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Beauty Therapist - Can I Practise if I am Unqualified?

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 3 Sep 2020 | comments*Discuss
Beauty Therapist - Can I Practise If I Am Unqualified?


Are there any laws to say you cannot practise as a beauty therapist if you are unqualified? i.e Can you legally do waxing in a salon if you have not qualified?

(K.G, 12 January 2009)


There are no legal requirements as such, for anyone who wishes to set themselves up as a beauty therapist, but if you were to set up a beauty salon or a business and you didn’t have any qualifications, the salon or therapist would not get insurance.

Also if the salon has to have a special treatments licence they will not get one if they cannot provide certifications to say that their staff are suitably qualified.

Benefits of Being Qualified

You would also need to be qualified to join any professional trade associations, such as the Guild of Professional Beauty Therapists. To become a member of this association, you would need to be trained to at least an NVQ Level 2 in beauty therapy, or an equivalent qualification.

Membership to one of these organisations usually includes discounts on salon insurance to beauty therapists and salons – as well as other benefits useful to beauty therapists.


If you want to look into getting the appropriate qualifications, you could either join a salon willing to put you through the training while you work for them, or if you prefer to train alone, look for a training provider offering National or Scottish Vocational Qualifications (NVQ/SVQ) in Beauty Therapy.

The minimum qualification that you will need if you want to work in Beauty Therapy is Level 2. This qualification will provide the first step to becoming a trained Beauty Therapist and give you a grounding in all of the basic beauty services offered in the salon.If you want to take it further, you can study up to NVQ/SVQ Level 2 and 3, which also qualify you to work as a make-up artist or a nail technician, and if you would like to become a beauty therapist working aboard cruise liners, at a health spa or in a salon. There are various other courses that you can also take to specialise further.

You’ll have to do practical work, usually in a salon, so that you get the practical experience you need and can be regularly assessed to see how you are progressing. These assessments will take place either in the salon or on the training provider’s premises.

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Can we open a salon with level 2beauty course. Which include waxing tinting eyelash facial
Momo - 3-Sep-20 @ 7:11 AM
How/who to go to report a salon for employing unqualified nail technicians
Jan H - 15-Aug-19 @ 11:37 AM
How/who do I report a salon for employing unqualified nail technicians
Jan H - 15-Aug-19 @ 11:31 AM
How can I report a salon for employing unqualified nail technicians?
Jan H - 15-Aug-19 @ 11:29 AM
I bought a nail technician course online in January.I completed the theory on all modules but found if I want any certificates or proof of qualifications i.e have my work graded to become fully qualified I have to pay extra. Due to this it's going to cost me 3 times as much as I paid for the course. Had I have known this before hand I wouldn't have bought this course does anyone have any advise on what I can do? I'd rather not have to pay more money. Thanx
Tash - 13-May-19 @ 12:29 AM
I recently bought 6 lipolight fat reduction treatments from Groupon. When I went for the appointment I was dismayed to find it was not a salon but in someone’s front room. The machine she was using looked very old and outdated. I’m pretty sure she’s not licensed or qualified so would not be insured also it is against the law to run a business from the h8me you are obviously living in. After two sessions I decided not to continue as I was left with burn marks and the lady was very unhelpful. She now wants to charge me for not keeping my appointments though I told her I was cancelling in good time. What can I do ?
Twinx - 25-Mar-19 @ 8:12 PM
My daughter had her eyelashes tinted and ended up with an acute eye infection including a blister on her eyeball. I know the therapist isn't fully qualified as the tech where she trained said she wasn't up to scratch to finish her course. The clinic are blaming everything else except themselves. Said they threw out all equipment that was used on my daughter. What a load of crock.I seen her just wipe the brush with a tissue. I've had to sign a form more or less saying I won't slag them off. How dare they piss around with people's eyesight
Gibbo - 31-Jan-19 @ 9:53 PM
I'm looking to become a mobile beautician, offering eyebrow shaping, waxing, tinting etc. I'm planning on doing a one day fast track course which encompasses all of these things. Will this diploma be enough for an insurance company/policy? Are there any other legal requirements to consider? I'd be very grateful for any help Thanks
Beth - 5-Jul-18 @ 1:25 PM
I was sold a course of 10 weekly treatments for 'Microdermabrasion', 'No Needle Botox' and 'Laser Lipolyis ' and half way through (5 treatments had) my beautician left employment at the salon. I was then informed that this cannot continue on the same day and offered me another day. I could not attend on the day proposed and I informed them of this via telephone and in person on the 10th July 16 when I asked to see the new therapists qualification certificates. I was told that she has passed but they do not have the certificates yet. Since this last of date of communication on the 10th July 16 I have received not received any communication from them or further appointments made by them. They have not stated that they have the certificates ready for me to view either. I have sent them a recorded delivery letter and also by email and have both delivery and read receipts but no communication from them at all. My problem is that I paid £1600 up front. I was sold by the salon that if I do a course of 10 it would be longer lasting. I feel that the 5 that I have had now are now not effective and is not what I was sold. I am shocked at the level of poor customer service provided since 10th July which is zero. I know the proprietor is trying to sell the salon and although I have given them 30 days to provide a full refund which runs out on the 8th September 16 I am at a loss on what to do and how to handle this. Am I wrong to ask to view the therapists certificates? Am I wrong to ask for my money back? What rights do I have? Thank you in advance of any advice given. LittleLegs
little legs - 4-Sep-16 @ 1:29 PM
@Cathy - ask at the college where you gained your NVQs...they will tell you what's needed to teach others officially (eg being an NVQ assessor etc)
BeautyTreatmentExpert - 12-Sep-14 @ 1:05 PM
I would like to no if its ok for me to teach others the treatments I passed on my level nvq 1 and 2 beauty therapy????????????????
cathy - 12-Sep-14 @ 9:36 AM
@Saz. There's no reason why pregnancy should prevent you from continuing unless your due date would compromise this. In that case, the college may be able to defer you a year and then help provide you with child care options in order to continue.
BeautyTreatmentExpert - 29-Aug-14 @ 2:23 PM
I'm currently studying svq level 3 beauty therapy at college but have recently found out I am pregnant will I be able to continue with my course ?? I'm really unsure what to do as I really don't want to have to quit.
Saz - 29-Aug-14 @ 8:26 AM
I know a shop within the UK that practice gelish nails, eyebrow threading, eyelash tinting, eyelash extensions etc with no qualifications at all .... is this legal and if not whats the next step i sould be taking
bex - 18-Nov-13 @ 1:16 PM
I have a query. I know of a salon in the uk possibly practicing gelish nails without a qualification. Is that legal? I looked on their website and they are given the wrong information about gelish saying it lasts 2 weeks when it is usually three. Who do i reportthem to?
jax - 18-Aug-13 @ 8:35 AM
Hi, I am currently studying for my diploma in beauty therapy online.I need to practice on people but I don't have a lot of people I know that I can practice on.Is it illegal to perform treatments on clients at your home and can you charge just to cover product usage without a profit? I have professional products and have set up a beauty room and I have completed my first semester, done my exams and passed and I would only be doing the treatments that I have practiced.Thanks :)
Skybee - 27-May-13 @ 5:57 AM
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