Working in the professional beauty industry is enjoyable and rewarding. If you are interested in beauty therapy, holistic therapies or providing nail services, there are plenty of opportunities either working for yourself, or working in salons, spas or cruise ships.
To offer professional beauty, holistic or nail services, you must hold suitable qualifications which allow you to get insured to practicing on members of the public. Insurance is required even if you are working on friends and family as accidents can happen even to the most experienced therapists.
Choosing the right courses and qualifications is something that can be quite daunting as there are literally hundreds of training schools and thousands of courses available. So how can you make sure you pick the right qualification that will allow you get insurance once you have completed it? The answer is to ensure that any course you enrol on is accredited by the Guild of Beauty Therapists, the UK’s trade body for the professional beauty industry.
The fastest and most popular route into the professional beauty industry is by enrolling on one of the many short courses which are offered by private training schools and colleges. Short courses are usually taught in small class sizes where students get individual attention and training times are often flexible so that they fit in with your other commitments. Providing the course you take is Guild Accredited, you will be able to apply for insurance and membership with the Guild once you have completed it. This will allow you start work on members of the public straight away and charge for the treatments you provide. Many therapists start off in business by offering one or two popular treatments, like manicures and facials, and then take further courses which can be added to their treatment list later on. Providing that the all the courses you take are accredited by the Guild you can add them to your insurance cover during the year at no extra cost.
The training path taken by most school leavers is through FE Colleges which offer one year or two year full time courses. These courses usually lead to nationally recognised qualifications such as NVQs which are accredited through the Qualification Credit Framework (QCF). Any course in beauty, nails or holistic therapy which is on the QCF is also accepted for Guild membership and insurance. Most Guild Accredited short courses are not on the Qualification Credit Framework (QCF). In the vast majority of cases, this does not prevent therapists from working for themselves or getting jobs in salons or spas. However, some establishments insist on their staff holding qualifications that are on the QCF. Some of the London Borough Councils also ask for QCF recognised qualifications for licensing purposes.
The Guild of Beauty Therapists is the UK’s trade body for the professional beauty industry. Established over 20 years ago, the Guild has four professional branches with over 8,500 professionally qualified members in the UK and worldwide. Only suitably qualified Beauty Therapists, Holistic Therapists, Nail Technicians and Therapy Lecturers can be accepted as Guild members. The Guild accredits more private training than any other organisation in the professional beauty sector and is one of the UK’s largest insurance provider. The Guild runs four Professional Registers which allow members of the public to find suitable qualified members. These are:
Guild accredited courses have been examined by the Guild for their content and for the quality of tuition. We ensure that the content of all courses meet or exceed the relevant National Occupational Standards (NOS). We also insist that all tutors of Guild Accredited courses are qualified in the subjects they are teaching, hold a relevant teaching qualification and are also insured in case anything goes wrong. Guild Accredited courses are recognised throughout the industry for their content and delivery. If you choose a Guild Accredited course you will be able to obtain insurance and membership from the Guild.
Once you have completed your Guild Accredited training course, you will need to arrange your membership and insurance with the Guild before you start work. This can be done online. Once you have your qualifications and Guild membership and insurance, you can start working and charge treatments.