Level 3 Diploma in Barbering


The VTCT Level 3 Diploma in Barbering is an occupational qualification for learners seeking a career as an employed and/or self-employed men’s hairdresser. This qualification is based on barbering National Occupational Standards (NOS) and is recognised by the UK’s leading barbering association (British Barbering Association – BBA) as being fit for purpose for preparing learners for a career as a senior men’s hairdresser. Learners should hold a Level 2 qualification in barbering prior to undertaking this qualification.


This qualification has been specifically designed for the 16-19 age group, builds on existing knowledge and understanding of barbering and will develop an enhanced repertoire of technical skills to prepare learners for employment as a senior men’s hairdresser. Learners will have their barbering skills assessed in a real or realistic working environment.

This qualification includes all the required elements to work effectively as an advanced men’s hairdresser including: health and safety; client consultation; advanced cutting and; selling products and services to clients. These units are all mandatory.

Learners will further develop their understanding and skills by selecting a number of optional specialist units which include: hair colour correction; specialist scalp services and treatments; perming and colouring – the full list of optional units is presented in the learner Record of Assessment book (RoA) (specification). This qualification’s structure provides learners with the flexibility to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills depending upon their designated career pathway as a senior men’s hairdresser.


This qualification forms part of a suite of barbering qualifications. At 431 – 493 guided learning hours (GLH), this qualification is larger than the VTCT Level 3 Diploma in Barbering Studies. Whilst both qualifications qualify learners to become senior men’s hairdressers, this qualification in Barbering requires learners to achieve more units and develop a greater breadth of technical skills.

Hence, this qualification is most suitable for learners who wish to focus the majority of their Study Programme on men’s hairdressing. In contrast, the Barbering Studies qualification is more suited to learners who wish to undertake a Level 3 barbering qualification alongside other smaller qualifications.


Learners who complete this qualification are eligible to become a State Registered Barber (SRB) with The Hairdressing Council.

Career opportunities as an senior men’s hairdresser exist in a variety of contexts, including:

– Commercial barbershops/salons
– Specialist African type hair barbershops/salons
– Independent/self-employed/mobile/home-based settings
– Product manufacturing and training
– Television, film, theatre and media
– Armed services
– HM prison service
– Cruise liners

Whilst this qualification’s primary purpose is to prepare learners for employment as a senior men’s hairdresser, learners may choose to develop their skills base further by undertaking advanced specialist qualifications at Level 4, including:

– VTCT Level 4 Award in Creative Male Grooming
– VTCT Level 4 Certificate in Salon Management
– VTCT Level 4 Diploma in Salon Management
– VTCT Level 4 Certificate in Specialist Hair and Scalp Services
– VTCT Level 4 Certificate in Hair Colour Correction