Here are a few of our most popular questions. For more information, or if you need support, feel free to give us a call or email.


When can I start?

Soon! A new intake for our in-person training begins every month. If you're more interested in our online courses, you are given access to these as soon as your payment clears.

How long is the course?

There are several Modules that make up the Foundation Certificate in Nail Technology. You can do the Modules across three consecutive weeks or spread them out over up to 12 months. You do also need to complete a Portfolio in your own time.

Alternatively you can pick and choose only the modules that interest you, or forget the timetable and do them online at your own pace.

How Many Lessons Are There?

16 Days broken into 4 Modules of 4 Days each.

When are the lessons?

In-person classes run Monday-Friday from 10am until 5pm.

You can also choose to attend one-on-one training, scheduled at your own convenience, or to complete classes online, with remote access to an Educator.

Do we need to log hours?

Yes and no – Rather than hours, you are required to attend all lessons before the end of your 12 month study period.

If you are unable to attend a lesson for any reason, you will need to complete this one-on-one at a cost of $80 per hour.

How Many Days of Training is Each Module?

Module lengths vary as indicated by colour below -

I Was About to Enrol But The Date I Want Has Disappeared - Why Is This?

Our in-person classes have extremely limited numbers. When a class fills up, it is removed from the website. We often hear from people disappointed when a class fills up before they can enrol, so do make sure you enrol ASAP. We accept Oxipay installment plans to make this easier.

How do I find you?

We're at 163A Marua Road, in Ellerslie. The first minute of this video will show you how to find us -


How many people will be in my class?

We try and keep our classes as small as possible, but what is important to us in our student-tutor ratio. We will always have at least 1 educator for every 8 students.

What help and support will be available to me? (The answer is HEAPS!)

The thing we are most proud of here at Monaco is the level of support we offer not just our Novice Trainees but all Nail Techs throughout New Zealand.

  • FORUM - We have a Pro-Only Facebook Group called 'Monaco Pro' available to all NZ and Australian Nail Techs. As a trainee you will get immediate access to this page once your enrolment is accepted. It is a wonderful community and means you can ask any question at any time and have full access to the entire Australasian Education Teams for all of the brands we teach with. It means if we are busy, someone can help - although we do monitor the page all day. We also have a second group just for Novice Trainees and Graduates where you can get more specialised support and extra special discounts.
  • VIDEOS - There are lots of free videos in the Videos Tab of our Novice/Grads Facebook Group. You can also purchase our online modules for extra help.
  • MORE (FREE!) TRAINING - You can request to repeat any of our Modules for free, whether because you struggle with a particular technique or just want a refresher. Spaces are limited for all classes so it pays to book in advance.
  • UNSUPERVISED PRACTICE DAYS/EVENINGS - You can choose to use this time to work on your Portfolio, sit Assessments, or to practice anything you have been stuck on. You need to supply your own models or you can find a buddy and work on each other. An Educator will be available to mark Assessments with the exception of a 12-1pm lunch break and we are here three evenings/fortnight until 8pm. As this is an Unsupervised Portfolio and Assessments Day, at all other times they will be working on other tasks and unavailable for demos or assistance. If you need extra help, try a Supervised Portfolio and Assessments Day instead.
  • SUPERVISED PRACTICE DAYS - Same as the Unsupervised Practice Days but in this case a Mentor or Educator will be available to demo and assist throughout the day, with the exception of a 12-1pm lunch break.
  • MENTORING - Need some alone time with us? Book in for one-on-one mentoring with one of our Educators. Mentoring sessions are $80 per hour. Once you book in, it is entirely up to you what we use that time for! We can work on a technique you struggle with, practice your exam, or play with some designs you found on Pinterest!
  • EMAIL - You can email us at any time
  • PHONE - Phone us 09 574 5573 during office hours 8am-4pm Monday-Friday

Who are the tutors?

The Monaco education team is lead by Managing Director Penny Lawler, an Artistic Nail Design Educator and Ambassador and holder of 19 awards, including Runner Up Nail Technician of the Year 2015/2016.

Joining Penny is a team of highly skilled technicians with a wealth of knowledge ready and waiting for you. You can view their Bios on our Meet the Team page and you can see a full gallery of their work over on our Facebook page in this album here.

Is a workbook provided?

A comprehensive online workbook is included with the 'The Theory of Nails' module.

Is there a dress code?

Dress code is 'smart casual' - we ask you to dress professionally and comfortably as you will be sitting for a period of time. Also consider that it is difficult to regulate room temperature for all preferences so you may want to bring warmer or cooler clothing accordingly. Note also that in your assessments you are graded on personal presentation.

