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The Application Process 

Step 1 - Register with the DFE

To confirm your eligibility to complete an NPQ, you should first complete the Department for Education online registration process.

Step 2 - Complete your Application Form

Once you have been validated by the DfE, you will automatically receive our application form in your inbox. Sometimes this does appear in the spam folder, so please keep an eye out in there.

You can begin to complete the form as soon as you receive this. The form will be relatively straight forward, asking your personal details as well as details of your school. It is very important that these are accurate as we will use these to maintain contact with you.

Key areas to be mindful of;

1.Please ensure that you use the same email throughout the process

2.If your name changes through the process, please contact the TRA to notify them of this. It is only once the TRA have confirmed this change, that we can then change it on our system. Please continue to use your old name until we have confirmed this change.

 As well as your personal details, the form will ask you 3 open questions; why you have chosen to apply, your experience and why us? We really value the answers you provide in this section and take the time to carefully consider each answer. This ensures that our cohort has dedicated, driven individuals with a common goal of developing as great leaders in education.

Step 3 - Sponsor Endorsement

Finally, on this form, you will also be asked to input your sponsor’s details. This is typically your headteacher (or Governor if you are a headteacher). Please let them know in advance that you have used their details because once you have submitted your form, they will receive the sponsor form to complete.

Once you submit your form, your part of the process is complete. Our team will look over your application and you will hear from us in due time regarding the status of your application.

In the meantime, we will be available to answer any questions that you may have.

We can’t wait to welcome you to our NPQ network of educational leaders.

Accessibility statement 

We have made every effort to ensure our NPQ website is accessible for everyone. However, if you come across any accessibility hurdles, we apologise for this. Please send an email to and someone in the team will be on hand to support. 

Thank you

Teacher Reference Number

A TRN is a 7 digit number that uniquely identifies you in the education sector in England.

Most people who are eligible for a TRN will be allocated one automatically.

However, you may not have one but need one to:

  • do an NPQ (for example, if you’re an early years professional you may not have a TRN)
  • be a mentor for an early career teacher

The DfE will support you in finding your a TRN. Follow the link below for more information.