The difference between Regulated Qualifications and Accredited Courses in the Nail Industry

At NAF! School, we offer both Regulated and Accredited courses.

It can be quite tricky to wrap your head around education terminology, but the qualification that you get at the end of a course is very important for your ongoing career as a nail technician.

  • Regulated Qualifications are the base level and are recognised on the same framework as school, college and university qualifications. Learners must meet a certain number of Guided Learning Hours and pass an exam to gain their qualification.

  • Accredited Courses are aimed at topping up existing qualifications. They are typically Short Courses aimed at continuing professional development, these can typically be done over 1-3 days and learners are assessed in-house.

There is no set career path in beauty and our industry, but an example of these two types of courses in action would be:


Gain a Regulated Qualification in Manicure and Pedicure to ensure you have the underpinning knowledge of Anatomy, Physiology, Health & Safety and the practical knowledge to carry out manicures and pedicures safely. These will normally be around 80+ hrs blend of face-to-face & online learning


Take an Accredited Short Course in Gel Polish after getting a Regulated Qualification to build on the knowledge you have already gained and be able to get insurance to provide these add-on services

So, what is the difference between a Regulated Qualification and an Accredited Course in the Nail Industry?

Regulated Qualifications in Manicure and Pedicure are recognised on the same framework as school, college and university qualifications.

Accredited Courses are Short Courses typically aimed at topping up existing qualifications for Continued Professional Development (CPD).


Regulated qualifications are recognised by the national qualification framework. A Regulated Qualification demonstrates that the learner has attained a qualification approved by both a Regulatory Body, like Ofqual or SQA, and an Awarding Body, like CIBTAC. These can only be delivered by Training Centres that have been assessed and endorsed by an Awarding Body.


Accredited courses are not recognised by the national qualification framework, which means they do not reach the level of education, i.e Level 1, Level 2 etc defined by the Regulatory Bodies, but they are very important for Continued Professional Development. These courses are often referred to as Short Courses or CPD Courses.

In short, you should always start your journey into the nail industry with a Regulated Qualification in Manicure and Pedicure to future-proof your career.

Once you have this you will be able to do many CPD Short Courses and gain so much more from them. We work in a fast-paced industry where new treatments, services, trends and techniques develop continually, this is why Short Courses exist and are so important for additional learning.

The Regulated Qualification we offer at NAF! School is:

CIBTAC Level 2 in Nail Services: Provide Manicure & Pedicure Services

The Accredited Courses we offer are:

Beginners Gel Polish

L&P (Acrylic) Enhancements

& a range of TGB Courses