Report on The European Agreement on the Implementation of the European Hairdressing Certificates
On 18 June 2009, Coiffure EU and UNI Hair and Beauty signed the "European Agreement on the Implementation of the European Hairdressing Certificates".
UNI Hair and Beauty and Coiffure EU are the social partners in the Personal Services Sector under the European Commission.
The European Hairdressing Certificate is based on three levels:
A. European Hairdressing Certificate, level A: National Hairdressers' diplomas issued by national authorities or training bodies;
B. European Hairdressing Certificate, level B: Voluntary hairdressers' certificate – is comparable to the European Qualifications Framework, level 4;
C. European management training programme, level C. Voluntary hairdressing certificate delivered to hairdressers having successfully passed the exams complementary to level B.
Clause 4.1 of the "European Agreement on the Implementation of the European Hairdressing Certificates” establishes that:
"The members of UNI europa and Coiffure EU shall take the necessary steps for the integration of the training modules and issuing of certificates taking into account the specific situation of each country and in accordance with the prevailing national regulation concerning the certificates.
Handling and issuing of the certificates (clause 4.2):
The European social partners are responsible for the design, production and dissemination of the certificates.
They shall designate the secretariats responsible for managing the certificates of each level.
Ownership of the certificate (clause 4.3):
The holder of the certificate is the person having passed the examination. Certificates for voluntary update will be issued.
The Agreement also includes a section on the structure of the certificate (clause 4.4).
Update of the certificates (clause 4.5):
The training systems (B and C) shall be updated every 4 years after discussion in the Social Dialogue Committee of the Personal Services Sector.
Health and Safety (clause 5):
The members of UNI europa and Coiffure EU will integrate the health and safety requirements of their Covenant on health and safety and future instruments that could cover health and safety into the training modules, as appropriate.
Working conditions (clause 6):
The members of UNI europa and Coiffure EU will encourage the application of the principles of their ”How to get along code” and future projects that could cover employment and environment into the training modules, as appropriate.
Monitoring (clause 7):
The sectoral Social Dialogue Committee shall set up an examination committee responsible for monitoring the implementation of the contents of level B and level C.
The examination committee shall be composed of representatives of the social partners in equal numbers, appointed by them for a term of 4 years.
The affiliates of the European social partners’ organisations confirm the implementation of the contents of level B or level C. The joint examination committee monitors the implementation on the basis of the documents provided.
Training material and/or the contents of level B and level C may be delivered to the social partners of new EU member states on their request.
The examination committee reports to the Social Dialogue Committee on the state of play once a year.
Information platform (clause 7.1):
A web-based European information platform will be developed, containing a database, examples of tests and examination procedures, a programme for hairdressing trainers, and a system for feed-back reporting.
Implementation of the agreement (clause 8):
This autonomous agreement commits the members of UNI europa and Coiffure EU to implement it in accordance with the procedures and practices specific to management and labour in the Member States.
The implementation will be carried out within two years after the signature of the agreement.
Follow-up of the agreement (clause 9):
Clause 9 establishes that the signatory parties must draw up a formal implementation report within three years of signing the agreement.
This report constitutes such implementation report and has been prepared after the said deadline due to regular updating of the contractual basis and phasing-in of the secretariat function.
Clause 4 of the agreement concerns the structures for implementation and monitoring of the agreement. Clause 4.2 "Handling and issuing of the certificates" describes the tasks of the social partners in relation to design, production and dissemination of the certificates.
Work has focused primarily on level B and therefore the partners have so far also focused on dealing with certificates for this level. A model has been prepared for the level B certificate.
This work has been undertaken by the secretariats at the Austrian Economic Chambers (WKO) and the Danish Hairdressers' and Beauticians' Union. The price of the certificates has also been calculated.
Clause 4.2 also describes how the certificate can be obtained.
In the period since the signing of the agreement, intensive work has been carried out to complete this process as smoothly as possible.
It has been decided that the social partners can download from the website the documents they need to verify that their training is comparable to the requirements that must be satisfied to obtain the European Hairdressing Certificate and therefore also comparable to the European Qualifcations Framework (EQF), level 4.
On the website, it is possible to download the document that the partners must sign to be able to document to the EHC secretariats in Denmark and Austria that they agree to support the European Hairdressing Certificate and that they meet the required level.
When these documents have been completed by the social partners at national level, they must be forwarded to the secretariats or one of the secretariats, which will then jointly discuss whether the application can be granted.
If so, the social partners will be given a password enabling them to download the certificate for either level B or level C or both and subsequently print the certificate. In countries where the European Hairdressing Certificate has been introduced as the national level, the certificate can generally be issued to those having completed the training programme. In countries where the certificate has not been endorsed as a national certificate, the social partners may issue the certificate to those of their members who are able to demonstrate that they have achieved level B/level C.
In some countries, the governments or respective authorities do not believe that the European Hairdressing Certificate can be recognised as an official national certificate.
In this respect, the social partners, Coiffure EU and UNI Hair and Beauty agree that the national partners may in any case issue the certificate to their own members if these members are able to demonstrate that they satisfy the EHC requirements.
This also means that people holding this certificate will be recognised by the social partners throughout Europe when their own countries' social partners have provided documentation showing that they have achieved the European Qualifications Framework, level 4, or a level comparable to level C (management level).
It has been discussed whether level C is comparable to EQF 5 or 6, the reason being that Meisterprüfung in Austria and Germany is comparable to EQF level 6. To achieve the certificate for level C in countries which do not have this Meisterprüfung, it is necessary to be able to demonstrate that the candidates have achieved a qualification level that is comparable to the European Qualifications Framework, level 6.
The organisations Coiffure EU and UNI Hair and Beauty have considered it essential to make it clear that the European Hairdressing Certificate is:
- a common level which is accepted by the industry;
- a bulwark against a qualitative impairment of the training programme;
- a common "language for hairdressers";
- a common level recognised across borders.
The parties have set a fee which the social partners in the respective member states must pay in order to receive the certificate for distribution among the members. This is due to the fact that the secretariat incurs costs in connection with the approval of applications and updating of the training programme, just as costs are incurred in connection with the operation of the website and development of its content, both in relation to text updates and design of the certificate.
In the course of 2013, a more detailed description must be made of how the provisions on health and safety that the parties have agreed on should be integrated into the European Hairdressing Certificate. This is to take place as part of the update of the certificate, which is specified in the agreement from 2009. Clause 4.5 of the agreement reads as follows:
"The training systems (B and C) shall be updated every 4 years after discussion in the Social Dialogue Committee of the Personal Services Sector."
This means that by the end of 2013, such discussion must be held in plenary by the European Social Dialogue in the Personal Services Sector. A discussion and updating basis will be provided by the secretariat.