The FNP Census of the Industry

The FNP Census of the Industry

Although our personal, business, and current economic world is challenging, and the fact that at the time of writing we are in Lockdown 3.0, these closed periods are what have allowed the FNP to come to fruition.  From the onset, one of our priorities was positioning the organisation that was developing as “The Voice of the Nail Industry”.  Throughout the history of nail services in the UK there have been several attempts to create a formal association that speaks for our sector of the industry.  What has always been clear is that it is needed, but what has always happened is that eventually they have, for many different reasons, not survived.  The FNP does not intend to become another faded association added to the pile.  We are working at the highest levels already to prove to our prospective members that we are a force to be reckoned with and that we will be YOUR voice, but we need your support in many ways to do this as we proceed.

How We Find Ourselves At This Turning Point
What we have seen over the last 10 or so years in the nail industry, but also within the beauty sector too, is the rise of gel polish and consequently a huge boom in nail service providers, we can’t call all those who provide nail services a professional, because, as we know, that just isn’t true currently.  When these products first launched, they were hailed as a near miracle for the professional, as well as for the client, as it meant perfect nails for 2-3 weeks, no smudges, no drying time, no chips!  Many of us remember the imagery used in Shellac’s first adverts with that beautiful high gloss nail with the key symbolising so much in that one image, but the message was clear – our world was about to change!  The industry was won over and virtually every nail pro fell in love with the variety of gel polishes introduced by the market leaders of time, and even Jessica the natural nail specialists brought out their own gel polish.  This was huge!

However, the reality of that magic bean was that it led to a belief that anyone can do nails as it is “just painting nails” – that’s a whole different conversation.  Those of us that were working in the nail industry prior to gel polish often shake our heads sadly at what has become of our professional status as our skills leaked into the wider industry and our sector diluted.  This is not to undermine the many amazing gel polish pros out there, but I know I speak for many when I refer to the consequent dumbing down of our industry and this impacts nails and the wider industry sectors where these often misunderstood chemicals are now used.  We now have our own epidemic of allergy amongst product users, be it as a provider or as a client, we have semi-skilled and under-skilled workers, who, perhaps through a lack of research or naivety, have entered an arena that they have not been taught well enough to become part of, as the true professional you need to be to work on the public.

Where does this backdrop lead us? 
The answer is to potentially a huge restructure of our industry – which will happen, maybe not this year, but it is on its way.  How can we know what it will mean?  Because we now have an opportunity to be heard!  We now have “The Feds”!  We now have a VOICE!  The Federation will be at the forefront engaging with the right people to ensure that the damage that has happened to our industry through poor quality, mass produced gel products, a growth in cheap and unsuitable education is halted.  We cannot change the past but we can aim to provide a better future for UK nail professionals.

How You Can Make A Difference
Here’s the kicker, the Voice of the Industry needs words, messages and information to be heard!  This is where the Census of the Nail Industry comes in.  It is a survey like no other.  All our industry trade bodies send out the odd survey from time to time to pinpoint and answer specific questions or situations that they need a quick dip test of where their members sit which is useful and through the pandemic has given fast information on adapting to difficult times.

The FNP Census of the Nail Industry something different from a straw poll or a take on a specific topic.  The Census is just that – a census.  The Oxford English Dictionary defines a census as ‘An official count or survey, especially of a population’.

The information we are requesting is to define our industry and provide the information we need to take to the tables of power where the discussions around regulation and licensing, amongst other things, will take place.  Our industry (that’s YOU) has been crying out to be regulated, licenced, and controlled in some way and now is the time, but we need to take you with us and to do this we need to understand who we are, how we work, what we do and what we need.   The Census will give us those answers.

Within the survey there are areas covering you as an individual, you as a worker, you as a business owner, you as an employee, you as a learner, you as a buyer, you as a professional, you as someone going through the pandemic and how you have dealt with the challenges.  All this information can be utilised to show how AMAZING you are!  The results will show how we have developed as an industry, where there are gaps and will also, give us, on the Board, the information to push the nail industry agenda to the places it needs to be seen and heard.

So please take time out to complete it.  It is essential in our work going forward.

