National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML)

NPQML  provides  recognition  of  leadership  development  and  professional  achievement  for  middle leaders. Candidates have access to high-quality learning materials and accounts of practice from outstanding leaders. Middle leaders reflect on their own leadership through discussion and debate with peers  and put  theory  into  practice.  The  qualification has  been designed  to stimulate  and challenge thinking, build knowledge, skills and expertise, and promote change and improvement in leadership behaviours, capability and capacity.

NPQML is assessed and accredited by the National College for Teaching and Leadership. The qualification has a flexible, modular structure that combines core modules with the freedom to specialise and to develop candidate’s own professional areas of interest through the choice of elective modules.

Eligibility Criteria

NPQML is suitable for middle leaders with responsibility for a team; this includes key stage / subject / curriculum leaders, heads of department or pastoral leaders. To discuss eligibility, please contact us at

Outstanding Leaders Partnership Delivery Model

Candidates are expected to complete the qualification within a 12 month period and benefit from:

  • three face-to-face training events
  • three facilitated online courses working alongside peers*
  • regular online conferences to support and compliment learning
  • access to two 360° leadership skills diagnostics
  • support from a nominated in-school mentor
  • facilitation from serving school leaders in outstanding schools
  • local and flexible access to high quality leadership training
  • mobile  enabled  virtual  learning  environment  enabling  flexible  access  to  course  resources  and support community

*Online courses take around 15hrs and cover a three week period. The courses are facilitated by sector experts  and  provide  a  structured  pathway  through  the  module  resources.  Course  activities  are completed collaboratively helping enhance comprehension and application.


Candidates are required to submit an assessed task that demonstrates they can deliver successful and sustainable improvement in their school. The written evidence is drawn from work leading a team, on a school improvement priority, for an extended period. This submission requires support by an in-school sponsor and verification from their Headteacher.


The course fee, exclusive of final assessment, is £950 and will be invoiced upon registration. The National College  for  Teaching  and  Leadership  have  committed  to  funding  final  assessment  for  all  eligible candidates1    submitting  prior  to  September  2017.  For  candidates  submitting  after  this  date  the assessment fee will be no more than £2202.

1All English state-maintained schools and academies

2Subject to change

The Outstanding Leaders Partnership (OLP) is led by the Dean Trust and managed by Best Practice Network. OLP is licensed by the National College for Teaching and Leadership and boasts an excellent delivery team of active leaders from outstanding schools. The OLP strategic board is comprised of:

Ashton on Mersey TS | Bury Secondary Learning Collaborative | East Cheshire Association of Primary

Headteachers |The Heath Family | Trafford TSA | Weatherhead High School

“From RI to Outstanding: As a direct result of my school improvement project literacy results increased by 9%. If it was not for this course, I would not have carried out this project and results would not have risen. The rise in results across the school impacted our Ofsted outcome, and Literacy was at the forefront.” Hayley Tobias, Autumn-14 NPQML Graduate

“NPQML built my confidence in managing others. Increased my belief in my ability and is opening up new and challenging opportunities for my career.” Andrea Elvey, Spring-14 NPQML Graduate

“The perfect balance between presentation, reflection and activities … Our facilitator is inspirational and manages to get people who don’t know each other working, thinking and learning together very effectively.” Jo Noble, Autumn-2013 Graduate

How to register

Candidates can start the qualification in the Spring or Autumn term. To register for the Autumn 2016 intake, please complete our online registration form. Registration closes on Friday 16th September 2016.

Further Information

For further information and to learn more about the other leadership qualifications available contact us on 0117 9209 424, email or visit

Autumn 2016 Delivery Overview