National Occupational Standards (NOS) are approved for Hairdressing

by | Jun 7, 2021

The National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Hairdressing have been approved and published by Government, following consultation with Habia – who worked alongside industry employers and leading experts. The British Beauty Council’s Education Pillar supported Habia in developing an inclusive National Occupational Standard that fully meets the needs of the UK’s diverse community.

As part of Habia’s standard setting role, the organisation worked alongside industry employers to form the expert working group, where the remit focused on a review of the existing NOS, update and agree the changes necessary to ensure the NOS are reflective of industry changes, to maintain and improve standards of practice.


The latest NOS, now published, has been written by our professional employer experts to ensure they respond to the developments in the rapidly changing and increasingly more diverse hairdressing sector. The draft NOS went out to public consultation in December 2020, which captured views from the broader industry and fed into the review of the national standards.  


Commenting on the review of the standards,  Joan Scott, Chair of Habia said: “Despite a very challenging year for the sector, we’re delighted the review of the national standards hasn’t been delayed. There was a a great deal of interest in the hair standards as it was important they should be  inclusive of all hair types, including wavy, curly & coily.  The hair standards have  been updated by employers to ensure they reflect current technical developments and meet the needs of the UK’s diverse community.  Special thanks go to all the employers who contributed their valuable time and knowledge to be involved in this important project, both as part of the expert working groups (EWG) and also all those that provided feedback during the consultation process”.


The British Beauty Council supported Habia with the drive to develop an inclusive national occupational standard that fully meets the needs of the UK’s diverse community. British Beauty Council Race and Equalities Advisor, Sharon Lloyd was appointed to Habia’s steering committee and worked alongside an esteemed Task Force selected from our Advisory Board.


“We worked closely with Habia as it was paramount that hairdressing standards and qualifications reflect and represent the diverse range of hair types and textures of clients across the hair and beauty sector. At the British Beauty Council, we believe the hair and beauty industry can and should be truly inclusive. Our aim is to amplify and celebrate the voices of all the communities the industry serves to ensure each and every one of us feels seen, heard, valued and excited to engage with the beauty industry. We are delighted to hear that the new NOS for hair has been approved and we look forward to continuing our work with Habia to champion change in the industry.”

– Helena Grzesk, COO of British Beauty Council


Judith Hughes, Vice-chair of the Expert Working Group for Hairdressing commented “It has been an honour and a pleasure working as Vice Chair with a dedicated team to produce standards in the hair industry that are inclusive of all hair types. Our aim has been to shape and update a suite of standards that accommodate the diverse background of all of our clients, to reflect current trends and techniques within the industry. The NOS includes a full and diverse range of hair types and curl patterns, ensuring the standards are diverse and inclusive to reflect the needs of our industry”.


Diane Hey, Employer and Chair of the overall NOS Steering Group said “We are delighted with the approval and publication of the seven suites of National Occupational Standards (NOS), covering;  Hairdressing, Barbering, Beauty Therapy, Nails, Aesthetics, Trichology, Wellbeing and Holistic industries,  it has been a privilege to Chair the process. I would like to thank all of our colleagues, experts and EWG Chairs for their diligence and commitment to ensuring these NOS are complete and reflective of developments in each of the key aspects of the sector. These suites have brought new modalities forward, have established the level of practise standard expected, are fully inclusive and have been a monumental achievement! Thank you to all involved.”


Sharon Thompson, International Marketing Manager at McBride Research Labs is delighted at the new reviewed NOS, she commented: “It gives me absolute pleasure to welcome the launch of the new NOS for hairdressing as developed by HABIA, not only as a Corporate Partner of HABIA, but also for me as an individual having championed the inclusion of Hairdressing Training for all hair Textures including Wavy, Curly & Coily within the Standards.  I am delighted that we can now confidently deliver training, aligned with the new hair NOS, within the Salon, College and Consumer forums that represents every demographic evident within the Communities in which we live.  On behalf of the company, I take great pride in supporting this new direction in hairdressing standards and look forward to supporting HABIA in delivering the message of the new standards in every way possible”.


Access the NOS for Hairdressing here.

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