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We’ve created this guide to help you find, compare and choose a barbering course near you.
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Barbering Courses in The UK
|Quarters Barbering Academy||Fundamentals of Barbering for Beginners||1 Week||£599||Birmingham|
|Strap and Scraper London Barber Academy||NVQ Level 2 & 3||12 Weeks||£4,650||London|
|Nottingham Barbering Academy||Beginners Fast Track To Barbering||12 Weeks||£2,500||Nottingham|
|Not Just Barber Academy||10 Week Programme||10 Weeks||£1,300||Manchester|
|Stasi Barber Academy||Stasi Barber & Academy Diploma||1 Month||£1,600||London|
|Francesco Group||Level 2 Essential Cutting||2 Days||£480||Birmingham|
Level 1 NVQ in Hairdressing and Barbering.
Designed for those with little or no hairdressing experience, the Level 1 NVQ in Hairdressing and Barbering is the perfect course for anyone looking to get a foothold in the industry. The course covers the fundamental topics while giving you a good understanding of what it’s like to work on the shop floor.
To progress, you’ll need to complete four mandatory units and several optional units. The mandatory units are as follows;
- Develop effective working relationships.
- Shampoo and condition hair.
- Prepare for hair services and maintain work areas.
- Blow dry hair.
In some cases, you may have to complete a Level 1 barbering course before you’re allowed to enrol on a Level 2 course. However, once you’ve completed the course, you’ll be able to work as a barbershop assistant.
Level 2 Barbering Course
If you have experience cutting hair but haven’t gained any official qualifications, you’ll start on a Level 2 barbering course.
A Level 2 barbering course will teach you how to cut long and short hair using clippers and scissors. In addition, your tutor will teach you how to trim beards and moustaches, and you’ll also learn how to conduct client consultations.
There are a handful of Level 2 courses to choose from, and each qualification contains between 6 and 9 mandatory units and a range of optional units.
Mandatory units include;
- Providing client consultations.
- Shampoo, condition, and treat the hair and scalp.
- Cutting hair using basic techniques
- Develop and maintain your effectiveness at work.
- Following health and safety protocol.
You must complete a Level 2 course to work as a junior barber or stylist.
Level 3 Barbering Course
If you’ve completed a Level 2 course or an equivalent qualification, you can sign up for a Level 3 barbering course. Level 3 courses are considered advanced qualifications designed to prepare you for full-time employment.
Building on your previous experience, you’ll learn to cut hair using various techniques and how to wet shave and cut facial hair of different shapes and textures.
To gain a Level 3 qualification, you must complete four mandatory and two optional units. The mandatory units are as follows;
- Provide shaving services
- Creatively cut hair using a combination of barbering techniques
- Design and create a range of facial hair shapes
- Provide hairdressing consultation services
Once you’ve completed the course, you’ll be able to work as a senior barber or stylist in any salon or barbershop.
Accredited Barbering Courses
Some professional bodies in the hair and beauty industry offer accredited barbering courses. An accredited course is a popular choice as it guarantees a certain standard of training and admission onto a professional registry.
Below you can find a list of professional trade bodies covering the hair and beauty industry.
City and Guilds
Established over 140 years ago, City and Guilds is a charitable organisation renowned for the standard of its work-based learning programmes. As barbering accreditations go, City and Guilds set the industry standard. Partnering with experienced training providers, they offer a range of courses to suit beginners and experienced learners.
City and Guilds NVQ qualifications will take you from a complete novice to a senior stylist. They also have several technical qualifications that will equip you with specialist skills, enabling you to find work in the wider industry,
Follow the steps below to find an accredited barbering course on the City and Guilds website.
- Visit the City and Guilds homepage
- In the search bar on the homepage, enter either 6002 for NVQ courses or 6008 for technical courses
- Select your course and qualification from the list
- In the section titled ‘For Learners’, enter a town, city or postcode to find an accredited training centre in your local area
Guild of Beauty Therapists
With over 14,000 members, the Guild of Beauty Therapists is one of the largest professional bodies in the hair and beauty industry. The organisation is also the largest insurer of health and beauty practitioners, offering online and in-person training through its international training division.
You can search the Guild’s website to find a barbering course in your local area. Visit their courses page, select the Basic Hair Cutting Course, and click more info. Enter your postcode and a search radius to narrow the results, then select an accredited training centre near you.
The Guild’s Basic Hair Cutting Course provides a well-rounded introduction to barbering. The course consists of several online theory modules and a day’s training at an accredited training centre. The cost of the theory modules is £25 paid at enrolment, with practical training starting from £105.
