posted)
  • 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
  • individuals who are currently in employment and wish to obtain a formal qualification
  • learners who want to study at a pace and style that they determine
  • individuals who are trying to get into employment
  • 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. Learners undertaking this NPA do not need prior knowledge or experience in computer technical support. However, it would be advantageous if learners possessed basic IT skills.


The SCQF level 4 award could provide progression to a wide range of computing-based qualifications, particularly Group Award GD7P 44/45 National Certificate in Computing: Technical Support at SCQF levels 4/5.


The NPA is an auto-approved qualification and Scottish schools and colleges don’t need to seek approval before delivering. However, other centres will 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.

Refurbishing and Recycling a Computer — Knowledge and understanding may be assessed by providing learners with an online assessment on SOLAR.

Refurbishing and Recycling a Computer and Setting up a Computer — Student log evidence may be stored in a range of media. Evidence may be captured, stored and presented in a range of media (including audio and video) and formats (analogue and digital).

Assessment support packs are now available on the SQA secure and e-assessment on SOLAR.

Tutor/Student Handbooks are available from Computers for Charities or contact

How the award is delivered is at the discretion of the centre.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Qualification Structure

Group Award code: GK7G 44 (12 SCQF credit points)

NPA Computer Refurbishment GK7G 44 Group Award Specification (336 KB)

The NPA in Computer Refurbishment at SCQF level 4 consists of two mandatory Units (12 SCQF credit points).