UK salons asking for NVQ while rest of the world does not


Help Support SalonGeek:


New Member
May 14, 2021
Reaction score

I am here on behalf of my wife who used to work in beauty Spa salons in Philippines and United Arab Emirates and gained 8-9 years experience and got 3 certificates from work training She very good with her tasks and does better than some other employees in her last salon in UAE. Now she married to me and live with me in the UK and got her BRP which she can work here legally but she found out all salons here asking for NVQ levels up to 3 and than experience. She applied one that asking for NVQ or any other certificates (which she assumed her 3 corticates would be noted but was rejected and wanted NVQ?) that was a misleading job advert. She was very annoyed about the salon here always asking for NVQ when she already done so with her Emirate certificates that can be use in here. It does not make sense why you need to do NVQ when the work with humans body and face are the same all around the world? She notice all salons around the world including USA and Canada does not ask for NVQ but experience 1 to 2 years required and she got over 8 years of it?

So how she can work in a UK salon as she won't study NVQ and pay hefty £1600 course fees which she does not need to do it? Is there any salon willing to take her in without needing NVQ but accept her foreign certificate that show clearly her achievement We are in Nuneaton area at the moment. If anyone know or help us how she can get a job without NVQ based on her good long experience that enough for it.


Well-Known Member
Premium Geek
Aug 11, 2011
Reaction score
There are no laws requiring a minimum standard of qualification to set up in business or offer training in beauty therapy and related services, in the UK. Therefore, it is perfectly legal for unqualified people to provide their services to the public and for training purposes, so unless the qualification is accredited by a recognised awarding body, it may prove worthless to the holder as they will be unable to obtain public liability insurance cover, which all salons must have.

Where does this leave people like your wife?

You could contact ECCTIS, formerly known as NARIC. This is a government funded organisation that provides services for individuals and organisations, advising on comparisons of international qualifications against UK qualification framework levels. Your wife will need to create an account and submit her certificates for checking and they will compare them and provide documentation stating what level they meet the U.K. standards. There is a fee for this service, but it’s cheaper than registering for a full course.

Alternatively, she will need to register at a college and complete formal assessments for an NVQ/VRQ qualification. You could contact your local colleges and ask whether they offer any fast track courses? Some will allow students with practical experience to complete the assessments more quickly and become qualified in a shorter period of time.

In some respects, I think this might be the better option as even with the ECCTIS documentation, some employers given the choice between 2 candidates, will likely choose to offer the job to someone holding a U.K. qualification as they know exactly what has been taught on the programme as NVQ/VRQ certificates now come with additional Transcripts listing all the individual units studied.

In addition, students undertaking level 2 and above courses must have reached a basic level of competency in Maths and English. This will be examined on entry to the course and additional support will be provided to candidates needing extra help.

Latest posts