Caitlin Iley

Why I chose a Diploma to enhance my nail career

By Callie Iley | 21 November 2023 | Feature, Tech Talk, Training

Lucy Price Marshall Graduation

Seeking a deeper understanding of the nuances of education, Scratch Stars Natural Nail Specialist of the Year 2023, Lucy Price-Marshall, enrolled on a TQUK Level 5 Diploma in Education & Training in 2021, graduating this year.

Lucy began her nail journey with private tuition, before enrolling at a college to complete her Level 3 qualification in Beauty & Nails. “I started my nail career full-time when I was 18. I had intentions to go to university, but I began working in a salon and never looked back. I completed a salon management course, which piqued my interest in education,” she explains.

“I feel that education is the foundation of raising standards across the industry, and I wanted to be part of that.”

A part-time course completed across two years, Lucy enrolled on the Level 5 Diploma in Education & Training at Barnsley College. The course makes use of hybrid learning techniques, with a combination of in-person and online lectures, and covers topics including planning schemes of work, delivering learning sessions, and developing teaching and learning strategies, as well as assessment practices.

“I chose the Diploma as it ensured I gained experience in lesson planning, systems and professional practice through placement and research,” Lucy tells Scratch. “I had lectures one evening per week and placement one day per week, over the two years. Throughout the course, I submitted assignments, projects and research to make up the credits for each unit.

“I chose to study part-time to allow me to continue to work full-time and do placement. I’ve always been one to put myself under pressure, and the course did make things challenging time-wise,” she remembers. “I spent many weekends and evenings studying or writing assignments. I fitted my freelance work with OPI around term times, and worked my usual salon columns.”

Having qualified, Lucy can pursue more extensive teaching and education roles. “The qualification means that I now have the skills to meet awarding bodies’ standards and guidelines, and it gave me helpful insight into course development,” she smiles. “Since qualifying, I’ve been busy with the OPI education team, teaching Gelcolor, ProSpa and Diamond Gel.

“Formal training and development is important to me, and higher education is now more accessible than ever. Developing my academic writing throughout the course was definitely my biggest challenge, however I used the Dictate feature and referencing tab to help me,” Lucy reflects. “It was interesting for self-awareness when studying about my learning preferences, and I consider learning styles in all training. I also loved getting stuck in on placement, and teaching practical and theory work.

“Completing the qualification has helped me to push myself out of my comfort zone, such as by entering competitions like the Scratch Stars Awards, Nailympia and the FNP Nail Competitions,” she continues.

“The confidence I’ve gained has been amazing for my career and has helped me while working on sets, being a nail technician on QVC, building my social media and developing my training practice.

“My guidance to others considering pursuing education would be to go for it, if you’re passionate about not just the practical aspect of teaching, but also nails, as you need to have an abundance of technical and anatomical knowledge,” Lucy advises. “A qualification is a worthwhile investment. It opens you up to so many opportunities and gives you confidence in your teaching. Being armed with understanding of teaching practice will strengthen your planning and delivery of industry knowledge.”

Follow @lucyrosenails at NAILSPA on Instagram.