Construction: Multi Trade NPA @ SCQF Level 5


This qualification allows candidates to learn, develop and practice the skills required for employment and/or career progression in construction. This can be an introductory course or progression from a previous course such as the City and Guilds Level 4 Construction Skills Course (or equivalent).

The course is suitable for school leavers or adults who have a real interest in construction craft operations across a range of disciplines, each one having a balance of practical and knowledge activities required to develop the necessary skills and techniques for the industry.

This course is recognised by the industry as a pre-apprentice program and will enhance the learner’s opportunities in finding employment in the construction industry.

Course code





Attendance: Full Time - Predominantly face-to-face practical delivery approach although there may be some limited theory classes that can be completed from home.
Attendance is on-campus 2 days per week plus an additional 1hr online tutorial. 

Ideally, you would be looking to gain employment or work experience within the industry for the days that you are not in college.

Entry Requirements

If you are currently a college academy or full-time student at Dumfries and Galloway College studying construction, you will be required to obtain a positive progressing learner reference highlighting your tutor’s confirmation that you have the skills and aptitude from your current course to be able to progress on to this one.  


Achieve at least 3 National 4 awards with at least one being from Maths, English, or science. If you are currently working towards these grades, you may still apply, subject to you passing the required grades. 


Entry may be possible, particularly for mature students who have life experience that would suit this course, depending on prior knowledge and construction experience. Please note this down in your application details and further discussion can take place at the interview stage. 

Applicants must also: 

  • Display a passion for a career in the construction industry during application and interview. 
  • Demonstrate the ability to work at SCQF level 5. 
  • Be motivated and have a good timekeeping and attendance history. 
  • Current students at the college will also require a positive progressing learner reference. 
  • Attend an interview session should you be offered one on the given date and time. 
  • Prior to the interview session, you will be required to research the answers to the pre-set question detailed in the 'Information and Interview Session Requirements' section. 

During the interview session, applicants will have a short interview with a member of staff to discuss your answers to the pre-set questions and discuss your suitability for the course, prior to a decision being made about your application. 
Safety footwear, Hi-Viz vests, and head protection are always compulsory within our workshops and the college will provide you with all PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for which you will be responsible to look after and wear.  

You should be prepared to be actively involved in looking for an employer who may take you on for work experience, whilst this is not a compulsory part of the course it would be beneficial for progressing onto the next stage, guidance will be available from staff. 

Information and Interview Session Requirements

Once we have received your application you may be asked to attend an informal interview session. This may be on-campus, or either through TEAMS or by phone. 

This is a key aspect of the application process. You must confirm your attendance should you be offered an appointment.  
During the interview session, we will ensure the entry requirements and your aspirations and career plan are appropriate for the course you have applied for. It is therefore important that you prepare well for this. 
During your interview session, lecturers will be looking at the following criteria: 

  • How you present yourself at the interview. 
  • How committed you are to a future career in construction. 
  • Knowledge of progression routes for your chosen course. 
  • The level of research and accuracy of responses to the 5 general construction questions below. 

You may bring some notes to help you answer your responses.  

  • Describe the differences between a terraced, semi-detached, and detached house. 
  • Describe the system that heats the hot water within your house. 
  • Describe how you would calculate the area of a feature wall that requires wallpapering. 
  • Describe how you would calculate the perimeter of a room that requires skirting boards installed. 
  • What is the length of a common brick  

You are required to provide at the mandatory interview session, any relevant qualifications you currently possess or one positive reference from a previous colleague or employer who can confirm that you have previously worked in a similar environment and that you have the ability and correct attitude to complete this particular course.  
Do not worry if you are waiting on results for this academic year, we can still complete the interview process and your application will be processed pending achieving the recommended entry criteria qualifications.

Course Content

Units are delivered with a mix of practical and theoretical elements with at least three hours of practical activities in any given college day:

Practical elements of this course cover

  • Carpentry and Joinery
  • Brickwork
  • Plumbing
  • Plastering
  • Painting and Decorating
  • Roofing

As with all courses at the college, this course also aims to develop your abilities to work both independently and as part of a team, encourage entrepreneurial approaches to tasks and also extend your core employability skills of numeracy, IT, and communication.

The following elements are also delivered to allow you to work safely and give you an understanding of basic construction principles.

  • Health and Safety in a Construction Environment
  • Appreciation of scaffolding components and how to erect them safely
  • Construction drawing
  • Materials and occupations within the construction industry.
Successful completion of this course will gain you an NPA Construction: Multi Trade at SCQF level 5.


Practical and written assessments for this course are ongoing throughout the year. There is no final end-of-year exam for this course.


It would be hoped that the course would act as a stepping stone into an SVQ 3 craft apprenticeship in any trade, employment within the industry at this stage would be necessary.

You may also wish to progress to a trade-specific course for the following year once you have ascertained which trade suits you best.

Students showing the correct employability skills at the end of the year can also be recommended for apprenticeships to local employers.

Career Prospects

Successful completion of the course may lead to progression to apprenticeship programs within the construction industries, or employment in associated construction service-related jobs i.e. site operative or building supplies.

Additional funding information

You may be eligible for bursary or EMA funding for this course, please contact a member of the student funding team for details.

Selling Points

46% of all current 1st year Dumfries and Galloway construction apprentices have previously studied a construction-related course within the college highlighting both the fantastic opportunity for progression to apprenticeship and how employers are looking for apprentices who have prior construction knowledge and skills.