The Institute of Hairdressers and Beauticians (IHB) was launched earlier this month with the aim of providing enhanced opportunities for local hairdressers, beauticians and barbers to obtain an internationally recognised qualification in their preferred language, while ensuring they maintain skills standards required by the industry.
Founded by the Sri Lanka Association of Hairdressers and Beauticians (SLAHAB), the institute is accredited to the World Federation of Hairdressers (OMC).
With the hairdressing and beauty therapy industry growing at a rapid pace, the need for professional and qualified hairdressers is vital. Although many possess the practical knowledge of the subject, they lack proper qualifications. Furthermore, the skills and standards of hairdressing and beauty therapy in Sri Lanka are not streamlined to meet the desired standards recognised internationally.
Therefore the IHB seeks to fill this void by introducing the necessary standards, while reaching out to a wider segment of the society. The primary function of the Institute will be to conduct hairdressing and beauty therapy examinations in English, Sinhala and Tamil, which are recognised both locally and internationally. The institute will set standards on par with international IVQ, Pivot Point, OMC and EU standards.
“The vision of the institute is to upgrade the quality and the knowledge of hairdressers and beauticians in this country and give them other opportunities such as gaining foreign employment and pave the way for them to become confident hairdressers,” said the President of SLAHAB Rayaka Jayasuriya.
In this endeavor, IHB will be supported by City & Guilds, the UK based education institute. “Education is fundamental in every profession,” stated the Regional Manager of South Asia, City & Guilds, Mufthy Hashim.
“I am glad to support this endeavor of IHB because it is something required. In terms of education, Sri Lanka has a huge reputation in the region,” he added.
IHB will be tasked with preparing textbooks, the curriculum and other study material, constantly updating and maintaining skills standards. The study material will be available in all three languages.
The institute will determine examination dates, prepare and assess examinations and issue certificates. A working committee consisting of key personnel and leading members of the industry will be formed to prepare papers and conduct assessments.
Theory exams will be held in June and December every year, while the practical exams will take place in July and January. In practical exams, students will be assessed not just on their ability to perform the given task but also on their presentation and communication skills, their attention to health and safety and customer care.
The institute will also act as a training centre for both trainers and academics and establish a library. Annual teacher training will be conducted by foreign resource personnel.
Practicing hairstylists and barbers can study on their own for the examinations while continuing with their careers and students could join any other recognised institute to follow the programme. They could study for the IHB qualifications and obtain qualifications at their respective training centre and then sit for the City & Guilds examinations with no additional studies.
A non-profit institute, the IHB is headed by a Board of Governors. The first study schedules for the IHB Hairdressing and Barbering Diploma will be issued on 31 January. Registration for the IHB certification will commence at 9 a.m. at Bishops College Auditorium. More information relating to the IHB certification can be obtained by contacting the Institute on 0115736553.