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All NVQ qualifications are made of up separate units which set out exactly what a candidate must be able to do and to what standard. Each unit is like a mini qualification, representing a training target for building up credits towards a final certificate. Unlike careers for which you need a degree, you can train as a hairdresser at your own pace by undertaking the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ). This is an Apprenticeship which means you train in the salon while you earn a wage.  


Covers the essential skills required by a hairdresser

Shampoo and Condition hair and scalp

Health and Safety

Advise and consult with clients

Change hair colour using basic techniques

Salon reception duties

Give clients a positive impression of yourself and the salon

Cut hair using basic techniques

Perm and neutralise hair using basic techniques

Set and dress hair

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Promote additional products or services to clients

Provide hairdressing consultation services

Colour hair using a variety of techniques

Provide colour correction services

Create a variety of looks using a combination of cutting techniques

Style and dress hair to achieve a variety of creative looks

Perm hair using a variety of techniques

Contribute to financial effectiveness of the business


Offers a broader range of units reflecting the work of senior salon staff

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All apprenticeships must include the following elements:-

A competencies qualification, which must be achieved to qualify for an apprenticeship certificate,  this is the qualification required to demonstrate competence in performing the skill, trade or occupation to which the framework relates.

A technical knowledge qualification which is the qualification required to demonstrate achievement of the technical skills, knowledge and understanding of theoretical concepts, knowledge and understanding of the industry and its market relevant to the skill, trade or occupation to which the framework relates. Sometimes an apprenticeship framework may have an integrated qualification, which combines competence and technical knowledge elements in which each element is separately assessed.

A module on employee rights and responsibilities

A module on personal learning and thinking skills

Functional skills in Maths and English