Seven things you need to know about NPQ assessment

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Date published 10 April 2024

Last updated 10 April 2024

Our National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) are designed to develop your practice so that you can have an even bigger impact in the classroom and across your school.

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At the end of your NPQ, you will complete an assessment. This is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of your NPQ content. But what does the assessment involve?

1. Flexible and open book

NPQ assessments are designed with flexibility to fit alongside your day-to-day role.

Your NPQ assessment will consist of:

  • Reading a short case study.
  • Answering three questions.

Your answers should total a maximum of 1,500 words and you won’t be able to go over the word count.

All assessments are open book, which means you will have full access to all programme content and materials to help you with your answer.

2. Apply your knowledge in practice

The assessment is designed to demonstrate your knowledge of parts of the NPQ content.

The case study will introduce a phase-specific scenario and leadership role to you. Using learnings from your NPQ, the questions will ask you to:

  • Identify a problem or problems based on your analysis of the case study.
  • Identify a solution or solutions to the problem(s) and set out your rationale for the solution(s) proposed.
  • Outline how you would approach implementation of your proposed solution(s) and why.

The assessment will help you consolidate your learning by encouraging you to make connections between your NPQ content and how it can be applied to real-life scenarios. This is an opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of your NPQ and consider how it can provide solutions to challenges faced in your school or trust.

3. Eight days to complete

You will have an eight-day window to complete your NPQ assessment. This timeframe is designed to provide flexibility so that you can complete your assessment around your personal and professional commitments. The assessment does not take eight days to complete, but this is the timeframe you will have to write up your response.

We recommend that you review the case study on the first day of the window so that you have enough time to consider your response.

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4. Easily accessible online

NPQ assessments are delivered online to your My Ambition account. This means that you will be able to access your assessment easily at any time and location.

You will submit your response through this same portal. We recommend that you also save a copy of your answers in case you experience any technical problems during submission.

5. Plenty of support available

Towards the end of your NPQ, you will have access to lots of support so that you feel confident in taking your assessment:

  • You will have access to two webinars – one introducing the assessment and one on accessing the case study and submitting your responses.
  • You will be given tips for the case study through module content, as well as sample papers, past papers (if available for your NPQ) and examiner reports.
  • You will also attend a clinic dedicated to your assessment where you will receive guidance on how to write an effective assessment response.

6. Expertly marked

NPQ assessments are marked through a rigorous process so that you can be confident that your outcome is reliable.

Through comparative judgement, your assessment will be reviewed by several assessors. The outcome will then be verified by an external moderator, before being sent to the Department for Education who will award you with your qualification, should you receive a pass.

7. Results available approximately three months after submission

Your NPQ results will be available around three months after the submission window closes. You will be told the exact date closer to your results day.

If you do you not pass your NPQ assessment the first time, you will have one more opportunity to complete your assessment at the next window.

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Here are some more things to know about NPQ assessments:

  • To be eligible to take your NPQ assessment, you must have engaged with 90% of your programme, including courses, clinics and conferences.
  • If you have a disability or condition which is a barrier to you engaging fully with your assessment, contact the NPQ team at Ambition or your Delivery Partner. They will do their best to make reasonable adjustments where possible so that your assessment is made accessible for you.
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