The Gold Standard in Education and Training

The Gold Standard in Education and Training

Once you have recruited an apprentice, one of the first decisions that you need to make is which Registered Training Organisation (RTO) to partner with. This partnership is important, as quality training will mean the difference between a profitable and valued team member and the struggle that comes with underperforming employees.

In order to make the choice about which RTO to partner, there are a number of ways to look at what is the best fit for your business. The Federal Government’s Myskills website has information that helps make comparison, but outside of ensuring the RTO in complaint with government regulation – it can be difficult to know. As with all decisions, it is important to ask those who have used or have heard about the quality of the education of the RTO’s in your region. Alternatively, calling the RTO and arranging a visit to the facilities is a great way to get a feel for how the RTO is run. While the considerations are many, another way to feel confident about your choice of training provider is to look to an accreditation system that is quite unique to the Hair industry.

The Australian Hairdressing Council (AHC) through its RTO Select accreditation program assesses and benchmarks quality RTO against the gold standard of Hairdressing training. RTO Select recognises quality education and provides a signpost for employers. It provides comfort so that the employer can feel that the RTO they are about to choose is one of the very best in the country.

The AHC has a membership of salons, product companies, RTOs, individuals, associated industry suppliers and businesses that share a united vision to promote and protect the industry. The AHC is an important voice for industry with 4 central pillars:

  • Educate – raise industry standards
  • Connect – connecting our industry
  • Inform – voice to government
  • Support – supporting business.

RTO Select was born out of this mission to educate, connect, inform and support. It has a set of 7 standards that a Hairdressing RTO must reach in order to be accredited. The RTO accreditation stands alone with no other trade in this country offering a comparable accreditation process on which industry can rely. These standards have been developed by salon owners and industry to raise the standard of formal education in Hairdressing.


STANDARD 1: Education Leadership

This standard looks to ensure the RTO’s business strategy, vision and mission are aligned to the industry.

STANDARD 2: Recognition

The RTO provides recognition of in-salon, product company and prior training as part of the process when educating an apprentice.

STANDARD 3: Communication and Industry Engagement

Ensures quality communication with salons and apprentices which includes systematic and ongoing engagement with the Hair industry.

STANDARD 4: Training and Assessment Resources

Resources that are current and engaging and relate to the salon experience.

STANDARD 5: Currency of Trainers

A top level of Hairdressing skill combined with VET knowledge and skills.

STANDARD 6: Salon Design, Operation and Clients

The college is designed for high end professional training and provides a real salon experience.

STANDARD 7: Environmental and social responsibility

The college actively supports awareness and participates in environmental sustainability at the college and in industry and to the next generation.


As an education business to be recognised as gold standard by the industry, you train in the highest accolade you can hope for. MIG is one of 17 Registered Training Organisations in the country to have the gold star from the RTO select accreditation program. We have been RTO Select for the past 7 years – since its inception – and we proudly display this accreditation in all our digital media and on the glass as you enter our college.

The AHC and RTO Select are closely aligned to what we value the most – which is the growth of an industry which has given us so much. But most importantly, it is about enjoying the journey and providing comfort to the salons we work with that they are working with an RTO who is connected and has their best interests at heart.

MIG Scorecard APP: How Do You Score?

MIG Scorecard APP: How Do You Score?

MIG has developed a really cool diagnostic tool for salon owners and managers to benchmark themselves against the best in industry.  

The Apprentice Builder scorecard consists of 20 questions designed to highlight a salon or Barbershops strengths and weaknesses in terms of building and developing great apprentices and great teams.

The scorecard provides instant feedback and actionable step on how to improve your salon through education and development of your people.

MIG’s Apprentice Builder Scorecard will score your business against the 4 key areas of:

  • Design
  • Professionalism
  • Technical Skills
  • Communication

Specifically, it provides a score on the following:

  • The design systems that are in place to create the space and educate the team
  • The Professionalism of the team and the standards that matter
  • The teams technical skills and knowledge
  • And finally the communication skills that demonstrate a clear identity, a sharing of ideas and a cohesive team

The scorecard is a great first step for those looking to venture into apprenticeship training or growing a team for the first time but it is also a great for those who have apprentices to get a snapshot of where their strengths and weaknesses lie. It takes 2 minutes. It is completely free and provides customised feedback instantly

To take the MIG Apprentice builder scorecard, click here.

