VTCT to make black hair and skin part of core curriculum

VTCT (Vocational Training Charitable Trust) has announced that it is set to make black hair and skin part of its core curriculum.

The awarding organisation has begun an overhaul of its qualification offering to ensure its learners have the knowledge to work within an inclusive and diverse society.

As a global awarding organisation for the hairdressing, beauty therapy and complementary therapies sectors, VTCT has more than 1,600 approved centres worldwide, with over 200 of these in Ireland.

Now it has pledged to ensure that black hair and skincare forms part of the core element of VTCT qualifications, making their qualifications inclusive and accessible to all. These changes, initiated in September 2020, have been led by chief executive Alan Woods OBE and the organisation’s equity, diversity and inclusion advisory group.

“Meeting the needs of our learners has always been at the forefront of what we do at VTCT and we realised that there was more that needed to be done to improve the understanding of black hair and skin,” he said. “It was important to us that this became a core component of the qualifications we offer. We are proud to be making a difference and have laid out our own strategy for change within our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Roadmap.”

VTCT chief academic officer Carina Fagan added: “As a regulated awarding organisation, VTCT is responsible for ensuring that all our qualifications remain current and relevant. We have acted decisively, working with an expert, independent panel drawn straight from the heart of industry, to update our curriculum content on black hair and skin for delivery in the 2021/22 academic year.”

As well as reforming its qualifications, VTCT will also provide a range of training activity to support providers in preparing their staff. Educators responsible for delivering this new qualification content will receive expert training from VTCT subject matter specialists and an expert technical panel to understand the different characteristics and care across hair and skin types.

Currently, assessment methods are implemented in such a way that core knowledge regarding black hair care and skin is being overlooked. According to VTCT, by emphasising equity, diversity and inclusion within exams, question types and themes, it will ensure knowledge across all hair and skin types is fully covered.

This move by VTCT has come after months of collaboration with industry and educational experts representing beauty, make-up artistry, hairstyling, salons, further education and private training providers to understand where the gaps in knowledge are and how to fill them.