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Regulated qualifications vs accredited courses for nail professionals

Regulated Qualifications vs Accredited Courses for Nail Professionals


This Blog isn’t intended to offend those that have Accredited Qualifications as there are very many available that are extremely good. There are also many that are extremely BAD! There are Regulated Qualifications that are extremely good but also extremely bad!

How does someone just entering the nail sector even begin to decide what is best for them? 

A good starting point is, like many other things, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is i.e too good to be true!

ALL professional courses need to follow the “industry standard” which is the National Occupational Standards (NOS). This is true for the UK but also many other countries that use the NOS as a benchmark.

Every “accredited” course must follow the “industry standard’”. BUT there is “following” and then there is “following”! Ticking a box that the Standards are covered can be very different from actually providing that teaching. 

Most Awarding Organizations such as (in the UK) City & Guilds, VTCT, CIBTAC, ITEC, Qualifi, etc. provide guidance on Guided Learning Hours (GLH). This is the number of hours “learning with a teacher” that they decide is relevant to the qualification.

For example, the average for Manicure is 55 hours. Liquid & powder is 80hrs+. 

Then take a look at some of the “accredited” courses. One day of 5-6 hours working on another student (so half the potential practical time) for an L&P ‘qualification’, and walk away with a ‘qualification’ that allows the student to gain insurance! 

What isn’t generally known is that, very often, the “qualification” cannot be transferred to another insurer. If a claim is made on the policy, and the “qualifications” are looked at, they will not follow the “industry standards”, and the claim may not be supported.

To try and find a way through the minefield that is “qualifications” in the nail sector requires research. A good place to start is by looking at the NOS. They can all be found here:

Many of the Awarding Organizations publish their recommended GLH so this is another guideline.

There are many planned conversations that will look at this situation in 2022, as it has become very damaging to the sector.
Under-qualified people with a massive lack of understanding of what is required for a nail professional to work safely and efficiently. Clients are getting harmed. Allergies are on the rise. Nail pros are losing their careers, and insurance claims are not being supported. 

When choosing courses, especially as a beginner, do lots of research. Look at the NOS, look at the GLH. A true professional needs to invest time and money to become properly qualified. The very short courses that are, basically, not fit for purpose, will not provide a beginner with enough grounding to work successfully in the sector. Resorting to social media with 100 questions does not make up for a poor education…

Choose wisely! Do your research and due diligence. If it’s cheap and quick, then you will end up severely lacking in being able to be a successful nail professional!

Read more in Regulated vs Unregulated: Qualifications explained

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