What happens if I can’t attend a lesson?

If you cannot attend a lesson, please give as much notice as possible. Missed lessons will need to be rebooked one-on-one at a cost of $80.00 (inc GST) per hour although we will endeavour where possible to fit you in with another intake at no charge.

From our Terms and Conditions -

  1. Attendance at all lessons is compulsory.
  2. Missed classes for any reason including illness will be treated with the same terms and conditions as a 'Cancellation' (see T&Cs). We understand you can't plan for your illness but neither can we, and with small class sizes a refund resulting from your illness would mean up to a 25% loss for us.
  3. If you really cannot attend a lesson for any reason, it will need to be rebooked one-on-one at a cost of $80 per hour inc. GST.
  4. If you cannot attend a lesson without advance warning, please use the Novice/Grads Facebook Group to advise of this. We have different educators on different days and no phone line in the classroom so if you post in there anyone who needs to see it, will.
  5. Classes must be completed in order. If time or Educator availability does not allow for rebooking missed classes before subsequent lessons, you will also need to rebook the subsequent lessons until you are able to catch up to your group.

Do Classes Have a Wide Range of Ages?

This is a question we get a lot! Monaco Nail Academy is definitely not 'just' a place for young people and that's one of the things we love about it. The youngest person to Graduate so far was 16 and the oldest 58. At a guess we would say the average age is anywhere between 28-38.

What is the Student Dynamic Like?

Since we don't accept Student Loans, the people who complete our course have to really want to be there - they've either saved up, got a loan or got financial help. This means the people who end up enrolling are passionate, determined and hard working - a wonderful group of like-minded individuals who support each other endlessly.

Who Do I Call If I Am Sick?

We can't stress enough that this should be a last resort. As per our T&Cs, you have to complete classes in order and this can mean in some cases having to pay One-on-One to make up missed sessions. If you do have to call in sick though, please use the Novice/Grads Facebook Group. We have different educators on different days and no phone line in the classroom so if you post in here anyone who needs to see it, will. No one wants a PM on their day off

What is a 'Module'?

We split our course into sections or blocks based on topic and call each topic a 'Module'. You can choose to complete them consecutively or spread them out over up to a year.

What Topics are Covered During the Foundation Certificate in Nail Technology?

In the online Theory of Nails course, we cover -

  1. Client Consultations
    • Learn how to perform a professional consultation before starting a service, identify contraindications (alarm bells that tell us not to proceed) and keep thorough client records.
  2. Hygiene
    • Learn why we need to follow safety and sanitisation practices, what products we should use, and how we use them correctly.
  3. Nail Anatomy
  4. Troubleshooting and Disorders
  5. UV Light
    • There’s a lot of information out there about UV Lights and the potential exposure to UV rays during Gel Manicures. Today we learn the truth about UV, the levels of risk we expose ourselves too, and the best ways to minimize the (very small) risk.
  6. Biohazards
    • Make sure you know your Biological risks and how to avoid them – plus what to do if the best intentions to avoid them don’t go to plan.
  7. Chemical Hazards
    • Learn which chemicals you are exposing yourself to, which have the potential to be harmful, and how to completely avoid any unnecessary exposure.
  8. Common Product Ingredients and Safety When Using Them
    • Expand your knowledge of the potential hazards around you, how to avoid them and what to do if you accidentally… don’t. Learn how to keep yourself and your clients as safe as possible at all times.
  9. Introduction to Acrylates
    • It’s time to get into Chemistry, learning the ins and outs of the products you work with most often. Today we start to understand more about plastics and polymerization before delving further into a couple of types of plastics – Cyanoacrylates and Oligomers.
  10. Polymers and Acrylate Characteristics
    • There’s one more important type of acrylate we haven’t covered yet – polymers.
    • Once we know lots about each type of plastic, it’s time to focus on the characteristics of those plastics and what they mean for us in the salon.
  11. Prescribing the Right Service for Your Clients
    • It’s not enough to know how to do each technique – why are you doing it? Where a big fan of ‘the why’ here at Monaco, and don’t believe in doing or saying something ‘just because’. With your new-found chemistry knowledge and a wee bit of experience under your belt, learn in this session why you shouldn’t just accept that a client wants a certain service and how to ‘diagnose’ if something else would work better for their wants and needs.
  12. Working with Nail Biters
    • Discuss the reasons people bite their nails and the best ways to help them stop.
    • Discover easy, temporary ways to make a nail biter look great for a special occasion.
    • Learn which techniques to use if applying enhancements and how to do so safely.

