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  • Start date:   August 2024
  • Level of Qualification:   SCQF Level 5
  • Course Type:   Full-time


Please note, this course is now full and is no longer accepting applications for August 2024. Please feel free to register your interest by making an enquiry or apply for another course here.


This course is for those who want to pursue a career in the building services engineering (BSE) sector or progress on to an apprenticeship in plumbing. The plumbing element covers health and safety, basic tool skills, sanitary ware installation, forming pipework, connecting and testing water supply, and drainage systems.

Start date – Aug 2024

End date –  Jun 2025

SCQF Level -  5

Mode –  Full time

Days: TBC

Times: TBC  
Duration: 1 year

The course develops skills in installing and maintaining systems as well as drawing skills through sketching and computer-aided droughting to design, install and maintain some of the services within a building or structure. This supports your progress in BSE and future development in acoustics, heating, refrigeration and air conditioning systems.

Read about Nathan Millward's West Lothian College experience here

  • What the course includes

    The NPA award is a pre-apprenticeship qualification preparing you for work in plumbing; heating and ventilating; air conditioning and refrigeration; and electro-technical fields. The course covers:

    • Basic electrical installation operations
    • Basic plumbing operations
    • Basic heating and ventilation operations
    • Energy and the environment
    • System, roles, responsibilities and procedures
    • Building science

    It also teaches skills in safety, communication, information technology, problem solving, team-working and numeracy.

Why choose this course

You will have the chance to develop links within the industry by taking part in industrial visits/guest speakers. This course is recognised as a pre-apprenticeship course, completing this will set you apart from the crowd when you apply for an apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

  • National 5 mathematics, English and science subject OR
  • National 5/general level in craft and design or a relevant practical subject such as Skills for Work, woodwork or practical craft skills OR
  • Those without the above qualifications but with relevant life or work experience are encouraged to apply

If English is not your first language, ESOL Level 5 is an entry requirement for this course.

  • Where it leads

    This course leads into an NPA in Construction, and/or an apprenticeship as an air conditioning engineer; domestic plumber; ductwork installer; gas fitter; heating installer; industrial and commercial plumber; installation electrician; maintenance electrician; refrigeration engineer; service and maintenance engineer.

    Previous students on this course, have found employment with SM Plumbing and West Lothian Council.

Interview arrangements

The interview involves a practical skills test and group interview. Please bring with you any copies of your qualifications. This is likely be to a phone or online interview.

Fees, Finance & Funding

There may be help available to assist with your study related costs. Impartial, confidential help and advice on financial matters is available from the Student Funding Team - including Bursaries, Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA), Student Awards Agency for Scotland, Student Loans Company and student support funds. Click here to find out more

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Take that next step in your career and apply for this course today. If the course is not yet open for applications, feel free to ask any questions by clicking make an enquiry.