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Register & Apply: The Process

Your 3-step process of applying for an NPQ

Before you embark on this journey, you need to ensure you have a sponsor. This is normally your line manager, your headteacher or someone in your senior leadership team.  Your sponsor will ensure you are ready and have the capacity to undertake this programme and will guide you in selecting the NPQ that's right for you.   Your sponsor will also commit to ensuring you have the time and support you need during the programme. Explore our 'Why do an NPQ?' section to find ideas to begin this conversation with your potential sponsor.  

Once you have your sponsor, we recommend you get started with the application process as soon as possible. Whilst it's easy to apply, it could be a lengthy process - there are plenty of opportunities for the application to be held up waiting for others to complete their part of the process. (See What Happens Next? for details)




Step 1: Explore & Select

Select the NPQ you want to study

The DfE currently funds a range of evidence-based professional development options so you can hone your skills at every stage of your career, whether you wish to broaden your expertise with our specialist NPQs or develop your leadership skills with our leadership NPQs.  








Step 2: Register online with the DfE

Register online with the DfE 

To register online with the Department for Education you will need:

  • Your Teacher Reference Number (TRN).
    If you don't know this or don't have one you will be guided through sorting this out during registration.
  • Your School Unique Reference Number (URN) 
    Find it here.
  • Your Lead Provider:  Teacher Development Trust (National Institute of Teaching for NPQLPM)
  • Your Delivery Partner: Unity Teaching School Hub

This short video provides a helpful walkthrough of the DfE portal and what you need to complete


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Step 3: Complete the lead provider's application form

Step 3: Complete the online application form

This is the third and final stage of the application process:

  • Complete the application form 
    The Lead Provider, Teacher Development Trust/NIoT, will send you an application form once you have registered with the DfE (see Step 2)
  • Specifiy your chosen Delivery Partner - Unity Teaching School Hub
    If you have chosen Unity Teaching School Hub, to study with as your local Delivery Partner, make sure you specify this on your TDT/NIoT application form.
  • Submit before the deadline






What happens next?

You're application will now be processed by the Lead Provider (Teacher Development Trust) and Delivery Partner (Unity Teaching School Hub).   

Here's what to expect: 

1. Sponsor Form

Your sponsor will receive a sponsor form to complete for your application. Check with them that they have received, completed and submitted this.  
You will receive a confirmation email once your sponsor has submitted the form.

Information for Sponsors: Click here

2. Delivery Partner Final Review

Your application will be submitted to Unity Teaching School Hub, as your chosen delivery partner, for review.
You will receive a confirmation email once they have completed this review to confirm if your application has been accepted or rejected. If your application is rejected, you will be given a reason and suggested next steps.

3. eSignatures NPQ Agreement - Your Signature

If your application is successful you will receive an agreement from eSignatures to sign electronically. Please sign and submit this as quickly as possible.
You will receive confirmation once you have submitted this. 

4. eSignatures NPQ Agreement - Sponsor's Signature:  

The agreement from eSignatures will be sent to your sponsor to sign once you have signed and submitted it. Please check that they have received, completed and submitted this. 

You will receive a confirmation email once they have submitted this to confirm that your application is complete. 

Please be aware, until the agreement is signed by both you and your sponsor, you can’t be enrolled in your NPQ course.

5. Congratulations, you are enroled!

This is the end of the TDT and Unity Teaching School Hub NPQ Application process. You should then wait to hear from our Customer Support Officer with your course details. 

Please contact or if you haven’t received this by one week before your course start date. 



Further advice and guidance

Unity Teaching School Hub is here to help you with your NPQ application process:

  • see Unity Teaching School Hub website side menu for many options
  • contact us via Helen Main ( 
  • contact the DfE designated helpdesk (