In the practical modules, we cover -

Manicures and Pedicures -

  • Traditional Manicures
  • Gel Polish Manicures
  • Scrubs, Masks and Massage
  • Traditional Pedicures
  • Options for Male Clients

Dipping Systems

  • The science behind the Dipping Systems
  • How to apply a Dip Overlay
  • How to maintain Dip Manicures
  • How to remove Dip
  • How to extend the natural nail with Dip
  • How to create an ombre effect with Dip

Acrylic 1 & 2

  • Picking up beads
  • Natural Nail Overlays
  • Using both Tips and Forms
  • Natural-look Extensions
  • French Extensions in traditional and reverse methods
  • Blending Cover Powders
  • Backfills (2-3 Weekly Maintenance)
  • Rebalances (2-3 Weekly Maintenance for French Extensions)
  • Filing and Structure
  • Fixing Cracks and Breaks
  • Safe Acrylic Removal
  • Basic 3D Art using Acrylic

Hard Gel

  • Picking up beads
  • Natural-look Extensions
  • French Extensions
  • Filing and Structure
  • Backfills (2-3 Weekly Maintenance) (Demo Only)
  • Rebalances (2-3 Weekly Maintenance for French Extensions) (Demo Only)
  • Fixing Cracks and Breaks (Demo Only)
  • Safe Hard Gel Removal (Demo Only)


  • When to offer Putty
  • Natural-look Extensions
  • French Extensions
  • Backfills (2-3 Weekly Maintenance)
  • Safe Removal
  • Baby Boomers
  • Nail Art
  • FAQs

Is it OK if my Partner/Sister/Child Sits in Class With Me?

Generally, no, our studio is small and has enough space for 8 students and 4 models. There is no reception or other suitable area for non-essential attendees to sit.

Additionally, as it is a classroom environment that students have paid for we cannot allow non-students to sit within the class and get the same information as paid attendees. There is a local cafe that offers free WIFI with any purchase at the end of our driveway.

If you have learning difficulties that require assistance from a caregiver or interpreter, please call us to discuss prior to enrolling as we will always find a way to work around this if it is absolutely necessary.

Additionally, your models will not be able to bring their children into the room with them.

Will Online Training Be Enough Or Do I Need to Come To Auckland?

Personally I think both versions have their perks.

As an example, last week when I was teaching, I was able to show a student how to move her file 2cm and suddenly get a better result, which we can't replicate in online training.

In saying that, there are easily twice as many demos in the online version, and more detailed too, because we have the luxury of 20 minutes to talk about c-curves etc, whereas in class we would be taking away from your practice time, which is what you're there for. As an example, the online acrylic module has 13.5 hours of video content, which would take 2 days and 2.5 hours on a third day to watch in class and that's only if you didn't ask any questions.

I would love for people to do both and for that reason once someone has done the in-person version we always offer the online version half-price.

In saying that, losing the hands on aspect of training was my only sticking point when offering online, so we've introduced Virtual Classrooms, where an Educator can watch you do the things you struggle with and give that real time advice. We're also happy to live stream our answers to your written questions into our student Facebook Group.

What is Remote Mentoring?

Starting with one Wednesday a month (we plan on adding a weekend morning and/or some evenings soon), our Educators will be available in a video-based classroom for the entire day. You tune in with a link we provide using the camera on your phone. We can see what you're doing. You can what we're doing. We can see your mistakes and show you in real time how to fix them.

These virtual classrooms are free for all Online Foundation Certificate Students or available for $99 for a half day to all others. Your half day starts when you sign in and ends 3 hours later. Online students can come and go all day as they please.

To get the best out of your experience, I would suggest getting an Octopus Tripod from Trade Me (they're under $5), attaching your phone to it, and attaching the Octopus to your overhead desk light so that your phone camera is facing down over your work space. Make sure your phone can be plugged in to its charger from your desk and that you have a good wifi signal.

If you live near another student - get together at the same house/salon and stream in together!

It was a big deal for us to start offering online training to beginners because we firmly believe that you can't learn nails without an educator looking over you to see your mistakes and correct you in real time. In saying that, we've become acutely aware over the last couple of years, how many people are enrolling in really dodgy online training, super quick in person training OR just going for it with no training, purely because they can not get to training they can afford.

We believe this is the middle ground.

How Long Does The Online Training Take?