Apprentice Communications

Apprentice Communications

Are you juggling all the balls at once? Working in and running your salon, while managing staff and finances. Marketing and operations can be a really difficult and all consuming job, and the life of a salon or barbershop owner can often feel like you’re working tirelessly for for little or no reward.

To combat this pain, the leading salons and barbershops we work with, build their teams in order to grow and accelerate both potential and profitability. At MIG, our signature method mentors apprentice hairdressers and barbers through a four step process.

This four step process is firstly –

1. Design. Efficient systems to create space to build your team.

2. Professionalism. Setting and living the standards that matter.

3. Technical Skills. Having team knowledge and skills that are on point. Finally,

4. Communication. A clear identity, a sharing of ideas and a really cohesive group of hairdressers and barbers.

The fourth principle of communication is really the glue that binds great teams together. At MIG, we guide each apprentice through four building blocks so that they’re incredible salon communicators.

Firstly, we develop a sense of an individual identity and confidence which is critical for any emerging stylist to be able to feel part of a team, to contribute and put their best foot forward. Secondly, communication skills to foster relationships with the broader team supports an individual’s growth, acceptance and harmony, which is what a lot owners are striving for. Thirdly, building communication and relationships with salon partners and the broader hair industry is incredibly important. And finally, and most importantly, communication and consultation skills with your clients.

The capacity to provide exceptional service, build and expand a client base while recommending products and services is gold standard for any apprentice. To be a great communicator can take many years to master, but when the fundamentals are instilled in emerging stylists, it goes an incredibly long way to developing a quality team that provides peace of mind and the time and space to work on your business and not in it.

Professionalism: The Standards That Matter

Professionalism: The Standards That Matter

Finding quality hairdressers and barbers is near on impossible at the minute and getting them to stay is even harder. In these uncertain times, it’s never been more critical to develop teams, culture, and a salon or barbershop that are profitable, can stand out and make an impact.

Our method for training teams and working with apprentices has four steps or four key principles. Firstly, design. So creating efficient systems so that you have the space to build and grow your team.

Secondly, professionalism. Setting and living the standards that matter to attract quality team members.

Thirdly, having technical skills that are really on point and a knowledge of hairdressing and the barber industry. That’s second to none.

Finally, communication. A clear identity of the business but also that of sharing ideas in a cohesive team.

Drilling into the principle of professionalism is one area where we really try and focus on when building teams and working with salons. Not only if you’re a professional in your environment, you attract a great clientele, but you also attract other hairdressers and barbers who want to live the standards you demonstrate and the way you carry yourself in industry. One key aspect of that professionalism when we start to deliver that training to teams and to apprentices is embracing sustainability.

At MIG we work with teams to educate and focus on being part of the solution. So showcasing best practice in sustainability, not only to their salons, but also to the broader industry and in the wider community at large.

We challenge apprentices to firstly identify resource use in their salon or barbershop to secondly seek opportunities to improve efficiencies in the way the salon does business. And then thirdly, we challenge teams to implement best practice in sustainability.

Awareness is key, and at MIG we also have leading partners we work with to showcase this best practice. We work very closely with sustainable Salons Australia. Sustainable Salons Australia has a network of collectors, recyclers, manufacturers and distributors to make sure that up to 95% of material from salons is diverted from landfill.

This is a wonderful story and a great way to showcase professionalism in the industry. Showcasing this best practice model helps to plant the seeds in the mind of the next generation of salon and barber shop owners as they move through their apprenticeship, with the view to make your industry one of the most professional and sustainable in the country.

If you’d like to understand more about our method, and how we develop professional barbers and hairdressers, it would be great to connect and talk to you about our principles.


The RTO’s Role

The RTO’s Role

When training an apprentice a strong working relationship with your training organisation is critical. Invariably, like all partnerships, there’s times when you need to work with your RTO to resolve issues that arise.

So I suppose understanding exactly what the RTO’s responsibility is, really helps with that. Particularly, because apprenticeships can be complicated. There’s competing priorities. There’s the priorities of the apprentice, the needs of the salon and then there’s also the requirements of the formal training package, which can be quite complicated at times. So again, the best advice would be really get to know exactly what your RTO’s role is, so that you can work with them to achieve the best outcomes. Namely, the RTO needs to conduct a workplace assessment and a plan with you.

