Beauty Therapist – Can I Practise if I am Unqualified?

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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