T Levels: The next big thing for students and teachers

by | Feb 2, 2022 | Business, News, Promotion

VTCT T Levels - colour being applied onto the roots of a blonde woman in the salon
VTCT T Levels – A close up of a female hairdresser styling a high bun on a client
VTCT T Levels – A female client having her hair towel dried in a salon

 In partnership with NCFE, VTCT will be developing the new Hair, Beauty & Aesthetics T Level Qualification

It was announced in October 2021 that NCFE had been chosen to develop the T Level Technical Qualification** in Hair, Beauty and Aesthetics with its specialist partner VTCT. As the market-leading Awarding Organisation for the Hair, Beauty and Complementary Therapies sectors, VTCT is proud to contribute the knowledge and experience of its own technical experts and key stakeholders to develop the government’s new gold standard technical qualification.

How are T Levels structured?

A balance of 80% classroom-based and 20% on-the-job experience, T Levels were launched in September 2020 as an exciting new high-quality, work-focused alternative to A Levels for those aged 16–18. These two-year courses are designed with employers to accurately reflect the current and future skills needs of the sectors and occupations they’re designed to serve.

After completing their two-year T Level, students will have the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviours to successfully progress into work or higher-level study. When students pass their T Level, they receive a nationally recognised certificate showing the overall grade they achieved: pass, merit, distinction, or distinction*. The certificate will also give details of what students learned on the course to help them move into skilled employment or a higher apprenticeship. A distinction* secures learners the same number of UCAS points as three A Levels at A*, and will be recognised by universities, other education providers and employers, meaning students’ progression options are kept entirely open.
VTCT T Levels hairdresser blow drying purple hair in a salon

A T Level is split into three main sections:

  • The technical qualification (TQ) is the main, classroom-based element. Students will learn about their chosen sectors through a curriculum designed with the help of leading employers
  • The industry placement (which is the element that sets this learning programme apart from alternative options) runs for a minimum of 315 hours (approximately 45 days). This will give students practical insights into their sector and an opportunity to embed the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom.
  • English, maths and a digital provision are also built into the classroom-based element of the T Level giving students a solid foundation of transferable skills.


VTCT T Levels Woman having her hair washed in a hairdressing salon.
What will students learn?

Within the Hair and Beauty route, students will develop knowledge and understanding of the client journey and self-development along with business context and practices, sales and marketing, and safe working practices and regulations.

The core knowledge and understanding delivered within this qualification will support students to transition into employment with the skills, confidence and attributes required to be successful in the sector.

After gaining an appreciation of these wider core skills, students then gain a deeper understanding of an occupational specialism of their choice, allowing them to pursue their specific interests. The Hair, Beauty and Aesthetics T Level will offer three specialisms: Barbering, Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy.

Why T Levels?

It’s the balance of high-quality teaching and hands-on experience which make T Levels the ‘gold standard’ qualification the government envisaged. T Levels have been developed to ensure training providers can continue to teach trusted, accessible, relevant, future-focused and undeniably enjoyable vocational routes for students to pursue. That can only be a good thing for the next generation of creative talent. 

If you would like to shape the future talent in the industry and support the development of these qualifications from the outset (e.g. through reviewing content), please register your interest by completing the form linked below, and someone from VTCT will follow up with you. They are looking for individuals from all sizes of business across England to participate in this development work and would love to hear from you.

To get involved, visit vctc.org.uk/tlevels

 **The T Level Technical Qualification is a qualification approved and managed by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. 

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