How Do You Find The Census of the Nail Industry

There are two versions of The Census. They have similar veins but also sections that are specific to the intended respondent. We initially tried to keep as one document but it became too complicated and so it divided so that we could ask more directed questions of the people answering.  We want all sectors of our professional workforce represented in our data.  All responses are anonymous and we do not know who any one is, and neither can we find out so please answer some of the more difficult questions as honestly as you can.  There is no judgement just a reflection of the industry.  The forms are comprehensive, and we would recommend that you put 15-20 mins aside to complete with a cuppa or a glass of your favourite tipple.

The first is for Employed/Student/Apprentice Nail Pros. If you are one of these roles please complete this Census and if you are a business owner and have a team please ask them to complete it as something to help their careers going forward and to make a difference.  

The second is for Self Employed/Business Owners.  This is for any nail professional technician, educator, salon owner (unqualified) who is responsible for their own taxation in any way.  

Some nail professionals may find they fit both as they may go between being employed but also have their own mobile business, for example.  All we would ask is that you select which is more appropriate and both if necessary and answer as fully as you can.  There are no right or wrong answers, just authentic information on our industry.  

We cannot emphasise enough how important your answers are to give power to the Voice of the Industry.  You will be heard, but only if you contribute.




We are excited to see the responses so far and are looking forward to being able to report back once we have enough data.

Sue Davies
Deputy Chair

What Should Online Nail Education Look Like?

What Should Online Nail Education Look Like?

As the world changes and adapts to the “new normal”, with periods of lockdowns, travel restrictions and limitations, we see schools, colleges and universities moving education online. The FNP recognises the importance of embracing appropriate and effective online training within the nail industry. This is essential in order to continue driving our industry forward. It has been proven that excellent results can be achieved from online nail courses, whilst offering positive opportunities for people to focus on, throughout times of great uncertainty.  Online platforms offer a virtual classroom environment with excellent views of demonstrations and working areas, offering educators the opportunity to focus on their students’ work in great detail and also giving the students clear, close up views of all demonstrations.

Of course, as with any training, there are appropriate methods and inappropriate methods of online learning and there are many important factors to consider prior to embarking in online education. Here are some important things to look for an online class or course.

Beginners training or advanced new skills training

Practical aspects of the training should be carried out in a virtual classroom environment, on an online platform where the educator and students are visible on camera (for example Zoom or Microsoft Teams). All students must have a clear and close-up view of the Educator’s screen for practical demonstrations. The Educator must have a clear view of the student’s hands and working area whilst they are completing their practical. This gives the Educator the opportunity to view the student’s work closely, so that they can assist with brush angles and filing techniques throughout the course.

When selecting an educator, it’s important to feel comfortable with them. They should offer support throughout the duration of the course and ideally afterwards. It is so important that feedback is provided on the completion of all practical work and case studies, with clear direction on how to improve. Pre-recorded video demonstrations are a great aid for practicing and completing case studies, but they should not be used in place of the virtual classroom. Courses should all conclude with assessments, these can be carried out on submission of case studies, theory knowledge checks and in the virtual classroom. Check these things with your potential course provider before you book with them.

Nail art courses

This style of course is suitable for virtual classroom or for pre-recorded videos, as students would already have their underpinning/foundation knowledge. This is a great time for developing and furthering skills. 

Due Diligence

Prior to booking any training it is crucial to do your due diligence! Checking the course content, the delivery methods, the educator’s credentials, and the company that are offering the course. Also ensure that your insurance provider will accept online certification. Don’t book anything before you are sure that the course satisfies your requirements.

The Future of Online Education

We must continue to move our industry forward in a positive and proactive way. If correctly delivered this method of training can produce excellent results and will enable the nail industry to continue to grow, develop and move with the times. We find ourselves in unprecedented times, but it is important to come out of it better and stronger. Online training is not as simple as just pick up a course and move it online, but with the correct planning, equipment, and delivery methods it is a fabulous option for education within the nail industry. It is a great opportunity to use our time in lockdown in a constructive way.


To join The Federation of Nail Professionals click here

The Hair & Barber Council

The Hair & Barber Council

The Hair & Barber Council ‘Shaping the Future Together’

Who is the Hair and Barber Council?

The not for profit professional body, originally set up by the Hairdressing (Registration) Act 1964, has the mandate from Government to protect and develop the current voluntary register of professional hairdressers and barbers throughout the UK. We alone hold this Government mandate, and as such it is only the Hair and Barber Council, in conjunction with industry and stakeholders, that can challenge Government to amend this current voluntary Act to that of mandatory whilst adding beauty and nails into the body of the Act.