British Barbers Association
The British Barbers Association (BBA) is an organisation at the forefront of the UK barbering industry. With a considerable number of registered members spanning manufacturers, barbershop owners, trainers, barbers and students, the organisation is on a mission to raise standards across the industry.
Working closely with the government body in charge of setting industry standards – the Hairdressing and Beauty Industry Authority (HABIA) – BBA plays a crucial role in ensuring the views of its members are considered by policymakers in the industry.
With a vested interest in raising the standard of training for students and apprentices, the British Barbers Association offers three types of accredited barbering courses, namely;
- Foundational barbering courses
- Advanced barbering courses
- Shaving courses.
All courses are delivered online, allowing you to study at your own pace and from the comfort of your home. Each course consists of instructional videos and several assignments. Prices start from £65.
For more information, check out their eLearning hub.
Things to consider when comparing barber courses
There’s no denying that the thought of starting a career as a barber or taking your skills to the next level is exciting. But with so many training providers to choose from, separating the wheat from the chaff can be difficult.
Here are a few things to consider when looking for a barbering course;
It’s important to do your research when booking a private barbering course. If it isn’t an accredited course, make sure what’s on offer meets your requirements. The last thing you want is to book a course that doesn’t provide the skills you need to progress.
Check the syllabus and course outline before signing up. Do the learning outcomes match your expectations? If they don’t, it’s best to look for another barber course. If you’re unsure, get in touch with the provider and ask them for more information before booking.
If you need to be job ready by the end of your training, does the course cover all you need to know or will you have to book a follow up course to reach that required level? If you need to learn a specific skill, does the course cover the topic in enough detail? Compare similar barber courses in your local area before making your decision.
Training to become a barber can be an expensive endeavour. With course fees ranging from £100 to £5,000, flexible payment options are a life-saver for many trainee barbers. Before settling on a barber course, check the provider’s terms and conditions and look for favourable payment options.
Doing some research here is important if you need to secure yourself a good deal. For example, can you decide how much you pay each month if the provider accepts monthly payments? Can you choose your deposit amount or is that fixed by the provider? Also, it’s worth checking to see if there are any discounts for paying in full at the start of the course.
If the provider offers credit, check the terms of the agreement and the advertised interest rate. Avoid pushy salespeople, and you shouldn’t feel pressured to enter a contract with unfavourable terms.
Make sure you review the course’s cancellation policy before signing up. Check how much notice you need to provide if you’re to cancel and get a full refund. Contact the provider and confirm whether you’ll be able to transfer to another course if you cannot make your original start date.
Check the terms and conditions to see what happens if the provider cancels the course. Will the company issue you a full refund or book you onto a new course? Will they cover any expenses you’ve incurred, such as hotel and travel fees? Try and get answers to these questions before parting with your hard-earned money.
Standard of Teaching
It’s important to book a course taught by an experienced tutor, as the standard of teaching plays a crucial role in how quickly you progress. Ideally, you want to avoid courses taught by inexperienced or underqualified instructors.
Before choosing a barbering course, contact the provider and ask for information on your prospective instructor. Find out how long the individual has been a qualified barber/trainer. Have they managed or owned a barbershop? Have they won any awards or been featured in any trade magazines? Are they part of any professional bodies in the hair and beauty industry? Research is key here as you need to know your trainer before signing up.
NVQ vs VRQ Diploma in Barbering
You’re not alone if you’re struggling to choose between an NVQ and a VRQ Diploma in Barbering. Although the qualifications are pretty similar, there are a few differences that you need to keep in mind.
The key distinction between the two qualifications is that VRQ Diplomas help ‘prepare you for work’ while an NVQ in Barbering is a ‘job ready’ qualification.
VRQs in Barbering
A VRQ Diploma in barbering combines classroom study with practical work in a salon or specialist training environment. The qualification prepares you for work by exposing you to a broad range of barbering subjects, followed by oral, written and practical assessments in each subject area.
As the VRQ Diplomas are part theory and part practical, you won’t be a fully trained barber when you complete the course. You’ll still require additional training, but you will be able to move onto a Level NVQ course.
NVQ in Barbering
An NVQ in barbering is a practical based qualification where learners and trainees spend their time on the barbershop floor honing their skills and gaining valuable workplace experience. NVQ courses raise your technical level by training you in line with the National Occupational Standards for Hairdressing.
When you can consistently work to the level set out in the NOS guidelines, you stand a good chance of passing the course and gaining the relevant qualification. Once complete, you’ll be able to work in a barbershop and in the wider industry, depending on your qualification.
Set up by the very first UK master craftsman, the Mike Taylor Barbering College provides some of the best barber training in the South of England. With full, part-time and barber apprenticeships available, there’s something for students from all backgrounds and walks of life.