David Blunkett, Education and Employment Secretary, pledged to introduce a principal's qualification last year as part of a programme of reforms to increase further education standards.
Consultations by the Further Education Funding Council re-vealed overwhelming support for properly-funded training, but insisted it should be controlled by organisations within the sector.
Management standards to match the needs of principals have been devised by the Further Education National Training Organisation. These will be finalised in May.
However, in advance of the final standards, the FEFC has invited groups to tender for a contract to create programmes in personal development, leadership and strategic management.
Costs of training will be met from the Standards Fund.