That's entirely up to you, the full Foundation Certificate has around 65 hours worth of videos plus supporting texts and then you need to practice. If you committed an 8 hour day each week to the course and spent 3 hours of that day watching videos and 5 hours practicing, it would take 22 weeks to complete the content and then an extra day or two to sit Assessments. Let's call that 6 months.

Some people go great guns and finish it in a couple of months, some do it in shorter bursts and take a year, and some set aside a full week every few months and do it that way.


What products do you use in class?

We choose to use Artistic Nail Design's Gel Polish, Acrylic and Hard Gel Systems during all Novice classes, combining these base systems with many other brands depending on which product we feel is best for the job. Our sister-company, MonacoPro, does sell these brands online as well.

The application procedures for each brand differ slightly so while we attempt to teach you in the most non-brand specific manner possible, we won't be able to troubleshoot any issues you have with other brands.

Is this course 'brand neutral'?

We are acutely aware of the number of people looking for 'product neutral' courses. We do our very best to teach you in the most brand-neutral manner possible, however we have chosen to teach with Artistic Nail Design products as our core system. Through years of experience we have come to regard these as the highest quality, most reliable, and best value products on the market. We have the choice to align ourselves with any brand and choose Artistic.

As you gain experience post-graduation you will learn that the application methods of different brands vary greatly, so while there are some courses that claim to be 'brand neutral', you will still be learning with a specific brand and focussing primarily on the methods required for that brand. We will do our best to give you a wide, well-rounded education that can be applied to any brand you wish to use in future. Most brands offer a 1-day 'cross over' course to make sure you understand any differing prep and application steps if you decide to change (although we think you will like Artistic!)

Our view is that by starting your career with Artistic Rock Hard products, you're lucky enough to be joining a revolution that we as experienced Nail Techs were very excited about. This is the first time in history that a combined Acrylic and Gel System has been created, both stemming from the same molecule and therefore chemically interchangeable. For us, we came about this post-graduation but for you, you start your career with more knowledge and better products than any of us had access to. Throughout the course you will learn exactly why this is the most exciting development in the industry in YEARS - and why we think it is worth sharing.

Do You Provide a Kit?

We supply all product used during class, but not a take-home kit.

Most schools that supply kits expect you to use your own product during class, so although it sounds good that you get a kit, you don't often have much of it left by the end, and you don't necessarily need all of it either (for example we teach forms and tips but you will choose a favourite and focus on that once you finish, so don't need both outside of class). We figure that if we supply all the product in class, it doesn't matter if you use it all up practicing, and then you get to pick and choose what you actually need afterwards.

Using our product during class means when you do buy product you make money off all of it instead of using it up on free models. You will get to know what you like and don't like, decide what you need and don't need, and learn how to choose suppliers and product and how to order for yourself - something no one else teaches!

It's worth noting that all of this is reflected in our pricing - after you remove kits from the equation and look only at price versus the number of hours of training you get, we are one of the cheapest courses available in New Zealand. We do have Kits available for purchase as an optional extra.

What Products and Tools Do I Need to Buy?

We supply all product used in class.

If you choose to seek work in an existing salon after you finish training, you probably won't need to buy anything. If you choose to set up your own salon from home or commercially, we have Recommended Kit Lists for each module (available in the Files Tab of the Novice/Grads Facebook Group after you enrol) and offer product specials every day during class.

To complete your Portfolio, which is done outside of class time, you will need access to product. If you set up your own salon, this will be easy. If you plan on working for someone else and therefore don't have any product of your own, don't worry. We are here 10am-6pm Monday to Friday plus three evenings each fortnight until 8pm. During these hours you are able to use our training studio for Portfolio work at a cost of $10 per day to cover product. Space is limited so you do need to book in advance.

Is There Somewhere Cheaper I Can Get Products?

We are the sole distributors of Be Creative Nail Art products in New Zealand and import them from the UK, so this brand is the cheapest possible with us.

There are 3 distributors of Artistic Nail Design products in New Zealand, including us, but we have a Price Match Guarantee - If you find any of our products available from authorised NZ distributors at a cheaper price, we'll permanently match the price.

There are lots of other brands you can choose to use too and we will always give unbiased education so that if you choose not to use the same brands as us, you still have the knowledge to use others. We don't recommend using products or brands that are sold on EBay or other international sites, or that are available to the general public without proof of qualification.

In terms of disposables and items we don't stock, recommendations are made on each Recommended Kit List. One of these is available for each Module, after you enrol - you'll find them in the Files Tab of the Novice/Grads Facebook Group.


