Skills for Work Hairdressing: National 4 (SCQF level 4)

Skills for Work Hairdressing: National 4 (SCQF level 4)

Qualification information

National 4 Skills for Work: Hairdressing is an introductory qualification. It develops the skills, knowledge and attitudes, needed for work in the industry.

The Course content provides a broad, experiential introduction to hairdressing, with experience of general salon duties to support stylists and assisting with customer care. Candidates will learn about the different roles and responsibilities in hairdressing, and begin to develop vocational skills and knowledge. They will develop their skills in shampooing, conditioning and blow-drying hair, and explore the creative side of hairdressing, with the opportunity to experiment with style ideas. The Course content places emphasis throughout all Units on the employability skills and attitudes.

At SCQF level 4, learners work alone or with others on straightforward tasks with support.

Why deliver this qualification

The structure of National 4 Skills for Work: Hairdressing is consistent with the equivalent Course at SCQF level 5. This allows centres to choose activities and delivery methods which best suit their circumstances and candidates.

The Units have been written in a hierarchical format, to facilitate multi-level delivery. This allows learners to achieve at their highest level, but enables achievement at a lower level if necessary.

There is considerable flexibility of topics and contexts to facilitate personalisation and choice for learners and centres — and to allow new and stimulating contexts for learning to be built into the Course.

It is anticipated that the Course will build on existing partnerships between schools, colleges of further education, employers and other training providers. Such partnerships will enable the Course to be delivered in a variety of appropriate learning environments with access to relevant teaching expertise.

Who does this qualification suit

This qualification is suitable for a wide range of learners including:

  • pupils from mainstream schools or other education establishments
  • school leavers
  • adult returners to education
  • learners in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects
  • learners participating in 16+ programmes
  • college students wishing to develop their skills and knowledge in relation to Hairdressing
  • trainees participating in preparation for entering employment
  • individuals involved in voluntary activities


Entry is at the discretion of the centre.


Successful learners may progress to: 

  • an SVQ/NVQ in hairdressing
  • a full-time National Certificate Course in Hairdressing in Further Education colleges
  • vocational training
  • employment


Centres with devolved authority for approval should use their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority will have to come forward for approval and should contact SQA’s Business Development Team for guidance.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA’s general requirements for technical/occupational competence as outlined in the Guide to Approval.

How to assess

Assessment will be based mainly on practical activities carried out in a salon environment. Performance evidence will be supported by tutor observation checklists. Candidates will also review their own performance, and gather evidence in a folio.

Each Unit will be supported by a National Assessment Bank (NAB) item which will provide an assessment package and will exemplify the national standard.

There is no external assessment for this Course. Learners must successfully complete each Unit to achieve the Course.

Unit specifications provide detailed information on the Evidence Requirements for each Unit. The Unit Support Notes provide information on approaches to assessment for each Unit.

The Units are internally assessed by centres and externally verified by SQA.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Qualification Structure

Group Award code C238 74 24 SCQF credit points)

The Skills for Work Course in Hairdressing at SCQF level 4 consists of four mandatory Units.

For further information on the structure and units of this qualification please refer to the Course Specification document.

Course Specification

Internal Assessment Reports