Skills for Work: Beauty Higher (SCQF level 6)

Skills for Work: Beauty Higher (SCQF level 6)

Qualification Information

The Skills for Work (SfW) Higher Course in Beauty provides an entry level qualification suited to anyone looking to develop a career in a beauty salon or in the beauty industry in general. Set at SCQF level 6, it provides the skills required by the beauty industry.

The focus is on experiencing the salon environment and on the development of vocational skills, knowledge and understanding. It also gives practical experience of communication and customer care.

Specific skills are developed in cleansing, toning, moisturising, basic face massage, masque application and removal, skin warming, exfoliation, nail shaping, cuticle care, hand massage, nail painting and basic make-up application techniques. Current make-up trends are identified from a variety of sources, with candidates having the opportunity to experiment to produce a ‘look’ which reflects these trends.

Emphasis throughout all Units is on the employability skills and attitudes which will help to prepare candidates for the workplace.

This qualification is available in colleges.

Why deliver this qualification

Beauty is an expanding market and could be of interest to a large number of candidates at various ages. It allows centres to offer a meaningful qualification which meets the needs of industry, and opens up the possibility of continued study for candidates.

Each Unit incorporates both theory and practice so that candidates understand the relevance of the knowledge more easily as they experience the practical application. Reflecting on this experience is a key feature.

Teaching programmes include learning in real or simulated workplace settings, learning through role play activities in vocational contexts, carrying out case study work, and planning and carrying out practical tasks and assignments. Candidates also experience a realistic view of conditions in the beauty industry by visits to salons or visits from salon professionals.

This Course is based on aspects of the National Occupational Standards and is nationally certificated. It focuses on developing generic employability skills needed for success in the workplace through a variety of practical experiences in the beauty sector. 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
  • 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 the beauty sector
  • trainees participating in preparation for entering employment
  • individuals involved in voluntary activities


Entry is at the discretion of the centre.


This Course or its Units may provide progression to:

  • SVQs in Beauty Therapy
  • National Certificate in Beauty Care
  • National Certificate in Make-Up Artistry
  • HNC in Beauty Therapy
  • HND in Beauty Therapy 
  • further education
  • 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 in this Course will be based mainly on a range of practical activities carried out in a salon environment. Performance evidence will be supported by teacher/lecturer observation checklists and client record cards. Candidates will also complete structured questions, reviews of their employability skills and gather specified evidence.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Qualification Structure

Group Award code: C262 76 (24 SCQF credit points)

The Skills for Work Course in Beauty care at SCQF level 6 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

Subject: Beauty
Level: Higher
Code: C262 76
Edition: Version 2,August 2014
Downloads: SfW Beauty Higher Course and Unit Specifications (678 KB) 

Internal Assessment Reports