NPA Financial Services at SCQF level 6

NPA Financial Services at SCQF level 6

National Progression Awards (NPAs) assess a defined set of skills and knowledge in specialist vocational areas, linked to National Occupational Standards. The NPA in Financial Services at SCQF level 6 introduces learners to the knowledge and skills that are important in the Financial Services sector and in various types of roles such as Customer Service Officer; Complaints Handler; Compliance Officer; Relationship Officer; and ICT Systems Support Officer.

This NPA develops knowledge and understanding of Financial Services; practical, technical and transferable skills; oral, written and evaluation abilities; resource management; problem solving and planning; organisational and communication skills. This NPA covers areas including an introduction to financial services, the regulatory framework, communication, promoting positive customer relationships, personal finance awareness and work placement.

The qualification is available through schools and colleges – usually via a school/college partnership. 

Why deliver this qualification

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

The NPA in Financial Services 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 consists of mandatory Units only.  The Units can slot into school or school/college partnership timetables.  The size of Unit also supports flexibility - 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 or University application personal statement for a learner by developing vocational skills. 

This NPA covers SCQF levels 5-6, allowing clear progression and development routes to:

  • higher level education
  • to 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)
  • school/college partnership
  • 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
  • learners undertaking a Foundation Apprenticeship
  • 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
  • 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.

Foundation Apprenticeship

This NPA is a mandatory component in the SCQF Level 6 Foundation Apprenticeship in Financial Services.

SQA also offers the following components of this Foundation Apprenticeship:

H5EY 04

Develop Yourself to Improve and Maintain Workplace Competence in a Financial Services Environment

H5F1 04

Develop Productive Working Relationships in a Financial Services Environment

H5F2 04

Ensure You Comply with Regulations in the Financial Services Environment


The level 6 award could provide progression to:

  • SCQF/QCF level 7 to level 8
  • an HNC/HND in Financial Services or related area
  • an SVQ in the Financial Services sector
  • employment in the Financial Services sector, perhaps as a Customer Advisor


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 Systems and Qualification Approval Guide.

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.

Assessment Support Packs (ASPs) are available for this qualification.

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

Qualification content and delivery tools

Qualifications structure

Group Award code: GL6W 46

The NPA Financial Services at SCQF level 6 consists of 6 mandatory Units (36 SCQF credit points).

NPA Financial Services at SCQF level 6