National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH)

Due to the interruption of the usual processes for the NPQH assessment, an additional ‘assessment only’ model is available for the 2020-2021 academic year. This is specifically to support those school leaders who are on the cusp of headship and expecting to apply for headship in the next 12 months. It is intended for those practitioners who are ready for assessment now and does not include any developmental support. Applicants will need to secure the endorsement of their Headteacher and of their region.

All prospective applicants for this programme should first consider the National Aspiring Headteacher Development Programme – Preparing for NPQH.

  • Applications for NPQH 2020-21 including supporting documents should be returned to the Consortium by 1pm 18/09/2020

Information Briefing

To ensure practitioners are fully informed, a briefing PowerPoint is available and we recommend that all practitioners considering application should view this. Wherever possible, we recommend that Headteachers also view this so as to be fully informed of their role in the endorsement process.


  • The National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) is mandatory for all teachers moving into their first headship post in Wales.
  • Future rounds of NPQH assessment will only be available following completion of the National Aspiring Headteacher Development Programme – Preparing for NPQH.

Should I apply for the NPQH (Assessment Only)?

The NPQH (Assessment Only) is specifically for practitioners who are actively seeking headship as their next post (within the next 12 months). In order to be considered for the NPQH candidates must be:

  • qualified teachers, registered as teachers with the Education Workforce Council for Wales;
  • suitably experienced practitioners who intend becoming serving headteachers in the very near future. Headship is their next career step (acting headteachers who are not aspiring to a substantive headship post are not eligible to participate);
  • at a stage in their career where they are able to provide strong evidence to demonstrate significant experience of leadership at a whole school level and can demonstrate attainment against the Formal Leadership Standards (Professional standards for teaching and leadership)
  • willing to share learning and development with support officers and other colleagues, including examples and case studies of the experiences undertaken during their career that have prepared them for headship.


  • You should discuss your application, Leadership Standards Review (LSR) and Leadership Experience Task (LET) with your Headteacher who may wish to discuss it with the Challenge Adviser / Supporting Improvement Officer.
  • Where you have the agreement of your headteacher they sign and complete the application and return it to you.
  • You must forward your application, and all the supporting documents to the Consortium before 1pm 18/09/2020. The consortium will arrange for the Endorsing Officer to consider the application and make a recommendation.
CSC 01443 281411
EAS 01443 864963
ERW 01267 245637
GwE 01286 679976


  • You should be aware that the outcome of this assessment will not be known until after the commencement of the next National Aspiring Headteacher Development Programme – Preparing for NPQH.
  • As such, unsuccessful candidates from this NPQH Assessment Only model would need to apply for and complete a future round of the National Aspiring Headteacher Development Programme – Preparing for NPQH.


  • Submitted applications will be considered through each region’s endorsement process.
  • Where applicants gain endorsement, they will be allocated a Leadership Coach to support them in their preparation for the assessment centre.
  • Where endorsement is not received, applicants are advised to consider applying to the Aspiring Headteacher Development Programme commencing January 2021.


NPQH Assessment programme 2020-21 Applications open 13/07/20
Application form and supporting documents submitted 1pm 18/09/20
Candidates informed of outcome. 19/10/20
Candidate submits updated Assessment Materials 1pm 14/01/21
Assessment Centre 01/02/21 – 12/02/21
Results to candidates    (Letters posted) 05/03/21
Appeal submission deadline 26/03/21

Further information

Further information, templates and application forms are provided below.

Should you have any queries regarding the above, please contact your Regional Coordinator:

Consortium Regional Coordinator Contact Details


  • Emma Coates





  • Adelaide Dunn
  • Deb Woodward





  • Tom Fanning



  • Rhys Williams
  • Ann Grenet

NPQH Documentation

Supporting documents:

Documents listed below must be submitted as part of application:

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