During my seven years at the BBA, the question I would get asked most was ‘how do I become a barbering teacher?’ Here is my advise and hopefully this can help some of you…
Firstly, if you want to teach the nationally recognised qualifications you must have the qualifications yourself (ie, if you want to teach the Barbering NVQ Level 3 – you must hold this qualification yourself or you cannot teach it). I know this can create tension amongst some of the more senior barbers as many of you have plenty of experience without a qualification but I have honestly never anyone that has finished these qualifications and not learnt a thing. As well as teaching barbering skills, these qualifications will also teach the essential knowledge behind the skills as well as how the qualifications work, how they are put together, methods of assessment etc, - as the saying goes… He who dares to teach must never cease to learn.
I have heard a lot of people say that these qualifications are not very good, but the barbering NVQ’s are among the best qualifications in the world.
Once you have gained the relevant qualifications then you will next need your TAQA - this is an award in training, assessing and quality assurance and has replaced the A1 and A2 assessor awards. This qualification allows you to assess the students doing their qualification and to complete this qualification you will need access to a learner who is currently studying.
Along side your TAQA you will need to do your Education and Training Award. This can be done through distance learning or a short-term course. My local training centre delivers this over 10 weeks for one evening a week. This course will cover preparation, planning and basic course design and you will need to deliver a micro teaching session.
There is a lot to do so if you are serious about teaching then this should help point you in the right direction for what you need. My advice would be approach your local training provider or college with all of this in mind and maybe see if they will help you achieve your dream.
If you’re a barbershop owner, a great way to test the waters about teaching is to take on an apprentice. Not only will you get great staff that works your way but it is also a fantastic way to see if you enjoy teaching. When you employ an apprentice, you will need to enrol them into a college or training centre that will take them through their qualification whilst you can help teach them in the barbershop which will help you get to know the qualifications and delivery.
There has never been so many young people looking for a barbering apprenticeship – in fact a lot of colleges are now experiencing more learners enrolling onto their barbering courses then hairdressing. Taking on an apprentice can be really rewarding and it’s the best way for someone to get into the industry. Barbershops today have many other services going on, such a shaving, that the apprentice can help with and I find that my clients love to see an apprentice come through the ranks of the barbershop. There is also a government grant where you can apply for £1500 to support businesses enrolling an employee onto an apprenticeship programme.
A similar question I get asked is ‘how do I become an accredited centre?’ This is a lot more difficult. The first step is to approach the awarding bodies such as VTCT or City and Guilds and check that you meet the criteria and agree to their terms. If you feel that you do then you can apply and arrange an appointment for them to come and see your centre and they will show you what needs to be put in place. My advise would be to not run before you can walk… learn how to teach first and be comfortable with teaching before you apply for centre approval.