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The National Professional Qualification for Educational Leaders (NPQEL) is an in-service training programme for leadership and management initiated by the Ministry of Education (MOE) Malaysia through its educational management and leadership institute, IAB (Institut Aminuddin Baki). Beginning July 2014, the NPQEL becomes a mandatory requirement for aspiring headteachers who want to be appointed into headship. This article presents the background of this programme, stemming from the earlier National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) programme which was modelled after the NPQH in England. The programme, which was introduced in 1999, then went through some structural changes and in 2011, the new mode NPQEL was introduced which adopted the blending learning approach. Research on the NPQH and the NPQEL is also presented and these informed the formulation of the new mode NPQEL in 2011, and the eventual NPQEL 2018 version or NPQEL 2.0. The structures of the NPQEL new mode (2011) and NPQEL version 2018 are also discussed.