Do I need to bring models?

You are required to bring models to many lessons for the most realistic learning experience although we also work on each other occasionally. You can see exactly when models are required on the Course Planning Sheet for each Module, found in the Novice/Grads Facebook Group.

It is your responsibility to ensure that the model has reasonable expectations about the service she will receive. Lessons are planned to give you plenty of time to practice but some application methods will be more difficult than others and in some cases you may not complete the full set.

From our Terms and Conditions -

  1. You are expected to source your own models for all classes that require them. When you enrol, you will be granted access to the Novice/Grads Facebook Group run by Monaco Nail Academy. Within this group, Course Plans are kept in the Files Tab.
  2. Course Plans list the dates and times models are required
  3. A sheet giving tips on finding models (including from out of town if you are travelling for your course) is also provided.
  4. You only need one model between two students - use the Facebook Group to communicate with other students and coordinate sharing. Space does not allow for exceptions to this.

What if I can't get models?
  • Ask your friends and family first – they are more reliable and more likely to be honest with you!
  • Go on Facebook and advertise on your local community pages. Search terms such as –
    • ‘Grapevine’
    • ‘Buy Swap Sell’
    • ‘Trade’ or ‘Trading’
    • ‘Pay it Forward’
    • Your/Our suburb or city name
    • ‘Mum’ (for parenting groups, all Mums need pampering!)
  • Create a Facebook page and post your work regularly, calling for models each time
  • Create a public Facebook event detailing what you need and when. Invite your entire Facebook friends list and encourage your friends to invite their friends by offering a free cuticle oil to anyone who refers a friend.
  • Advertise on
  • Approach local kindys, schools, women’s gyms and other female-centric businesses and ask to advertise in their mailers or to give a half price appointment once you’re qualified to any one of their staff members who helps out as a model
  • Approach the Women’s Refuge or Ronald McDonald House – they definitely deserve pampering!
  • Approach Look Good Feel Better and Dress for Success
  • Put flyers on Uni Noticeboards and Community Centre Noticeboards
  • Ask EVERYONE. The check out girl at Pak n Save might be dying to have her nails done!

Remember you only need one model between 2 students. Pair up with a peer and make plans to share the model-finding responsibilities.

Can I Use a Practice Hand Instead of Getting Models?

No, we specifically don't allow Practice Hands in the training studio because doing so would discourage you from putting effort into finding models and the learning experience on a Practice Hand versus a human is vastly different. If you can't find a model, you will work on your buddy.


Is there Homework?

There is no homework for each individual lesson, however there is work you will need to complete at home within your 12 month Study Period. If you are completing the Foundation Certificate in Nail Technology you will be required to submit photos of 12 prescribed clients within a year of your start date of the first Module.

The requirements for these submissions are outlined in the link below.

How do I submit my prescribed client pictures?

Easy! Go to and create a free Google Drive folder. Save all your photos, carefully labelled, into that folder and then click 'Share' and share it with

Can We Work On Each Other For Homework

Sure! Use the Novice/Grads Facebook Group to coordinate this.

Do we need to submit a portfolio?

Yes. For the Foundation Certificate in Nail Technology, a photographic portfolio of 12 clients is required to be submitted within a year of the date of your first module. The required photos are outlined in The Theory of Nails online and in the Files Tab of our student Facebook Group which you will receive on your first day of class.

What is a Portfolio?

Your Portfolio is a collection of images of your work, showing us that you have practiced outside of class.

Why Do we Have to Submit a Portfolio?

During class, you work with a buddy, completing one hand each for your shared model. This means you don't complete a full set until after you leave class. The Portfolio ensures that our Foundation Certificate in Nail technology students have practiced every technique you were taught in class, at least once, on both hands of a client. This keeps the integrity of our qualification high and ensures Monaco Graduates are Nail techs with experience, not just skill.


Are there exams?

We like to think we have redefined the word ‘exam’ here at Monaco. Yes, you have a standard that you need to reach, and we measure that standard via 4 moderated assessments. However, these assessments are not pass-or-fail exams. We don’t expect you to break records on your first go.

Each time you do an assessment, we go through it with you, one on one, give you feedback, and send you away to practice again. You can do each one as many times as you want, free of charge, getting better and better each time. When you do eventually achieve an 80% feedback rating, you become eligible to receive your Certificates. That doesn’t mean you need to stop doing them though – you are still welcome to re-do assessments as many times as you like, to build confidence and get that invaluable feedback.

We take full responsibility for getting you where you need to be. That's why we have so much support and so many extra lessons available to you.

