NPA in Art and Design at SCQF level 5

NPA in Art and Design at SCQF level 5

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

There are five Art and Design NPAs at SCQF level 5 which introduce learners to techniques that are important in Art and Design:

  • NPA Drawing Skills covers areas such as drawing media, analytical drawing skills, and location drawing.
  • NPA Art and Design covers areas such as mixed media, printmaking and illustration.
  • NPA Visual Communications covers areas such as software skills, graphic design, and two-dimensional design.
  • NPA Animation covers areas such as development drawing, sketchbook development and an animation project.
  • NPA Painting covers areas such as painting, colour, and painting to a theme.

These qualifications are available through schools and colleges.

Why deliver this qualification

The NPAs in Art and Design at SCQF level 5 offer 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 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 manageable size for employee training. 

These NPAs at SCQF level 5 allow clear progression and development routes to:

  • higher level education
  • to employment

These NPAs provide opportunities to develop:

  • Core Skills (which underpin all National Certificates)
  • transferable skills

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

  • 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
  • those who are looking to access HN programmes
  • learners who want to study at a pace and style that they determine
  • individuals who are seeking national recognition of their achievements

Entry is at the discretion of the centre. 


The SCQF level 5 awards could provide progression to:

  • an NC in Creative Industries or NC in Art and Design
  • an HNC/HND in Art and Design or related areas


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

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 these awards will be by practical assessments under open-book assessment conditions. It is recommended that centres refer to the assessment and evidence requirements for each unit.

Assessment/e-assessment support packs are available for one unit in NPA Animation:

FV2L 11 Art and Design: Development Drawing

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

Qualification content and delivery tools

Qualification structure

Group award specification (598 KB)

NPA Drawing Skills - Group award code: GM0E 45 (18 SCQF credit points)

NPA Art and Design - Group award code: GM0D 45 (18 SCQF credit points)

NPA Visual Communications - Group award code: GM0G 45 (18 SCQF credit points)

NPA Animation - Group award code: GM0H 45 (18 SCQF credit points)

NPA Painting - Group award code: GM0F 45 (18 SCQF credit points)

The NPAs at SCQF level 5 consists of three mandatory units (18 SCQF credit points).