There are so many options to choose from and training courses range from half a day to three months for the same area of study, quite simply there has to be a major difference between the two. Your first decision is whether you want to emerge from your studies with a recognised qualification, or whether the overall experience is as important to you and you are looking for a taster to see if you like the work and be able to practice on friends and family.
If the qualification is the more important factor to you, look for a college offering one of five awarding body qualifications: City & Guild; BTEC; VTCT; ITEC or CIBTAC
These establishments offer courses which have been accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (England and Wales) or the Scottish Qualifications
Some training providers offer what they call Diplomas that are recognised for insurance with organisation such as BABTAC, Beauty Guild or Professional Beauty. This insurance is only offered through the one insurer and many employers will not recognise this as a qualification to practice in a professional environment.
Consider whether you want to attend a private college, which may be in a location you prefer, offer courses at different times of the week and start at various times in the year, or a state-funded college, which will be more mixed and will probably cost less but usually only has 1 intake a year.
When enquiring about courses ask how many students are on the course. If there are only 1 or 2 on the course then you may not get great experience as there will not be as many different skin or nail types and experiences to learn from, however if there are 18-24 in the group, this may not suit your learning style either.
What happens if you do not feel comfortable with the level of training, can you come back to do more? If so will it cost?
How much self study is there, if writing is not your strong point, how else can you be assessed?
Do you get to work on the public? If not, the first time you might have to charge a real client may be the first time you have completed the treatment on a real client.
Do you have to provide your own equipment? If so how much extra will you have to pay.
Can you look around the college or training centre, or meet current students and trainers?
Can you enrol at any time, or are there set dates?