The assessments are -

  • Written theory (Done from home, 100% online. Click here to take a look)
  • Practical Gel Polish
  • Practical Hard Gel OR PolyGel (you choose)
  • Practical Acrylic

From our Terms and Conditions -

  1. There are four Assessments - Theory, Practical Gel Polish, Practical Liquid and Powder and Practical Hard Gel.
  2. You can repeat each assessment as many times as you like, for free.
  3. The Theory Assessment is to be completed from home via this link. By accepting these terms you also accept the terms on the first page of the Assessment.
  4. Practical Assessments can only be repeated by applying for a Free Repeat Class of Module Four or by attending scheduled Assessment Sessions. These will be advertised in the Novice/Grads Facebook Group and nowhere else.
  5. The pass mark for each Assessment is 80% with no exceptions
  6. All Assessments must be passed within your 6 or 12 month Study Period (the 6-12 months from Course Commencement), with no exceptions.
  7. We anticipate that most students will attempt the Practical Assessments around three times before passing. The pass mark is high and the feedback given at the end of each Assessment is designed to guide you through your practice. It is for this reason we recommend sitting Assessments as soon as you are able, even if you do not feel ready. Even if you get a low mark, you will learn something.

What qualifications do I receive?

When you meet the criteria of the Foundation Certificate of Nail Technology, you will receive a certificate from Monaco Nail Academy. If you complete any Advanced classes before you complete the requirements of your certificate, these certificates will be withheld until you complete your qualification.

Our certificates are recognised nationwide. We also have graduates working across Australia.

What can I do with my qualifications?

Many of our graduates choose to work from home as an extra income. You can do this, or you can open a salon, apply for salon-based jobs, work on a mobile basis, or freelance on photoshoots and film sets - you could even work on a cruise ship! You will be fully qualified and ready to work - in fact we encourage you to start working on understanding friends and family as you learn each new skill rather than waiting for graduation.

What do I need to look for when choosing a course?

We surveyed a group of New Zealand salon owners to find out what is important to them when employing new staff.

  • 82% said Quality. They don’t care how fast you are as long as you are GOOD. With high pass rates and repeated practical assessment, Monaco Nail Academy will make sure you reach these standards long before we send you out into the big wide world.
  • 18% said Variety of Skills. NZ Salon Owners would prefer a staff member who can do Acrylic, Gel and Gel Polish rather than one who could only do one or two of these services. This is why we don’t offer Acrylic-only or Gel-only courses. By the time you finish, you will certainly have a preference – but you will also understand the chemistry behind the products, how they adhere to the natural nail, and exactly why we recommended doing both in the first place. It’s easy to rank techniques by popularity. Tip application and Acrylics are more common, Sculptured Nails and Hard Gel services hold more prestige, and Gel Polish trumps all right now, accounting for 70% of nail services in New Zealand. If you want to excel in the industry however, you need to have a sound knowledge of all disciplines. Some clients will demand one of the other no matter what is most common, and for other clients, some services will frankly just work better for them.
  • 0% said Speed. As in, being able to get a client in and out the door. We will help you with tips and tricks to pick up your speed but our focus will always be on quality, not quantity.
  • 0% said NZQA Credits. We’ve spent a great many hours researching, planning, and ultimately deciding not to offer NZQA. We work within the industry both nationally and internationally and have close relationships with a large number of salon owners. We feel like we have tailor-made a course that fits the industry in New Zealand and internationally and sets you up for success.

It’s interesting to note that in the comments section of our survey, a huge number of salon owners said their highest priority was attitude, something we didn’t think to include. The overall belief was that skills and techniques could be learned but a bad attitude would go nowhere. Loyalty, work ethics and listening skills were also mentioned.

Do I need NZQA to get a job?

Definitely not. In a recent survey of New Zealand salon owners, 0% of those surveyed said NZQA credits were a priority when employing new staff. When asked specifically to talk about NZQA, salon owners were nonchalant. In fact, I can quote one as replying to the question ‘How do you feel about NZQA’ with ‘Ho hum, really’! It would appear (and we agree) that NZQA isn’t everything. While it’s nice to have NZQA credits on your Record of Learning, not all industries prioritise those credits over all others. In the New Zealand Nail Industry, the quality of your work, variety of skills gained, and your overall attitude rank higher on their wishlists than NZQA credits (which to be honest, don’t actually appear on their wish lists at all.

Can I Really Do The Theory Assessment At Home?

