Help Support SalonGeek:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Jan 4, 2009
Reaction score
Hi i was just wondering if anyone knew the difference between the nvq level 3 hair qaulification and the vrq level 3 qaulification ?
and also which qaulification any of you salon owners would consider the best qaulification!
i also wanted to know if i do the vrq level3 will i be a fully qaulifed hair stylist im just really confused and would appreciate any comments and feed back
thanx :confused:
I started my level two three weeks ago. If i'd of gone on an apprenticeship, they would of gave me an NVQ. I decided to stick to the new directions course i am doing, which is classed as full time, and im getting the VRQ. Not too happy with this but.. i only work in my salon for 3 days a week. College the other 3.
im doing the same qualification and our tutor told us that they had changed it from NVQ to VRQ but its the same qualification. I hope shes right about that. :eek: xx
I am doing Hairdressing NVQ level 2. The information we were given at our college, was that VRQ doesn't allow you to work in a salon only on friends and family and mobile. I wouldn't want to do that as it would limit me. It also seemed that the younger girls and the ones who needed to do key skills were told to do the VRQ. Any way, as I said thats only info from my college and thats for level 2. If anyone has any more information on this I would also like to know about it as I did like the sound of the VRQ because assessments could be done on family and friends where as on the NVQ they have to be on real clients, EEEEKk.
I am doing Hairdressing NVQ level 2. The information we were given at our college, was that VRQ doesn't allow you to work in a salon only on friends and family and mobile.

This is what my college tutor was explaining to me today, when i asked about doing the NVQ levels it seems the national vocation is now going to be called VRQ and will be changing in all the college's.
Last edited:
im guessing your at the FE too Lauren.. I dont get this VRQ stuff!
yea i am. I applied for NVQ 3 new directions, nd it was only last week when we were filling out a form to go in our portfolio that we found out it was a VRQ. I hope it is recognised in salons or its a waste of nearly a year. xx
The tutor i have keeps trying to make me go into full time so i gain the NVQ as "its a better qualification".. to be fair though im already in the salon a few days a week so id rather stay th way i am!! Dont get why theyv changed it though!x
surely the salon experience with a VRQ would make you jus as employable as just an NVQ? xx
Thats exactly my point!! FE just gets worse by the day!x
ur right ther like. What salon u workin in? What do they think about the qualification u gonna get? xx
Perfect Look... They aint really said much .. i just told them all what had happened and the boss said if they phone her she would have a word... Im sure it doesnt really matter so long as your qualified to be fair x
that looks like a nice salon. yea probz, ive seen sum places advertise for staff wit nvq l2 n experience, so it mite not make much difference it bein vrq instead of nvq. Soon find out wen i start applyin for jobs. xx
yeah well let me know how you get on.. yeah its lovely! get on with all the staff too x
This is what i found out : go to this link and it will explain


Hope this helps :)
well i wanted to apply for my nvq l3 but the college i went to was told that they only do vrq. i was told by my tutors that the difference is that with an nvq you get to have salon experience but with a vrq you only get to do th etheory and no need for the practicle side of it so i would assum that salons would prefer the ones with the practicle experience. but it all confuses my brain to mush to be honest :)
having seen this i called city and guilds and aske them. they said nvq is national vocational qualification - which i knew - and the vrq is vocational related qualification. so, the clue is in the name. to become a hairdresser do nvq, to learn things relating to becoming a hairdresser doe vrq - in my opinion as a stylist of 12 years this is a waste of time.
to give a little more data on this, someone completing level 2 vrq is trained to be a junior stylist, which to those of you who don't know means that you are still an assistant, but can do clients under the guidance of stylists. in my experience good hair salons will have you at this point after 18mths-2yrs and you will be much, much more skilled.
to give you a further reality on this, i have worked at some very good hair salons, one of which has won many awards at the british hairdressing awards, and if you train full time at college you will struggle to persuede anybody to give you a job. do an apprenticeship at a reputable salon. don't go for a job in somewhere that looks old and worn out, go for a modern looking salon with a good range of ages of staff.
i have written a long reply to you thread, but as i see you're from manchester like me i want to give you a bit more of a nudge-do an apprenticeship. don't do full time at college.
My daughter is doing her vrq 3 at college - she is doing management and still doing clients in the college salon. She has already this academic year - undertaken some colour correction work and she has more to do.

My understanding of this qualification is to ensure there is MORE practical experience of Salon life within the college environment.

She has her Nvq2 and cant find a junior stylist position for love or money!
my tutor termed it to us that the vrq will replace the nvq (I was originally on IVQ as studying abroad) now I'm totally confused! maybe she meant were replacing it.

were an academy and do both lessons but also learn in a salon environment and can only be assessed on real people and have to do at least one full-time day in the 'salon' for city and guilds purposes. weve onlu just switched but all our assessments r now done as projects under the vrq and not exams like the ivq/nvq system. for me this is far more practical & will also give me photos and a portfolio, great as I'm 30 doing this so my hairdressing CV will b blank when i finish!

Latest posts