A pre-requisite is the underpinning knowledge that a student will need prior to progressing on to further or advanced study. The hair, beauty, aesthetic and holistic industry have set expected pre-requisites as a roadmap from foundation to advanced training. This natural progression allows the student to gain experience or understanding of the treatment or service and allows them to understand the effects one treatment may have on another. 

Some courses will have a natural progression. For example, to be trained in Hot Stone Massage or Pregnancy Massage, the student will first need a certificate in Swedish massage. Other courses may require experience before moving onto advanced courses. An example would be intimate waxing, where a few months experience of regular waxing will allow the student to understand issues, troubleshoot and think of how their technique can make treatment more comfortable or lead to bruising. This is important when a student is out in the industry and not under the supervision of their trainer. 

Courses that include breaking the skin, e.g. mesotherapy or electrolysis, will require a level 3 anatomy and physiology qualification or level 3 beauty therapy or higher. While students can often gain insurance through some providers without industry suggested pre-requisites, they may face other difficulties such as issues obtaining local authority licensing or getting insurance cover if or when they change underwriters or terms. 

To know whether your course has any pre-requisites, you should consider who the course is for and if the course is a foundation or advanced treatment. To be sure, you should check that the students can obtain council licencing with their certificate(s) as well as insurance. If you are unsure of this yourself due to various councils/government bodies and insurance underwriters criteria, then you should inform the student to make their own checks before booking a course. 

Some examples of pre-requisites are below:

Nail extensions courses should aim to have a pre-requisite of manicure. This would also apply for Gel Polish applications. Teaching the student how to care for the natural nail will support their career as a nail technician.

Teaching a basic facial course prior to moving onto more advanced procedures such as Dermaplaning or Electrical Treatments, will give the student the underpinning knowledge to treat and identify various skin conditions. It will also give the student the foundations to understand and identify more appropriate procedures for the client. 

Electrical facials will often require a minimum of Level 2 or 3 Beauty Therapy of Anatomy & Physiology. The same applies for Chemical peels, especially where the peel exceeds a certain percentage. 

There are numerous hair removal procedures such as waxing, electrolysis and laser. Treatments like waxing and sugaring do not require any prior knowledge, providing the student is taught Anatomy and Physiology that is relevant to the treatment. This should include an understanding of hair growth. 

When teaching advanced courses such as intimate waxing, the student should have some experience with waxing first. This will give them the confidence to understand correct removal procedures, how to deal with issues and how to keep the treatment as comfortable as possible for the client. 

Electrolysis would need a Level 3 qualification. A qualification being an Ofqual backed course. This is now an important factor in licensing applications. 

Laser also has restrictions in place from local councils and local bye-laws. The student should have a Level 3 qualification in beauty therapy or anatomy before studying advanced hair removal procedures. 

As aesthetic procedure is classed as an invasive treatment. This includes, but is not limited to; Mesotherapy, Dermal Fillers, Microsclerotherapy, Carboxytherapy or Vitamin Injections. Students should have experience within the beauty industry that allows them to confidently work with needles and clients. 

Students should look to obtain a Level 3 qualification (one that is Ofqual backed) before progressing into aesthetics. Although not a legal requirement, this is now becoming a standard requirement from local authorities or insurers. 

Experience is vital to ensure a safe procedure for the client. Aesthetic training should not be provided to students with no prior experience or study within the industry. 

Courses such as Hair Extensions, Hair Cutting or Blow Drying require no pre-requisites. Students can also study Hair Colouring, Highlighting, Keratin Straightening and Perming without any prior study or experience in this area. 

Balayage techniques, Crazy Colours, or Advanced Perming Methods would require previous study and experience in these subjects. This will give the student the experience and knowledge of how to troubleshoot problems and deal with various hair types.

Massage and Holistic procedures are simple progressions. Where the student wishes to progress onto advanced massage techniques such as Deep Tissue, Pregnancy or Hot Stone Massage, then the student should have basic massage training, such as Swedish Massage. 

Holistic treatments usually require no pre-requisites. Some may have methodical progression, for example, Reiki Level 1 and Level 2.