Trimming up on the new barber qualification

Everyone likes a good hairdresser; someone who can dazzle a client with their skills, make them chuckle or ease any concerns. For many men, their barber is the same. Sadly, this calibre of barber has been missing in recent times. Why? Well, changes in funding and a lack of confidence in teaching has left the barbering industry reeling from current qualifications that don’t quite make the cut.

That’s where the new Hair Professional Qualification (HPQ) comes in!

The HPQ focuses on learners working alongside experienced barbers under the new National Occupational Standards (NOS) through the Hair and Beauty Industry Authority, Habia. How it works is that NOS will be the spine of the new qualification, which will effectively be an apprenticeship involving experienced barbers. If that wasn’t exciting enough, the new HPQ is designed to brush up students’ skills to the equivalent of an NVQ Level 2!

The HPQ will involve beard shaping, shaving and ‘on-programme’ sections. These ‘on-programme’ portions specifically involve assessments in basic to advanced barbering techniques, shaving surfaces and patterning among others. This 24-month qualification will result in an ‘End-Point Assessment’ from a workplace apprenticeship, where the apprentice delivers a range of technical skills with their own tools and clients.

Tricky? Maybe. Worth it? Most definitely.

After all, the end result will be a barber that’s as wonderful and skilled as New York’s J.Clark Walker or London’s Miguel Gutierrez, and not a potential Sweeney Todd. Well, given time!

As each learner is examined independently by an experienced barber, they will only be awarded a qualification if all areas have been successfully achieved. It may seem rigorous, but the final result will put any 19-24 year old (or older!) on the correct path that the industry desperately needs.