Commissioner's Information Bulletin 512

Hairdressing - Apprenticeship and Traineeship

Wholesale Retail and Personal Services

Date of effect: 28 October 2011

Updated: 2 August 2013

This Commissioner's Information Bulletin (CIB) includes information from the SIH11v1 Hairdressing Training Package. Two vocational training orders support apprenticeship and traineeship pathways in the hairdressing industry.

Note: The advanced entry term for the Hairdressing Trade for applicants who hold the Certificate II in Hairdressing has been amended to 33 months.

On this page:

Vocational Training Orders (VTOs)





Qualifications, structure and packaging

SIH11 Hairdressing Training Package includes five qualifications ranging from Certificate II to Vocational Graduate Certificate. Two qualifications support the apprenticeship and traineeship pathways.



Transition arrangements

Under State Training Services' transition arrangements, a superseded qualification can be specified on apprenticeship and traineeship applications for up to six months after new or updated Vocational Training Orders come into effect.
Registered training organisations (RTOs) may commence training in either the new or superseded qualification but must meet the requirements of the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) to update the enrolment of their students to the current qualification before the qualification expiry date, generally 12 months after the current qualification has been added to the national register. For more information refer to the revised Standards for RTOs 2015 as specified by ASQA.

Industrial arrangements

Applications under the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Act 2001 to establish an apprenticeship or traineeship, whether full-time, part-time or school based will not be approved unless the Commissioner for Vocational Training is satisfied that appropriate industrial arrangements are in place.

Apprentices and trainees may be employed under the Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010.

All private sector employers and employees in New South Wales are covered by the national industrial relations system administered by the Fair Work Commission (the Commission). The industrial instrument that applies is a national (modern) award or a current enterprise agreement registered with the Commission. Further information is available from the Fair Work Ombudsman by telephoning 13 13 94 or via their website.

Licensing and regulatory arrangements

There are no licensing requirements applicable to hairdressing. However, under Part 2 of the Hairdressers Act 2003 only qualified people are permitted to work as hairdressers. Section 3 of the Act states that an individual must not provide hairdressing services "for fee, gain or reward unless the individual is qualified to act as a hairdresser".

School based apprenticeships and traineeships

For information about the delivery of training for school based apprenticeships and traineeships, refer to Training Arrangements.

Part-time apprenticeships

Nominal hours - part-time apprentices must be given at least 21 hours of paid employment per week. The hours of employment are to include any time required to complete training and assessment by a registered training organisation as specified in the relevant training plan. These hours can be averaged over a four week period.
When the registered training organisation is in recess, the 21 hours per week can be weighed in favour of on-the-job training. If and when formal training is delivered by block release, the 21 hours can be weighted in favour of the off-the-job training.

Nominal term - the nominal term for a part time apprenticeship will be the nominal term specified in the Vocational Training Order multiplied by 1.5. This formula will also be applied when converting a full time apprenticeship to a part time apprenticeship or on re-establishing an apprenticeship on a part time basis where the balance of the relevant nominal term must be multiplied by 1.5.

Formal training - delivery of the formal training should not be affected by the proposed part-time arrangements. However, when developing the training plan the registered training organisation should consider the number of employment hours specified in the training contract and the nominal term of the apprenticeship.

Other provisions - all other provisions that apply to full-time apprenticeships as stated in the relevant Vocational Training Order must apply to a part-time apprenticeship established under that Order.

Competency based completion

On successful completion of the relevant qualification:

  • parties may apply to the Commissioner for Vocational Training for completion of the apprenticeship or traineeship prior to the nominal completion date of the training contract or;
  • State Training Services may issue letters from the Commissioner to both parties inviting them to consider competency based completion if it has received advice from the training organisation that the apprentice or trainee is eligible to receive their qualification.

For more information and an application form, click here.

Learning resources and assessment materials

TAFE NSW has contextualised support materials available. Pivot Point Academy is developing learning materials aligned with the SIH11 Training Package.

Registered training organisations

For registered training providers which can deliver the apprenticeship qualifications go to
A list of training organisations which are in contract with the NSW Department of Industry to be paid for the delivery of the training is here.
When developing Training Plans, registered training providers should ensure that the training program satisfies the qualification packaging requirements and at the same time, reflects the nature of the business. Training Plans should be customised so that workplace activities support and align with the qualification units of competency.

Funding arrangements

From 1 January 2015 the NSW Government introduced new fee arrangements for government subsidised vocational education and training (VET). Under Smart and Skilled, all apprenticeship and most traineeship qualifications are subsidised. For a full list of all the qualifications refer to the 2014/2015 NSW Skills List. Information on the types and levels of subsidies can be found in the "Smart and Skilled Fee Administration Policy". Training for existing-worker trainees is not subsidised.

Inspecting Vocational Training Orders

A copy of each Vocational Training Order is available for inspection on this internet site below or at any State Training Services Regional Office of the NSW Department of Industry. For any enquiries regarding this Commissioners Information Bulletin, please contact the Vocational Training Tribunal Unit on telephone (02) 9244 5785.

Approved by Phillip Moore
Commissioner for Vocational Training

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Job descriptions

Apprentices will work in a hairdresser’s salon in a team environment. At the core level, they will learn to:

  • communicate competently in the workplace
  • consult with clients
  • sell products and services
  • design and apply a broad range of technical hairdressing services on clients
  • conduct financial transactions
  • participate in environmentally sustainable work practices.

Apprentices will then further their training in either men’s hair or general hairdressing.

Trainees will work as salon assistants. In that role, as part of a team, they will learn to:

  • perform routine hairdressing functions under direct supervision
  • communicate and interact with clients and work colleagues
  • apply workplace safety procedures
  • work effectively in a retail environment
  • participate in environmentally sustainable work practices.

At the elective level, they may advance their knowledge of products and hairdressing techniques and learn about financial transactions.

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Hairdressing - Apprenticeship

Vocational Training Order

Date of effect 28 October 2011
Course of study SIH30111 Certificate III in Hairdressing
Terms of apprenticeship

Full time:

  • SIH30111 Certificate III in Hairdressing by direct entry
    • 36 months or until the relevant competencies are achieved
  • SIH30111 Certificate III in Hairdressing where the apprentice holds SIH20111 Certificate II in Hairdressing
    • 33 months or until the relevant competencies are achieved


See part-time traineeships

School based

SIH30111 Certificate III in Hairdressing

The term for a school based apprenticeship will be the school based component plus 24 months full-time post-school, or until the relevant competencies are achieved. The school based component will be calculated in months from the date of commencement to 31 December of the HSC year. During the school based component of the apprenticeship the school-based apprentice must undertake a minimum of 100 days of on-the-job training.

Probationary period

3 months

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Hairdressing - Assistant - Traineeship

Vocational Training Order

Date of effect 28 October 2011
Course of study SIH20111 Certificate II in Hairdressing
Terms of traineeship

Full time:

  • 12 months or until the relevant competencies are achieved

See nominal terms and hours for part-time traineeships

School based

SIH20111 Certificate II in Hairdressing

The term for a school based traineeship will be calculated in months from the date of commencement to 31 December of the HSC year. During this period the school-based trainee must undertake a minimum of 100 days of on-the-job training.

Probationary period

2 months

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Page last updated: 15 July 2015