So as an RTO, we will assess your capacity to supervise and train your apprentice. And that’s all around having people that are qualified inside the salon, but then also the resources and the time, and the rosters that help to make everything happen.

Secondly, we deliver training and assessment so we’ll negotiate and develop a training plan with yourself and your apprentice. Within that, there’ll be some strict timeframes, for full time apprentice is is 36 months.  We work to make sure that training and assessment of your apprentice happens over that duration. We talk about what the training costs will be, the funding implications, and then all the training and assessment requirements that come every step of the way.

Thirdly, we’ll manage progress. We do this by providing your apprentice and yourself with a training record. And that train record book sits within the salon and it shows that you’re regularly moving and completing your work as you go. We will regularly check that with you and then manage your training plan in unison with the training record to make sure that the progression is happening. We notify and work with you if the apprentice is not progressing fast enough.

Fourthly learning support. So if needed additional support, particularly for numeracy and literacy is something that we can really help with, or work with other support services to make that happen. Then there is completion, when it comes time to complete your apprentice, there’s a completion agreement that’s signed. Once all are agreed, and everybody says that the completion has happened, then we issue qualifications. Once those qualifications are in place, it means that your apprentice is now fully qualified and they can move about life as a senior hairdresser or barber in industry.

An amazing outcome and an amazing partnership between three parties over what can be a three, four or five year duration. At MIG we work with many leading names is the hairdressing and barber industry to walk through that process from cradle to grave of apprenticeships, to ensure that the industry has qualified seniors and really skilled technical people in the industry.

If you’d like to talk about how we deliver apprenticeship training, and how to train your team, it’d be wonderful to connect. Give a call. Thanks very much.


Is Your Apprentice Falling Behind?

Is Your Apprentice Falling Behind?


So your apprentice is falling behind, what should you do?

A full time hairdressing or barbering apprenticeship can be a really intense journey, with each apprentice having to complete 28 units in hairdressing and 26 units in barbering to complete their apprenticeship over the 36 months duration.

So when you take on an apprentice, you can experience issues and these can be with the apprentice or trainee themselves in relation to motivation and getting the job done. It could be with your supervising training organisation, or it could also be with the apprenticeship support network that helps you.

The key part to making sure that your apprentice stays on track is managing progression. This is a really important partnership between the apprentice, your training organisation and yourself. But it’s important really to know that you have an obligation to put plans into place to manage progression, and if progression falls too far behind then you need to notify the education department to put mediative action into place.

In the difficult world of work and study, oftentimes things may need to be put in place and we recommend five key steps to make sure that when you’re sitting down with the apprentice, you get the right outcomes when you’re trying to manage progression.

Firstly, you need to identify the issue. So you need to really work out exactly what the issue is. Express it in words, so that you can make it something that’s solvable. And I suppose focusing on the issue, and not the emotion is the most important tip that we’ve seen from our experience.

Secondly, identify what’s causing the issue. So who or what or how are things contributing to that, who’s being affected and what are the consequences. I suppose the best tip that we have is to listen without judgment, and brainstorm solutions with the apprentice and all parties.

Thirdly, make a list of all the possible solutions that you could go for, you could look at a range of possibilities that are both sensible and some that aren’t. But by doing that, you will avoid judgment, and you can debate all the ways that you could possibly move forward

Fourthly, choose a solution. So look at the solutions in turn, assess them all positives and negatives, and choose one that’s right for you. So that you can put it into practice and you can solve the issue. Consult with others, and plan the details. Once you’ve agreed on that plan, put it into play and ask these questions. Who’s going to do what and when you will do it by and finally, what is needed to put the solution into action.

Finally, once you put a solution into managing the progression of your apprentice to get them back on track, after a reasonable period of time, you need to evaluate that solution. So you’ll need to give it time you’ll need to let it work through, you’ll need everyone to be able to settle into their place.

To evaluate it you can again go through a series of questions. What’s worked well, what hasn’t worked well, and what could be done differently to improve it. It’s important to note that this partnership and communication are really important, balancing work and study is a difficult thing for many apprentices. It has its ups and downs over a long period of time, which can be three plus years of apprenticeship.

At MIG, we work really closely with many salons to help them manage the ups and downs of the apprenticeship and we’d love to work with you. If you’d like to reach out and discuss how we can help to build your signatures salon team and work to create happier harmonious staff that are completing their apprenticeship on time.

Give us a call. Thank you.