Absolutely! We have a lot of students with anxiety and/or learning difficulties and still more who are just plain busy. Being able to do the assessment from home made perfect sense. It's 100% online and you will find out immediately if you have passed. Click here to take a look.

I heard that you don't actually need a certificate to do nails in New Zealand - is that true?

Not quite - requirements differ between city councils. So in Auckland for example you do need to be qualified, but it doesn't need to be NZQA.

Why Do I Have to Come Back For Assessments?

Assessments can take anywhere from 1-5 hours and during this time you can't get assistance from an Educator. For this reason we prefer to make the most of your class time and get you working on tasks the Educators can help with. You can return any weekday to sit your Assessment (but must book in advance) and we are here 3 evenings a fortnight too.

If you're travelling from out of town for training though, let us know before you enrol and we will try and arrange for you to sit your Assessment immediately after class.

You can also sit them remotely via our Virtual Classrooms (your marks will be private).

Do I Get My Certificate On The Last Day?

You actually receive your certificate on the first day. It acts as a record of learning, showing which modules and assessments you have completed.

To fill your certificate you need to achieve -

  • 80% or higher on your Theory Assessment (Online/From Home - Click the link and have a look, you won't break it!)
  • 80% or higher on your Gel Polish Assessment (Must be done in person)
  • 80% or higher on your Acrylic Assessment (Must be done in person)
  • 80% or higher on your Hard Gel Assessment (Must be done in person)
  • As well submitting as a 14-piece Portfolio (Online/From Home - Click through the whole thing and have a look, you won't break it!)

Can I Get a Certificate if I Just Do Gel Polish?

The requirements to receive a certificate for any Module are listed on the enrolment page for that Module.

With Gel Polish as an example, you have two options -

  • If you already hold a Nail Tech Qualification - Email with proof of qualification (if we haven't already seen it) and let us know that you've finished this training. Once verified, you will receive recognition.
  • If you do not hold a Nail Tech Qualification - First, you need to have completed The Theory of Nails and passed the respective Assessment. Next, you need to book your Manicure Assessment, either in Auckland at a Supervised or Unsupervised Practice Day, or you can contact us to see if a Mentor is available in your region to offer a Supervised Practice Day closer to home. Once you reach a passing grade of 80% on both Assessments you will be awarded a certificate and be able to provide Manicure services for clients.

I Have a Learning Disability - How Will This Impact My Assessments?

Three out of Four of the Assessments we require you to pass are practical, and very relaxed. You chat to your client and your friends while completing a full service. It feels like you're just working in a salon.

The Theory Assessment is done online so that you can take your time, at home in your most comfortable environment. You can also reattempt it every 12 hours for 12 months, so you have 730 chances to pass.

If that still sounds dauntng, you can submit your Theory Assessment orally, with an Educator asking questions out loud in a conversational manner, as if they were a client trying to get advice. You reply in conversation and your Educator will note your score as you go.

Is the Course NZQA?

No. We've looked into offering NZQA Courses and while we don't rule it out as a future option, the fees associated with being an NZQA provider would require us to quadruple the number of students in each class to cover them. While NZQA is not a requirement in New Zealand for Nail Techs, we choose to keep our class sizes smaller instead, and our qualification is still recognised nationwide. None of our Graduates have had issues getting Health Licenses or Wholesale Accounts.


Do I need prior experience?

No, not at all.

How much does the course cost?

Modules differ in price depending on topic and length -

  1. The Theory of Nails - $149
  2. Manicures and Pedicures - $599
  3. Dipping Systems for Beginners $199
  4. Mastering Acrylic Application 1 $599
  5. Mastering Hard Gel Application $199
  6. Mastering Acrylic Application 2 $599
  7. Mastering PolyGel/Putty Application $199
  8. (Optional) Supervised Practice Days $199 each

Feel free to spread your classes out over up to a year - you don't need to do them all at once. However, if you complete all modules across 3 consecutive weeks (as shown below), you will be invoiced a concession price of $2,499, saving $641 (payment plans are not available). You will still have a year to pass your assessments and complete your portfolio.

We accept direct payment via Bank Transfer, Visa, or Mastercard as well as by Oxipay, which allows you to split an invoice of up to $1000 into 4 fortnightly payments.

We can also accept Q Card, which you can apply for here as well as Farmers Finance Card.

Please note that all payments other than Bank Transfer incur a 3% surcharge.

Can I get a Student Loan?

As we are a private training establishment, we do not accept Student Loans for our courses however we do offer Oxipay (similar to Afterpay) where by you can pay off any course of $1000 or less in 4 equal fortnightly installments without interest.

