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Today was a good example of a few issues we face when we get a lot of applications in and a lot of enquiries about our courses.  What previous learning do you need to have to apply for one of our courses?

Well, let’s assume we’re talking about entry-level courses, i.e. courses that are a “foot-in-the-door” level for beauty therapy and nail technology.

Do I need to know anything about beauty therapy or nail technology to do the course?
No.  You will have needed to research the industry to see if this is the industry you want to get into, but you do not need to know how to perform any beauty therapy or nail technology treatments, or anatomy and physiology, or anything like that.  We assume you know none of these when you start the course, so relax! You start at square one, so to speak, and learn from there.

Do I need to have any qualifications before I start the course?
This depends on your age.

If you are over 20, we look at your work history if you have no formal qualifications.  In short, no.

If you are under 20, you need to have at least NCEA Level 1 or higher qualification.  (Yes, we do accept Cambridge Exams, et cetera.)

We usually only look at completed qualifications.  These need to be NZQA-Approved or equivalent, i.e. a certificate you received from your employer because you took a 2 day course in basket weaving does not count.

I don’t know if I have NCEA Level 1.  Do I?
In order to have NCEA (National Certificate in Educational Achievement) Level 1, you must have:

  • Gained 80 credits or more at level 1 or higher.
  • Gained at least 8 credits in literacy (i.e. reading, writing, comprehension, et cetera).
  • Gained at least 8 credits in numeracy (i.e. maths, geometry, calculus, et cetera).

If you have less than 80 credits, you do not have NCEA Level 1.

If you do have over 80 credits, but do not have at least 8 credits in literacy and at least 8 credits in numeracy, you do not have NCEA Level 1.

I really want to be a beauty therapist or nail technician, but I’m not sure if I can cope with the level of study (or I don’t have NCEA Level 1 to get in).  What do I do?
You can do several things, but two of the things I know off the top of my head are:

  • Start off in our nail technology course.  This is a level 4 course, which can lead into our level 5 Diploma in Beauty Therapy and Applied Aesthetics once you achieve competency in the Certificate in Nail Technology.
  • Maybe complete the Diploma in Beauty Therapy and Applied Aesthetics over the part-time option, i.e. Certificate in Aesthetics (Facial Therapy), which is level 4, then progress to Certificates in Physiatrics (Body Therapy) and Electrology, both of which are level 5.
  • Complete a lower level qualification with a provider like the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand or another provider.
  • CPIT offers a Certificate in Sciences (Pre-Health) which is a fantastic stepping-stone into our courses.  This helps equip you with the skills and knowledge you need in order to achieve and succeed at our course.

I’m sure I haven’t covered everything about previous learning here, but if you do have questions, please feel free to contact either Jacqui or me at the school, and one of us is always willing to help as best as we can.

Scott Fack is the Director of Operations for The National School of Aesthetics, the South Island’s leading beauty therapy, nail technology and spa therapies training provider.