New  Professional Standards for Apprenticeships - Hair and Beauty 

Apprenticeships in England are changing

VTCT has always supported the delivery of Apprenticeships in hair and beauty. They are fit for purpose training programmes which take place in the working environment and are combined with off-the-job learning. The new Professional Standards for Apprenticeships for the hair and beauty sector in England (Trailblazer Apprenticeships) are introduced in 2017 and VTCT had developed qualifications and End Point Assessment (EPA) to support learners across these sectors.

So what do the new Apprenticeships look like?   

The new Apprenticeships have been designed by employers to develop the professional knowledge, skills and behaviour they require from employees in a specific job role. They typically last between 12 months (more usual for beauty) and 24 months (more usual for hairdressing and barbering). The funding system has been simplified and there  is a new independent end-point assessment that allows apprentices to be assessed once they have gained the maximum experience possible.

English and Maths still form an integral part of the new Trailblazer Apprenticeships and hair and beauty apprentices without level 1 English and Maths will need to achieve this level and to have taken the test for level 2 English and Maths prior to completion of their Apprenticeships.  

So how do they work?

There are three stages to the new Apprenticeships.

Programme -

  • Continual development of the skills, knowledge and behaviours required to meet the mandatory and optional section of the standard and the qualification for the chosen route.
  • Observations and knowledge tests will be used to assess skills, knowledge and behaviours required for the qualification during the on-programme stage.
  • Professionalism, behaviours and values, communication and safe-working practices will be embedded into the qualification and on-programme assessment.

Gateway -

  • The learner must have successfully completed the on-programme assessment requirements before taking the end-point assessment.
  • The employer decides the timing of the end-point assessment, in consultation with the training provider (qualification deliverer) where appropriate.

End-Point Assessment -      

  • End-point assessment of mandatory skills, knowledge and behaviours specified in the standard will be via practical assessment and oral questioning and will be graded Pass or Distinction..
  • The practical assessment and oral questioning will include professionalism, values, behaviours, communication, safe-working practices and consultation skills.

Throughout the period of their Apprenticeship, apprentices must spend at least 20% of their time on 'off-the-job' training. This is defined as learning which happens outside of the nornal day-to day working environment and that leads towards the achievement of their apprenticeship.    

So what are the differences between the old and new Apprenticeship standards?    

The previous Apprenticeship standards will run until 30 April 2017 and there is no need for apprentices already on-programme to be moved to the new standards.

For a quick guide on the differences, click here.        

Please click on the image to browse our Professional Apprenticeship Standards brochure.  


So what do I need to know if I want to employ an apprentice?

Employing apprentices can bring a range of tangible benefits to your business. Through funded. work-based learning, both new and existing employees can learn the skills and knowledge to work with greater effectiveness. This generates more productivity, more motivation, more satisfaction and more loyalty.


Key benefits noted by employers that apprenticeships have brought to their business include:-

  • 96% of employers that take on an apprentice report benefits to their business 
  • 70% pf employers report higher productivity and improved quality of products/services

Funding for the new Trailblazer Apprenticeships is straightforward and starts from April 2017 and is based on the size of the employer

  • Large employers (with a payroll bill in excess of £3million) will pay an apprenticeship levy and then be able to chose when and how they spend their funding allowance via the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS). Providers can draw on these funds via their monthly Individualised Leaner Record (ILR) return.
  • Smaller employers (under £3million payroll bill) will not pay the levy and the current arrangements will continue to be funded through provider allocations until at least 2018. After this, they will receive direct funding in the same way as levy-paying employers. For the new Apprenticeships starting 1st May 2017, non-levy paying employers will make a 10% contribution and the Government will pay 90%.

Every individual Apprenticeship framework and standard will be allocated to a funding band. The hair professional standards have been allocated Band 9 which means funding will be capped at £9000. The funding band for beauty professional standards is yet to be confirmed.  


By 2020, all employers will be able to use the DAS to pay for training and assessment for apprenticeships.


Further information is available on the links below.


Apprenticeship funding from May 2017   

Apprenticeship Levy - How it will work

Apprenticeships - Government spending and expected levy payments 

Apprenticeships - Paying your apprentice       


Useful documents for current Apprenticeships 
Search the SASE Apprenticeship Frameworks Library

View the Skills Funding Agency proposal document for the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP)


For more information on how to evidence framework/component achievements ahead of certificate receipt, please click here.


For information about how VTCT can help with your Traineeship offer click here.