Awarding Bodies

There are a number of awarding bodies that offer qualifications within the beauty and complementary therapy sector. Most of the awarding bodies will offer standardised qualifications; the differences come through the way that the qualification is checked and verified.  Here’s a little more information on each of the main awarding bodies.


City & Guilds are a leading vocational education and training organisation, providing services to training providers, employers, and trainees across a variety of sectors to meet the needs of today’s workplace.

Their qualifications are valued by employers and delivered through over 10,000 training centres across the world to help individuals develop their talents and abilities for future career progression.

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BTEC is the world’s most successful and best-loved applied learning brand, and has been engaging learners in practical, interpersonal and thinking skills for over 25 years.

BTECs are widely recognised work-related qualifications suitable for a wide range of ages and abilities. The learning style of BTECs can be quite different to other qualifications. Students have to undertake a number of units for which they present evidence, based on real-life work and studies. This allows them to demonstrate their skill and knowledge in practical situations.

If you’re not sure about the path you’ll wish to take, the flexibility of BTECs makes them a good choice, as they offer useful practical experience as well as a recognised qualification.

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CIBTAC is a leading awarding body, proud of their international recognition for producing graduates of the highest calibre.
They offer a wide portfolio of courses with beauty therapy, spa, wellbeing, diet and nutrition, sports therapy and several other complimentary and holistic qualifications.

Established in 1977 as the education arm of BABTAC (British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology), CIBTAC are a not-for-profit organisation, continually reinvesting our income for the benefit of our accredited Centres and their Candidates.

Each of their courses are developed through close relationships with Government Agencies and employers from around the world, ensuring they are tailored to provide for the requirements of the international industry. Many of their Centres have been with CIBTAC for more than 30 years and their qualifying Graduates are sought after by first-rate employers because they are both educated to a high level and are salon ready.

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The Vocational Training Charitable Trust (VTCT) acquired EMS Limited which trades as ITEC, the internationally-recognised Awarding Organisation and Examination Board. Through the acquisition of ITEC, VTCT have expanded their knowledge of examination-based qualifications

VTCT,  is a Government-approved awarding organisation which has awarded world class qualifications since 1962 and has been at the forefront of developing the vocational system of qualifications in the United Kingdom ever since. Our full qualification package includes Hairdressing & Barbering, Beauty Therapy, Complementary Therapy, Sport & Active Leisure, Hospitality & Catering, Buisness & Retail and Learning & Development.

With more than 800 approved centres, VTCT has an ever expanding list of centres throughout the UK, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Cyprus, Kenya, India, South Africa and Australia. VTCT is a charitable organisation and its main activity as an awarding body is also its first charitable objective; to develop and provide high quality education and qualifications for the service industries.
With a head office in Eastleigh, Hampshire, VTCT employs around 40 staff and has a field force of over 70 external verifiers working on a contract basis.
VTCT is involved in many of the new initiatives being introduced into the education system, including the embedding of general education skills and online-assessment.

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The world’s major international beauty therapy Association CIDESCO stands for Comité International d’Esthétique et de Cosmétologie. Founded in 1946 in Brussels with its Head Office in Zurich, Switzerland. CIDESCO is represented by CIDESCO National Sections in 31 countries worldwide. The CIDESCO Diploma is the world’s most prestigious qualification in the field of Aesthetics and Beauty Therapy. Since 1957 the CIDESCO qualification has set standards that have been imitated over the five continents of the globe.There are over 230 CIDESCO schools around the world teaching to the internationally acclaimed CIDESCO standards leading to the CIDESCO Diploma.

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