Why does the industry need to be regulated?

To be a successful, professional, competent and inspiring hairdresser, barber, beauty therapist or nail technician takes time, commitment, focus and passion to achieve that aim. Training, continual professional development and experience all play a part in creating true professionals that the general public should be able to have complete confidence in. Sadly, many practicing hairdressers, barbers, beauty therapists and nail technicians in the UK currently have had little or no form of training, are not qualified to practice their craft, and as current legislation allows anyone to practice without any form of training or qualification at all, this for many decades has hugely undervalued the industry, as a whole, as the true profession it is.

Political landscape:

The Hair and Barber Council has consistently campaigned to change the status of the Act from voluntary to mandatory and has taken many actions to support this aim, which includes;

  • Implementing a ‘Public Affairs and Influencing’ strategy
  • Meeting and lobbying MPs, AMs, MLAs and SMPs and other relevant senior political/policy officials.
  • Securing support from MPs in setting up an ‘All Party Parliamentary Group’ (APPG), for the hair and barber and cosmetology industries.
  • Establishing regional meetings with constituency members, employers and staff to raise awareness of the valuable contribution the industry makes to the UK economy.
  • Commissioning various industry reports to include the 2017 Data Survey the results of which stated that on average 80% to 90% of industry, stakeholders and the general public wanted the industry to be regulated, and the 2019 Economic Impact Assessment Report that stated that the hair and beauty industry contributed £6.6 billion a year to the UK economy.
  • Working closely with BEIS (The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) to raise all issues and concerns within the industry whilst seeking to influence Government more definitively and specifically.

This political landscape has changed dramatically over the past five years! At last politicians from all parties are starting to take our industry seriously, with more and more of them supporting our campaign.

From a safety and hygiene perspective, during the current pandemic the industry has overwhelmingly proved that we are not responsible for the growth of coronavirus infections which has further strengthened the point of realigning the true status of the industry, so often totally undervalued by the public, parents, careers advisors and politicians alike.

For our industry to be able to lobby Government and to make representation to them on many issues surrounding our sector currently and in the future, we will never be taken seriously without regulation!


30 Sydenham Road, Croydon, CR0 2EF.
E: –   T: – 020 8760 7010
The statutory authority established by the Hairdressing (Registration) Act 1964

FNP Membership Criteria

FNP Membership Criteria

FNP Membership Criteria

Raising Standards Together

Since our soft launch we have been overwhelmed by the number of you that have signed up as supporters and it makes us incredibly excited for the future to know there are so many of you that share our passion to elevate the industry!

Okay, so how do we do that? Its undeniable we have a mountain to climb, BUT everyone has the power to do just that.  Here at FNP Headquarters (or Zoom for now!) we have spent months debating how to structure our membership to ensure that we can help you, to help us, reach our goal. With that in mind we had to make difficult decisions about the criteria to join the FNP in the various categories.  It makes no sense to try to raise standards by setting the bar too low. The criteria are pretty strict and with good reason.

As we all know over time standards have slipped in our industry. This hasn’t been a quick process, it’s been an insidious creeping malaise that we have unfortunately sleepwalked into, but it’s not all doom and gloom – nothing is irreversible with determination! We have had to identify where the problems have taken root and grown.

Education is a biggie.  Entrepreneurship is another if not undertaken with the right reasons, knowledge, sound foundations and ethics.

‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’ – Nelson Mandela

Now Nelson Mandela was a pretty extraordinary fella and he hit the nail on the head – and this doesn’t just apply in the context of nation building!

Getting the right education is fundamental to setting yourself on the path to success. Finding education in the nail industry used to be very straightforward, your local college would offer the relevant courses regulated by Ofqual and well-respected brands could also be counted on for quality education and training. However, this situation has evolved over time and in some cases, the opportunity to make big quick bucks has created an influx of courses that are not always fit for purpose. I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty of education here, my fellow Feds, Donna Clayton and Jennie Nippard, have both written fantastic blogs to help you negotiate the education minefield.

