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At Omni we work with the Awarding Body VTCT (Vocational Training & Charitable Trust). They are a government approved, international exam board.

The Level 2 qualification is: Level 2 Certificate in Beauty Specialist Techniques.

The Level 3 qualification in: Level 3 Certificate in Beauty Therapy.

Both these qualifications are VRQ’s (Vocationally Related Qualification). These are professional, government approved qualifications which are fully recognised and fully insurable.

You may have also heard of NVQ’s (National Vocational Qualifications). NVQ’s and VRQ’s are two different types of qualification but both are equally as recognised and respected.

When it comes to the types of certification which you may come across whilst searching for the right course for you, there are a few different variations, depending on the type of courses you look at.


This is the highest grade of certification and will always give you the most solid grounding. A qualification is awarded by a government approved awarding body such as VTCT. This is proof that the course has been delivered to the highest quality and standards and in compliance with industry expectations and government regulations. The school will be regularly assessed by the exam board to check that this is maintained and these certificates will be recognised by all employers, clients and insurance companies. This is also a statement that the therapist has a deep enough knowledge, understanding and competency to work with their clients safely and achieve the best results.

Accredited Course

These are courses which are accredited by an external organisation. In order to do this, the training centre will have been assessed by the accrediting company to make sure that they are delivering courses at a standard and quality that the organisation is happy to link their reputation to. This can sometimes be enough to gain insurance and possibly employment. These certificates may be branded with the Training Centre’s logo however there will also be a stamp from a reputable, external organisation such as BABTAC (British Association of Beauty Therapists and Cosmetologists). Often the organisation which accredits the course will also offer insurance to those who have completed the courses. Something to be mindful of with that, is that if you should decide you want to use a different insurance provider at any point, the accredited certificate may not be accepted by them.

Certificate of Attendance

This is the most basic form of certification and is usually awarded from the training provider/company upon completion of training. It is rarely accredited by another organisation and this can make things difficult further down the line when trying to apply for insurance to cover you to deliver your treatments. Certificates of Attendance are however, perfectly acceptable when undertaking CPD (Continual Professional Development). This is further training which you may do which builds on your existing skills. For example, after completing a Manicure & Pedicure qualification, you may undertake a Gel Polish course.

Which qualification should I start with?

We offer a range of Beauty courses at Omni Academy. The most popular is the Level 2 Beauty Therapy course as this is the best starting point for those wanting to train into a career in Beauty. This course covers a range of essential skills including:

  • Manicure & Pedicure
  • Lash & Brow Tinting and Brow Shaping
  • Facials & Skincare
  • Waxing
  • Make up

From there, the natural progression is Level 3 Beauty Therapy course. This builds on from your existing skills and knowledge gained in Level 2 and will you how to perform more advanced treatments including:

  • Swedish Body Massage
  • Facial Electrical Treatments
  • Body Electrical Treatments

For those wanting to work in salons after their training, both the Level 2 & 3 Beauty Therapy courses together would be required. Typically salons will specifically require therapists to hold both of these qualifications.  

If your plan is to work for yourself then you can be more flexible with the courses you choose to study. Each treatment covered within the Level 2 & 3 Beauty Therapy courses can be studied as a stand-alone, individual qualification if required. This allows you the flexibility to mix and match the treatment skills you want to offer your clients, in your business. You may have a specific route in mind such as becoming a Skincare Specialist, or Massage Therapy may be the focus for you. Perhaps its Nails and Waxing that gets you excited! Whatever your plans and goals, we can help advise and guide you with expert advice to put you on the right training path for you. Our team have worked and continue to work within industry, as well as sharing their knowledge and expertise with the Beauty Therapists of the future!   

We also offer Beauty Therapy Apprenticeships at Level 2 & Level 3! An apprenticeship is an employer led programme which requires you to be working in a salon alongside your training. Your salon will employ you for a minimum of 30 hours per week and within the working week, one of your days will be spent at our academy in Walton on Thames, learning and developing your skills. The Apprenticeship is a government funded course and your employer will pay you for the hours you train with us!  

How long does it take to become a beauty therapist UK?

Depending on the type of course you decide to do this can really vary. At Omni we offer a Level 2 daytime course which runs once per week for 26 weeks. We also offer an evening course which runs one evening per week for roughly 8 months.

Our Level 3 course runs once per week for 23 weeks.

If choosing the Apprenticeship route, this typically takes 15-18 months for each Level.

What can you do with Level 2 Beauty Therapy?

Commonly those that hold a Level 2 Beauty Therapy qualification only, will work for themselves. There are some salons which may offer Level 2 treatments only and these salons would certainly look to employ a Level 2 qualified therapist. Most salons however offer a range of Level 2, 3 and 4 treatments and would want their therapists to hold, at minimum, a Level 2 and Level 3 qualification.