Barbering (Level 2)

Retail and Commercial Enterprise

Retail and Commercial Enterprise
Retail and Commercial Enterprise

What will you be working towards?

Alternative Title Barbering (Level 2)
Code L2Br
Qualification Type Other Regulated/Accredited Qualification
Qualification Level Level 2
Course type Full Time


The VTCT Level 2 Diploma in Barbering is a Technical Certificate qualification aimed at learners aged 16-19 who require a full-time Level 2 education programme and wish to pursue a career as an employed and/or self-employed junior men's hairdresser/barber. There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification but in order to optimise their chances of success, a learner will ideally hold a Level 1 qualification or equivalent in barbering.

This qualification is regulated by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual). This qualification has been approved by the Department for Education for teaching to 16-19 year olds from September 2017, and will be first reported in the technical certificate category of the 2019 16-19 performance tables (subject to confirmation). This qualification has been developed collaboratively with employers, professional associations and key stakeholders in the hairdressing sector. The knowledge, skills and competencies gained will provide the best possible opportunity for progression into employment. This qualification is formally supported by the following organisations: The Hairdressing Council Hairdressers Federation


This qualification is based on the national occupational standards for hairdressing/barbering and includes all the required elements to work effectively as a junior barber/men's stylist. Learners must achieve all mandatory units which include:

  • Advise and consult with clients
  • Create basic outlines and detailing in hair
  • Clipper maintenance
  • Cut facial hair to shape using basic techniques
  • Cut men's hair using basic techniques
  • Dry and finish men's hair
  • Hair tonics
  • Health, safety and hygiene
  • Shampoo, condition and treat the hair and scalp

Throughout this qualification, learners will develop their knowledge and understanding of relevant anatomy and physiology and health and safety. They will also develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to consult with clients, provide a range of cutting and barbering services specifically for men's hair, and creating basic shapes in hair. They will be able to understand the workings and maintenance of clippers. In parallel, learners will develop their communication and customer service skills, their awareness of environmental sustainability and their commercial skills, all of which are valued highly by employers. Problem solving and research skills will also be developed.

How will it be delivered?

Learners must complete the assessment requirements below for mandatory units:

Service Portfolio

Learners must produce a formative service portfolio that includes evidence of practical service carried out with proficiency.  Whilst the pre-requisite portfolio does not contribute to the qualification grade, it serves as a valuable ‘assessment for learning’ tool to prepare learners for summative assessments. 

Graded Practical Assessment

Learners must carry out a complete service on a client.  The service will be observed, marked and graded at either Fail, Pass, Merit, or Distinction by centre assessors.  Graded practical assessment must take place in a real or realistic working environment.  These account for 50% of the overall qualification grade.

External Examinations

External examinations will test knowledge and understanding from across the whole vocational area of the mandatory units.  They are set and marked by VTCT and will contribute to the overall qualification grade.   This accounts for 30% of the overall qualification grade.

Graded Synoptic Assessment

Learners will be required to undertake a graded synoptic assessment during which they will carry out a range of services from across all the mandatory units.  Assessment coverage may vary each year and all services will be covered over time.  VTCT will set the brief and grading descriptors, although the assessment will be marked and graded by centre staff and externally quality assured by VTCT.  The graded synoptic assessment will contribute to the overall grade of the qualification.  This accounts for 20% of the overall qualification grade.       

The external examinations and the graded synoptic assessment should be carried out in the final third of the learner’s completion period of learning.  Each mandatory unit will attract an overall grade of either Pass, Merit or Distinction.

Entry requirements

At least 3 GCSE Grades 9 - 3 or equivalents.

Your next steps...

Learners who achieve this qualification are eligible to become a State Registered Barber (SRB) with The Hairdressing Council. As a junior men's hairdresser/barber, learners could progress directly into employment in a variety of contexts, which include:

  • commercial barber shops or salons
  • specialist African type barber shops/salons
  • independent/self-employed/mobile/home-based settings
  • armed services
  • HM prison service
  • cruise liners
  • hospitals/care homes

Whilst the primary purpose of this qualification is to prepare learners for employment, learners may choose to develop their knowledge and skills further by completing a specialist qualification at Level 3 in one or more of the following areas:

  • senior men's stylist/barber
  • creative male grooming
  • salon management
  • hair colour correction
  • specialist hair and scalp services
  • advanced hair colour correction