Suffice to say, some nail pros have found themselves thrust into the world of working on paying clients ill-prepared to deal with everything that entails, usually through inadequate training. Some will have gone for the cheapest, quickest option, others may not have known the difference. Some may not have had enough practice. (Would you be happy to drive through central London after just one or two driving lessons??) Some may just have taken their initial training and thought that was enough.

That brings us on to the next issue.

Being your own boss can be great, deciding your own hours and the lure of more money in your pocket, but many underestimate the challenges it can pose. In the rush to become entrepreneurs many don’t recognise that they are lacking the skills needed, or worse, they don’t care. This is another cause for standards to slip. The range of skills we need as Nail Professionals and business owners is vast. You might be able to knock out an incredible Russian Almond or some cracking one stroke, but if you are lacking in business skills, marketing, knowledge of your statutory requirements, Health & Safety, Product Chemistry, record keeping and tax, A&P knowledge (to name but a few), you are potentially setting yourself up for a fall. Having the correct business ethics is also essential – if you don’t it will most definitely come back to bite you! The arena of Social Media influencers would teach us that anyone can get famous and successful, but the quest for fame is empty without the qualities to back it up. The priority should be to get to the top of your game, this way you can avoid the pitfalls and enjoy a long and amazing career!

This is where our criteria come in. If you do not have the correct or adequate training for the services you provide, or if you are not working to the Code of Ethics, you will struggle to meet the criteria set by the FNP.  Now we are not here to bolt the door and say you are not good enough. That is the polar opposite of what we have set out to achieve. If you have applied to join the FNP, you already have the right mind set to do what it takes. We want to help you to help yourself. We want you to be successful, happy and an awesome member of the nail industry. The only way to do that is to be honest with yourself and to identify the areas where you can improve.  I could create a list for myself right now! We never stop learning. Good education and continued professional development are the cornerstones of any successful career and our commitment to you is to help you achieve this.  If you don’t meet the criteria straight away, we will guide you through the process of getting what you need and, in the meantime, you can still join us, either as a supporter or a student member. Just remember nothing worth having is easy, but we are here for YOU! We are only ever an email away.

Alex Cassells

Coronavirus & The Nail Industry – What does it mean going into 2021 and Lockdown 3.0?

Coronavirus & The Nail Industry – What does it mean going into 2021 and Lockdown 3.0?

Article by Peter Borg

Coronavirus & The Nail Industry

On Monday night (4th Jan 2021), pretty much the whole of the UK was glued to their television sets as the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced a new national lockdown for England.

Since March 2020, the UK has been dealing with a pandemic no one could have ever predicted.  At the time, it actually felt like the lockdown in March was a bit of a dream. How could they close the country down? How can this pandemic do such a thing and of course what is going to happen to my life?

March turned into April, April into May, home schooling became a thing and Zoom became our way to communicate with the outside world. Then June came alone and rumours began to circulate about when our gorgeous industry would reopen.

Then on the 9th June it happened, Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, announced all non essential retailers in England could reopen from Monday 15th June! Excitement! Applause! Cheering!  But wait, close contact services had wait until the 4th July “at the earliest” and with many new practices to ensure they were Covid-secure.

So now we saw the light at the end of the tunnel, we knew we could reopen, salons began shouting from the rooftops that they would be reopening on the 4th and waiting lists began to populate – Euphoria began to hit the nail and beauty industry like never before and salon owners across the nation began to “PPE” their salons, prices of gloves and masks went through the roof and the new words on the street were Risk Assessments!  What was a risk assessment? What did we have to do? Most salons had never done one before?

Fortunately, Marian Newman and her band of merry men came to the rescue via her newly opened Facebook group, Madge’s Chat Show, a place to answer so many questions and to give an insight to what was happening. It became so popular that Marian was awarded the British Empire Medal for ‘services to the industry during COVID-19’. (And of course the reason we launched the FNP!)

So with risk assessments completed, masks, gloves and eye protection at the ready and waiting lists bursting at the seams, 3rd July arrived and the whole of the nail and beauty industry screamed. They had not read the sentence in full.   The 4th July “at the earliest”

We had to wait a little bit longer. There was uproar! There were petitions, we even had Members of Parliament standing up for us and then it happened. Our doors could reopen on the 14th July! Yes! We were back! Nail professionals up and down the country stood tall!

Social distancing and PPE still had to be adhered to and it became the norm for everyone. The numbers of new cases were slowly dropping, and positivity began to shine as bright as summer nails.

