National Progression Award Beekeeping SCQF level 5

National Progression Award Beekeeping 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 Beekeeping at SCQF level 5 introduces learners to techniques that are important in the Apiculture sector.

This NPA develops knowledge and understanding of beekeeping; practical, technical and transferable skills; oral, written and evaluation abilities; resource management; problem solving and planning; organisational and communication skills.

This qualification includes an introduction to beekeeping covering the equipment and tools used to keep bees, and the techniques used to subdue and handle them. It also covers recognising the nectar producing plants bees need, and the pests and diseases that can effect bees. The two remaining units build upon the introduction, the Theory unit further developing the learners scientific knowledge and understanding of the importance of bees to the wider agricultural economy and a Practice unit which provides hands on experience of working with bees.

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 and are supported by the relevant sector skills council (SSC) Lantra. Industry has recognised that the qualification fits the job.

The NPA in Beekeeping 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 has been designed to prepare learners for the national Scottish Beekeepers Association Examination. Further information can be found on their website.

E-assessment supports flexibility and saves time and other resources. For example, assessment is on-demand using pre-verified questions and they can be accessed 24/7. In addition, marking is instantaneous and there is instant feedback for formative questions.

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 or who may have just left school
  • mature candidates who may have been out of education for a long period of time
  • 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 NPA is an introductory level qualification and as such no prior knowledge of the subject is required. 


The level 5 award could provide progression to:

  • SCQF/QCF level 6
  • Membership of the Scottish Beekeepers Association (SBA)


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

Group Award Specification