Louise Searles

A steadfast salon professional of many decades, Louise has a commitment to education that is obvious whenever you talk to her. Her work with City & Guilds has seen her go from lecturer to Examiner & External Verifier along the way to her own academy.  She owns Industry Support Network and is a destination for many professionals in need of filling the gaps in their non-regulated qualification training through her Route to Regulated program and network. 

“I started my career in 1984, completing a 3-year hair, beauty & wig-making course at Havering College, working as a hairdresser and therapist in hotels, salons and spas in Romford, Cornwall, and Reading, until 1988 when I established my first business within a hairdressing salon in Chelmsford. After a year, needing more of a challenge, I enrolled on a teacher training course and returned to Havering College in a sessional post, becoming a full-time lecturer in 1992.

I was introduced to City & Guilds by my head of department and fell in love with the whole examination process and became an examiner and then involved in the development and introduction of NVQs. I progressed to become an External Verifier and held the post of Hair & Beauty Regional Lead Verifier for London & South East for several years. I loved this role, however, gave it up in 2001 when I set up my own City & Guilds Approved training centre.

The training organisation has changed greatly over the past twenty-two years to meet the demands of learners and the industry. I maintain a semi-active role as a consultant with City & Guilds working on a variety of product developments, with the assessment team and am very pleased to be involved with the development of the new developments, as well as being a member of the Industry Advisory Board.

Having delivered funded provision for most of the business’ life, the organisation has taken a change in direction: I now offer City & Guilds qualifications to mature private learners who are helped to create their own flexible learning plan incorporating the units they would like to study. I also helps those who have already undergone nonregulated qualification training, to achieve formal qualifications by working on an individual basis to ‘fill in the gaps’ to support this I have extended the accreditation provision to satellite has centres around the UK and have developed online training resources which are available through the Industry Support Network

My focus is enhancing the quality of the learner’s journey, whilst meeting the industry’s needs and expectations to create quality, flexible, tailored training provision.”