How to become a training provider

By Kat Hill | 13 January 2020 | Expert Advice, Feature


Do you want to pass on your knowledge, passion and experience to the next generation? If so, becoming a training provider could your next career move. However, it’s vital to do your research before deciding if this is really for you.

Becoming a training provider requires dedication and commitment. It’s very rewarding work but isn’t an easy option, so do your homework first. Caroline Larissey, the NHBF’s director of quality & standards, shares some advice…

First-hand experience

Before taking the plunge, it’s a really good idea to get some paid or unpaid ‘work experience’ with a reputable and established trainer or assessor. This will give you a real insight into the realities of becoming a training provider and exactly what’s involved.


As a minimum, you must be a qualified beauty therapist, hairdresser or barber with recent hands-on experience. Level 3 is the recommended minimum. Trainers also need to provide English and maths training for learners who haven’t reached the required level in these subjects. However, you can make arrangements with a local training college to provide this. If you want to offer this yourself, you will need a suitable qualification for teaching English and maths. 

Where & how

There are a number of business models available to training providers and you need to choose the one that will suit you best. For example, you can provide training for your staff at your salon and/or travel to other salons to provide work-based training.

You can also open your own training centre where learners can attend training sessions. However, it may be better to begin by offering training in other salons. This will give you invaluable experience and will also grow your list of contacts and potential clients for your training centre when it opens.

Get independent approval

To gain credibility and a good reputation as a training provider it’s vital to get independent approval or endorsement of your training from a recognised awarding organisation accredited by one of the UK regulatory bodies (Ofqual, the Scottish Qualifications Authority, Qualifications Wales or CCEA in Northern Ireland). Awarding organisations offering hair and beauty qualifications include City & Guilds, VTCT, CIBTAC or TQUK. Research options carefully as costs and what’s on offer can vary.

Business plan

You will need a realistic business plan and cash flow forecast before setting up your training business. When creating your plan, remember to take into account expenses such as travel, hotel accommodation and the initial outlay on the equipment you’ll need with setting up.

Understanding funding

You will be eligible to receive funding if you are registered with the Education & Skills Funding Agency, but make sure you understand how the process works. For example, there are three types of registered apprenticeship training provider and you will also need to complete various administrative processes before you can register.

Advice about registering, creating your training provider business plan and applying for funding can be found in the NHBF member-only guide ‘Becoming a training provider’. The guide can be downloaded at