Christmas was coming and everyone was beginning to get ready for the biggest season of the year.  Then on the 31st October, Boris announced a second lockdown from the 4th November for all those in Tier 4. This was to be a shorter one-month lockdown as the NHS was weeks from being overwhelmed, and new cases were rising fast.

It was only a month, we could still have our crazy busy Christmas season, and we could still make it a great Christmas!  Sadly, the numbers of new cases were still rising and a new strain of Covid-19 emerged in the UK and on 19th December, Boris once again addressed the nation and announced that many areas throughout England would be entering Tier 4 and subsequently much of our industry would be closed.  This was also occurring throughout the other 3 UK nations in whole or in part.

For many their Christmas dreams were over. The busiest week of the year was upon us and some would miss it.  But it was for the best as the UK began to experience our biggest numbers of new cases ever. The new variant was out of control.

On Monday 4th January, on what was to be the first day back at work for many, Boris Johnson once again addressed the nation and announced another full national lockdown in England from midnight on Tuesday 5 January and this situation has been replicated in varying ways throughout the UK nations.  He called it a “pivotal moment,” he said “the Government is instructing everyone to stay at home” as hospitals had come under more pressure from Covid-19 than at any other time during the pandemic  Unlike the November lockdown, this time we have not been given an end date other than the Cabinet Office minister, Michael Gove, saying he hoped the gradual lifting of restrictions could begin in March, but what does that mean for our industry?

UK businesses have traded for just over 4 months in this fiscal year, by March 2021 we would have been closed for a total of 8 months.  So far nearly 5,000 UK salons have closed their doors for good since the pandemic began and many more will follow.  These figures only relate to businesses registered for either PAYE or VAT with HMRC so the full impact may be higher.  With so much uncertainty and many unanswered questions, we are now in limbo.

But there is support.  The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended to cover 80% of the wages of those unable to work (up to the value of £2,500) while a business is closed, until April 2021. The Local Restrictions Support Grant, which was also available in lockdown in November, which gives you up to £3,000 per month, is also available. And now, Rishi Sunak has announced one-off lockdown grants of up to £9,000 for businesses, as well as a further £600 million in funding for local authorities.

Will it be enough? Only time will tell.



Here are the links to help guide you to the right channels

One Off/Business Grants for closed businesses

Local Restrictions Support Grant (LSRG) for open businesses 

Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) 

SEISS Grants 

Self Employment & Universal Credit

Difficulties paying HMRC

Reclaiming SSP paid to employees

There is a light at the end of the tunnel and the Government’s theory is that while lockdown is in place, it can vaccinate around 2 million people per week.

As an industry we need to stay positive, while it is a challenging time for everyone, now is the time to find your reset button once again. What training can you implement? What can you do as a business leader to be ready for when we do finally reopen? How will you support your team?

Make sure you become a supporter of The Federation of Nail Professionals for updates and stay safe.

Peter Borg
Treasurer & Financial Director

Peter Borg


Below is extra information on what is available to small businesses from the Government

  • Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses (see below for values per property)
  • £594 million discretionary fund also made available to support other impacted businesses throughout the UK. Applications should be made to your local authority.
  • The funds are in addition to the LSRG (Local Restriction Support Grants that are currently available through local authorities
  • Furlough and the SEISS Grants have already been extended to April 2021
  • 100% busines rate relief for retail, hospitality and leisure continues
  • Government backed loans are now extended until March for application.

Further information

  • the one-off top-ups will be granted to closed businesses as follows:
  • £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
  • £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000
  • any business which is legally required to close, and which cannot operate effectively remotely, is eligible for a grant
  • business support is a devolved policy and therefore the responsibility of the devolved administrations, which will receive additional funding as a result of these announcements in the usual manner:
  • the Scottish Government will receive £375 million
  • the Welsh Government will receive £227 million
  • the Northern Ireland Executive will receive £127 million
  • this will contribute to the funding which has already been guaranteed by the UK Government, to continue to provide the devolved administrations the certainty they need to plan for their COVID-19 response in the months ahead
  • small businesses in the devolved administrations should also be able to benefit from other UK-wide measures in the government’s unprecedented package of support for business, including the various business lending schemes (where the repayment terms were made easier as part of the Winter Economy Plan), and the extension of the Self Employment Income Support Scheme