NPA in Dog Grooming: An Introduction at SCQF level 5

NPA in Dog Grooming: An Introduction 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. The NPA in Dog Grooming: An Introduction at SCQF level 5 introduces learners to techniques that are important in the animal care sector.

This NPA develops knowledge and understanding of dog grooming along with problem solving, planning, organisational and communication skills. The practical skills that are covered include planning, preparing, bathing and cleansing, drying and styling, and finishing a dog’s coat.

The qualification is available through colleges and training providers.

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) Lantra.

The NPA in Dog Grooming: An Introduction at SCQF level 5 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 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. The NPA in Dog Grooming at SCQF level 5 consists of SVQ Units, based on the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for the Animal Care Sector. The SVQ Units that make up the NPA are all optional units within the SCQF level 5 SVQ in Animal Care. Learners who complete the NPA will have made substantial progress towards achieving the full SVQ if they wish to progress down that route.

This NPA covers SCQF level 5, 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 SVQ 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:

  • 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. 


The level 5 award could provide progression to:

  • an NC in Animal Care
  • an HNC/HND in Animal Care or related area
  • an SVQ in the Animal Care sector
  • employment in the animal care sector, perhaps as a kennel assistant


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

Centres without devolved authority require 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.

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

Qualification content and delivery tools

Qualification structure


Group award code:  GM0W 45 (28 SCQF credit points)

The NPA Dog Grooming: An Introduction at SCQF level 5 consists of five mandatory units (28 SCQF credit points). 

Group Award Specification