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Gain an NVQ.

What are NVQs?
NVQ stands for National Vocational Qualification (or in Scotland SVQs). 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 throughout.

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 own.

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