Training dilemma, not sure what to do - how employable would I be?

Hi everyone - it's been a while since I last posted on here but good to be back! I was just hoping for a little advice and would be so grateful for your input - will try and keep it shortish and sweet.

A couple of years ago I completed my Level 2 Beauty Therapy, absolutely loved it and intended to go straight back to college to do L3 Complementary Therapies. However unfortunately life got in the way and I ended up falling into a (good!) but non-beauty related full time job which I have been in ever since. I was keen to keep going with beauty so did a Level 3 Swedish Massage evening course which I'm now qualified in, again loved it.
This year I planned to go back to college to get my L3 Complementary Therapy qualification with the intention of working in a salon in the future, explained to work who were absolutely wonderful and bent over backwards to offer me a part time option so that I could combine the two - unheard of! However unfortunately the college had given me the wrong course details and at the end of last week informed me that the course ran over 4 days and not 3 as I'd originally been told - which means I cannot do the full time course without walking out of my quite intense job tomorrow morning giving absolutely no notice - which I could not do to them after being so good to me.

So I am now in a complete dilemma and have got myself into such a state over it, my heads all over the place! Sadly the college don't do part time complementary therapies (don't think many places do). I've found a years part time L3 Reflexology course and L3 A&P course at a college an hour away which I could do, if I was then to attend accredited day courses in things like hot stone massage/indian head massage/Hopi ear candling would salons see me as employable? Or would they really only consider a full L3 course to include everything in one go? I've never done a day course other than minx - are they informative enough?

I'd be so, so grateful for any advice - thank you in advance xxx

eager beaver

Active Member
You should be absolutely fine with this option, many people do a two day indian head massage course and hot stones massage (for example), as you already have a full swedish massage qualification. Which awarding body did you do the swedish with? I only ask as this should have covered l3 a&p so you shouldn't need to do it again as a separate course. Usually your certificates wont say that you did a one day course in such and such, it will just state the qualification ie 'level three indian head massage' so an employer wouldn't necessarily know it was a two day course. I would advise you to always opt for the awarding body option (ie city and guilds, vtct) and not just the in house certificate, its usually a tiny bit more expensive but is more recognised as a quality standard in the industry. xx

Thank you so much, that's really really helpful - and good to know it should be do-able! The Swedish Massage course was with VTCT, but we only covered A&P very lightly. Xxx


Well-Known Member
You've already done the level three massage course. I think you'll be bored for a fair bit of the full time course at college because it will be going over old ground based on what you've already done. It's not worth losing your current job over.

Definitely see if you can get on the reflexology course because that can really give you an edge for employment in my experience. It shouldn't be too hard to find places that offer hot stones and Indian head vtct units and then hopi ear candling is really just a bonus.

To use the cliché, keep calm and carry on. Stay with your good job and aim to get on the reflexology course and other treatments part time.


Well-Known Member
A and P is usually not that complex at level three. You may find that you've already covered it and don't need to do a course that will ultimately replicate the qualification you already have. Besides, if I recall correctly you have to do A and P for the vtct reflexology diploma anyway.

Thank you so so much, I'm lying awake at night worrying about all these last minute decisions but that's really helped to put my mind at ease - I did wonder how much of the L3 comps course would be dedicated to massage. I applied for the reflexology course this evening, it's a long way to travel for an evening course but think it will be worth it in the long run - fingers crossed they have room for me! Xxx


Well-Known Member
Fingers crossed! Hope they do but if not definitely shop around.

I was having a similar dilemma with a makeup course because they start in September and it is frustrating to think about having to wait for the next window of opportunity at colleges. I've decided to sit on the fence and look for modular ways of training in makeup because the full level three diploma is a bit much for me at the moment. Then if I'm in the same boat next September I'll see about doing courses then.

No matter what, don't be afraid to shop around for a course because they can vary in price and quality quite a lot.

I wonder do you have a white rose college near you? I did most of my training at the one in Manchester and would highly recommend it.

Let us know how you get on :) (ps. Phone the college re reflexology at this stage. Tell them you've applied but you just want to check in with it at this stage).

Well I got in! Starts next week and really looking forward to it, so relieved I've actually managed to come to a decision! I did have to take the L3 A&P course alongside reflexology but thought this would probably be the case. Sadly no white rose colleges near me - I think I'm in a bit of an awkward area for beauty courses! Thank you again everyone xx


Active Member
that's great news :)

Quick question on a similar subject. In order to work in a salon do I need and nvq in nails or can I just have certs from day courses? thank you


Well-Known Member
that's great news :)

Quick question on a if imilar subject. In order to work in a salon do I need and nvq in nails or can I just have certs from day courses? thank you
Depends on your situation. If youre self employed and renting a desk it might be ok if you just have day course certificates.

However generally speaking if its employment youre after then its likely that you will need the nvq.