Sally Salons - Clients - University of Derby

Sally Salons

Hair and beauty giant creates an industry first

“University of Derby Corporate's commitment to achieving our common goals has been instrumental in establishing a clear structure and process for students to follow. They are clearly committed to delivering quality programmes that drive academic achievement for individuals.”
Angela Gibbins, Learning and Development Manager UK, Sally Beauty Holdings UK & Ireland

The UK & Ireland branch of Sally Beauty Holdings, the world’s largest distributor of professional hair and beauty products, chose to work with us on an industry first – accreditation of its Academy programme.

Their brief

The Academy programme trained employees in areas like supervision, customer care, sales and consultation, and was an important element in maintaining excellent customer experience levels.

Sally Beauty Holdings UK & Ireland (SBH UK&I) recognised that gaining university accreditation for this programme would add credibility and make it more valuable to its employees – particularly since this would be the first accredited qualification for the hair and beauty products industry.

Our solution

The programme was put through our rigorous accreditation procedure, which includes many quality assurance checks. This enabled us to determine the appropriate higher education level and number of credits.

We worked with SBH UK&I to:

  • adapt the assessments so they met university standards
  • devise an assessment route for those who had already completed the programme but wanted to gain the new accredited qualification.

The final Academy programme was accredited as 2 Level 4 qualifications worth 30 credits:

  • Certificate of Achievement in Professional Hair, Sales and Services
  • Certificate of Achievement in Professional Beauty, Sales and Services.

Learners chose which of these qualifications to take, depending on their specialism. However, they could also choose to take both and gain a University Certificate in Professional Hair and Beauty Sales and Services, worth 60 credits.  

The qualifications were delivered as work based programmes, so each learner studied independently using a workbook but had support from a tutor who worked for the company.

The workbooks introduced the main concepts and topics, and the learner then applied these to their day-to-day work, reflecting upon these experiences.

Although SBH UK&I’s tutors were already very experienced, we had to ensure the tutorials met university standards. Therefore, the tutors undertook our Supporting Work Based Learning programme, to help them understand the context of supporting learners in higher education, and the underlying principles of design, delivery, assessment and quality assurance in a work based context.

The results

One cohort has completed the programme and another has recently started.

  • 96% of learners from the first cohort felt that the programme had already helped them provide advice that lead to a positive customer experience and repeat business.
  • The same percentage also felt it had given them more self-confidence.

“This course has really helped me to be a better assessor and I feel that I wouldn’t have been able to coach as well if I hadn’t done the course myself first. I have better communication skills, IT skills, product knowledge, and a great sense of achievement.”
Kellie Alford, originally a student and then progressed to be an assessor