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What are NVQ’s?
NVQ stands for National Vocational Qualification (or in Scotland
SVQ’s). They are work-based qualifications that are achieved
effectively by learning on the job. The Level represents what
progression stage the candidate is at and these range from levels
1 to 5. They are competence based and so cover all the main
aspects of hairdressing and your progress is measure and assessed
How are they achieved?
They are achieved through on the job assessment. You will be
required to answer questions and demonstrate that you are competent
in the criteria you will be being marked against. An NVQ comprises
of different units and when the candidate has displayed that
they can meet the requirements of the unit, it will be signed
off by the assessor and this process continues until all the
units in the level are completed.
The first step is to gain your NVQ Level 1. This shows that
you have the competence to apply your knowledge doing a range
of varied activities, mainly ones which are routine. For example,
shampooing and assisting the technicians in the salon. This
is aimed to be an induction to the industry and primarily undertaken
by young people at school gaining their work experience.
To then become a competent hairdresser, you would take your
NVQ Level 2. This would promote you to a junior position and
is really the minimum level that you need to be able to work
effectively within a salon.
Gaining your NVQ Level 3 is normally the most desired level
to be at by hairdressers who want to be successful. This enables
you to perform technical skills, for example, fashion cutting,
and expands greatly on the skills and knowledge that would have
been acquired whilst undertaking Level 2. Level 3 needs to be
gained if you would be looking to manage a salon or have your
An NVQ Level 4 enables you to effectively become your own boss.
This level requires a substantial amount of personal responsibility
and involves applying your gained knowledge and experience into
a large range of technical, complex and professional activities