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Do I need qualifications to do nails?

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“I have done some research and have seen that you don’t need any qualifications to do nails. Is this right? If I did your course would that be enough?”

The answer is most definitely NO! Let me explain why.

The hair and beauty industry is largely unregulated. There is no law that requires specific qualifications. Nor, very surprisingly, a law that requires a practitioner to be insured.

However, there are other issues that come into play that must be considered:-

1. There is the Health & Safety aspect: When working with paying clients the Local Authority Environmental Health Departments have an interest. Salons, home salons and mobiles are all liable to inspections by Environmental Health Officers whose job it is to make sure the environment we live and work in are safe. They will expect to see qualifications, insurance and safe working practices and environment.

2. There are the National Occupational Standards (NOS): These are the basis of what practitioners should know and understand in order to carry out the services and treatments effectively and safely. They are written by experts in the industry, and following industry wide consultation, get approval by the Department for Education. They are also used for insurance purposes and de-fining job roles.

3. Insurance: Although not a legal requirement, no one should be working uninsured! In an ever increasingly litigious society, it is easy to be sued for many things, such as negligence, harm, adverse reactions etc. If such a claim were to be upheld and a heavy fine and/or compensation imposed the practitioner has no protection and will have to pay that fine which could run into £1000’s. Plus clients need to be confident that have protection too. Insurers will only provide policies to individuals they consider to be suitably qualified.

4. Professional ethics: No ethical person should expect to be paid for a personal service (that could cause harm to an individual) without being suitably qualified and practiced.

5. Products: Many of the products used in Nail Services are ‘For Professional Use Only’. This means that every user should have a suitable qualification in order to be competent and safe to use them.

Nail Services involve many practical skills plus a huge amount of theoretical understanding, not only in anatomy and physiology but also the chemistry involved, hygiene protocols, contraindications and much more.

The practical skills and understanding go hand in hand and one without the other just does not work.

Nail Knowledge is concerned with the essential facts needed by a nail professional. It is fact based learning, with no brand bias, delivered in a unique way. It is not a full qualification for a nail professional. It is one part of that and provides support and resources for teachers and nail professionals updating their knowledge. Practical skills should be taught, practiced and assessed in a classroom situation with a good teacher who will provide feedback every step of the way.

Becoming a competent nail professional takes many months if not years. Continued skill and knowledge updates are also essential.

So, in conclusion, it is not a legal requirement to be qualified, but no one should consider for one moment that it is not essential in order to carry out any form of nail services.

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