We also partner with Q Card and Farmers Finance Card to offer finance options. You can apply for a Q Card here - once your Q Card arrives, you use it just like a Credit Card.

Note that these options do incur an additional fee of 3% of your invoice to cover the fees we are charged by these service providers.

Can I come and meet you first?

Of course! Email us and we'll arrange a time for you to meet with one of our educators. We're available Monday-Friday from 10am-6pm.

How do I sign up?!

Click the 'Enrol' link next to the course you're interested in, phone (09) 574 5573 or email

What Happens if my Intake Doesn't Fill Up?

If an intake only has one enrolment (which is uncommon - at the time of writing this our Modules are fully booked two months ahead but Winter is always quieter) then you have the option of paying an additional fee to complete your training one on one, or to defer to another intake. If there are at least two enrolments, class will go ahead.

When Do I Need to Enrol By?

ASAP - It's first come first served so when classes are full they are full. Where there is space, you can enrol right up until the minute class starts.

When Do I Have to Pay My Fees By?

From our Terms and Conditions -

Course Fees

  1. Once your enrolment is processed, you will receive an invoice via email. Your place in the course will be held for 48 hours to allow for payment after which, if unpaid and if we are unable to contact you, your enrolment will be reversed and the place made available for someone else. At this point you will receive an invoice for $99 to cover the administration costs of processing and then reversing your enrolment so it is very important that you only enrol when you are 100% ready and have the full fees available to you. As we run at very small class sizes and therefore at small margins there are no exceptions to this as we cannot risk turning away other enrolments while we wait for full payment nor can we absorb the costs of the time it takes to process unfounded enrolments.
  2. Temporary Clause - When you complete this enrolment form, a confirmation screen will appear advising that you can pay 7 days prior to the course. Please note that this is incorrect - you do need to pay within 48 hours of enrollment to secure your place on the course. NO terms other than those listed on this page apply to this course. We are working with our web team to amend this error.
  3. Payment can be made by bank transfer to Monaco Nail Artists Ltd, ASB 12-3233-0616846-05 with your invoice number as a reference. Other forms of payment can be accepted by prior arrangement. Call (09) 574 5573 to request another option.

Can I Pay Cash?

No. You will receive an invoice after enrolment, which has our bank account details on the bottom of it. If you need to pay cash, we will need you to deposit it into the bank account provided. No cash is kept at our premises.


Do you offer courses outside of Auckland?

We do, occasionally - but most of our in-person classes are run in Auckland. We do try and make these classes easy for out of town students to attend though - you have a year to work your way through all of the Modules, so you can space trips to Auckland out a bit.

We also offer all of our modules online with remote access to our Educators and Mentors - click here and under 'Regions' choose 'Online'

Do I Have to Complete All of My Training with the Same Educator?

We have different Educators that specialise in different Modules so it is very unlikely that you will have the same Educator for your entire course.


Is There a Lot of Work Out There for Nail Technicians?

There is definitely enough work out there. Most people work for themselves by choice but if you're wanting to work in a salon that's great - salon owners are starved for staff because so many people want to work from home - good salon workers are hard to find. If you do choose to work from home, again there are plenty of clients to go around, but of course you do have to put in the work to promote yourself.

Will I Have Enough Experience to Start Working Straight Away?

Absolutely. When you finish your course, you will have all the knowledge you need, but may still have some practice to do in some practical areas. We work extremely hard to make sure by the time you graduate you do so with an exceptional skill level.

How Can I Join the Student Directory on this Site?

The Student Directory at is just for our Students and Graduates - this is where we refer the MANY media enquiries we get. To be included, go to the Files Tab of the Novice/Grads Facebook Group and find the file called Graduate Salons. Complete it and email to

If you're not a Monaco Novice, there is a separate directory you can join at

Will You Find Me a Job Once I'm Qualified?

We can definitely help, but this is not something we do regularly. Out of everyone who has ever completed our qualification over the last 7 years, we know of 2 Graduates who have actively looked to work for someone else after qualifying - everyone else chose to work for themselves, either from home, in a commercial space or renting a table in a salon.

We can however help you with whichever path you choose. We have had 3 Graduates get employment with Leah Light Nails and Beauty Studios and we also get salons regularly asking us to help them find staff - we post these job opportunities in our Novice/Grads facebook group, which you will get access to after you enrol.

View our Courses

Welcome to Monaco

Monaco is now
Monaco Nail Academy and MonacoPro, which were you looking for?