Minnesota Proposes Cosmetology, Esthetics Rules

The Minnesota Board of Cosmetologist Examiners (Board) has proposed rules (https://s3.amazonaws.com/govhawk-registers/MN_20220926.pdf) that primarily affect schools and educators. The rules impact the following areas:

  • Definitions
  • School licensure and licensure after revocation
  • Maintaining a school license and school license renewal
  • School physical requirements
  • School supplies, materials, and curriculum
  • Instructor training and training programs
  • Credit toward another license
  • Testing and instructors
  • Enrollment contracts and record maintenance
  • Certification of student hours
  • Transfer students

If you would like to submit written comments to the Board in support of, or in opposition to, the proposed rules, submit your comments electronically by November 4, 2022. A hearing will not be scheduled unless requested. If requested, the hearing will be December 12, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. CST via WebEx . Meeting information: 2488 140 2075. Password: Hearing (password is case sensitive). If you have questions or would like to request a hearing, email the Board at jill.freudenwald@state.mn.us. ASCP has summarized the proposed rules for you below.


The proposed rules add the following words to the definitions section:

Course completion certificate—a notarized form that students must use to obtain a Minnesota license that provides the student’s program information, including the number of clinical service exercises completed and the results of the practical skills test.

Introductory service skills—any service performed during preclinical instruction, including instructor demonstrations and student practice on mannequins or other students.

Preclinical instruction—the foundational, beginning portion of a training program that consists of theory instruction related to a program discipline and introductory service skills.

Theory instruction—instruction dedicated to learning science and service methods related to a program discipline, including student observations of service demonstrations; this does not include practical instruction or hands-on practice.


In the proposed rules, any item, tool, or piece of equipment on school premises would be subject to inspection, even if the school or student does not intend to use them or if school staff personnel intend to use them for personal use.

School Licensure

The proposed rules add and amend the following to the school application contents. Application contents must contain:

  • A complete inventory of the student kit that the school provides to a student for each training program offered by the school.
  • Any distance education technologies required to complete a training program.
  • The floor plan that demonstrates the school building complies with all necessary requirements, including the condition that adequate clinic and classroom space is appropriately assigned to each student for training.
  • The following documents:
  1. All advertisements used by the school to solicit prospective students
  2. The school’s enrollment contract
  3. The school’s refund policy
  4. The school’s student handbook
  5. All school-created templates used to fulfill student records requirements
  • A written description of the school’s process to record and certify student hours and completed clinical service exercises.

Note: Additional classroom or clinic space that is not joined to the school building must be located within 500 feet of the school. Advertising and signage for additional classroom space must include the school’s name.

School Licensure After Revocation

The proposed rules outline the relicensure process for schools with a revoked license. Schools must:

  1. Submit application forms provided by the Board
  2. Meet the reinstatement requirements identified in the order that revoked the school license
  3. Meet initial school license requirements
  4. Pay initial school licensure fees

Maintaining a School License

When a designated school manager (DSM) resigns, current law requires a school owner to appoint a licensed instructor or a licensed school manager as the acting DSM within 10 days. The proposed rules decrease the appointment period to five days.

In addition, the rules would require schools to notify the Board if an emergency disrupts scheduled instruction and how the school responded to the disruption within five business days. An emergency is an event that closes the school, such as a snowstorm, loss of power, lack of hot water, or a natural disaster.

School License Renewal

Current law requires schools to submit a complete renewal application 30 days before the school’s license expires. The proposed rules would allow schools to submit their application within 45 days before the license expires.

Physical Requirements

The proposed rules would require schools to have at least one designated sink for handwashing and for cleaning and disinfecting tools and implements. The sink cannot be in the student break room or restroom, and cannot be a water fountain, mop sink, pedicure tub, or shampoo bowl. At least one designated sink in the school must be next to a disinfecting area with a workspace large enough for wet disinfectant containers. Each classroom and clinic area must have a sink or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (minimum of 60 percent alcohol). Each designated sink must:

  • Have hot and cold running water
  • Be equipped with liquid or foam soap and single-service paper or cloth towels
  • Have a receptacle for discarded towels
  • Be large enough to wash the tools and implements used by the school

Supplies and Materials

A school must have enough supplies based on student enrollment and classroom and clinic service volume. A school must provide students with instructional materials that are current to industry standards, are the most recent edition, and are relevant to a student’s training program.

Physical copies of instructional materials for which a student pays are the student’s permanent property. A school must guarantee a student’s access to electronic copies of instructional materials for the duration of the student’s training program.

Curriculum Approval and Content

Current law requires training offered by cosmetology schools to have curriculum divided into daily lesson plans. The proposed rules would require curriculum be divided into weekly lesson plans.

Currently, 1 percent of a student’s training hours can be obtained through field trips. In the proposed rules, field trips would not count toward instruction hours, effective September 1, 2024.

Current law allows 1 percent of training hours to be dedicated to unregulated services. The proposed rules would increase this amount to 3 percent. Each school must identify any instruction in unregulated services that the school includes in the school’s programs. Eyelash technician training courses and educator training courses cannot include instruction in unregulated services.

Instructor Training

The proposed rules outline instructor training, which must consist of at least 45 hours of theory training and must address the following topics:

  • Lesson planning and development
  • Pedagogy and teaching methodologies
  • Classroom and clinic floor management
  • Student evaluation and assessment
  • Social equity and cultural responsiveness
  • Remote learning strategies
  • Minnesota statutes and rules

Training Programs

The proposed rules slightly amend the training programs for the following license categories. Click on the training program linked to the PDF and search for the corresponding page number to view the changes.

Credit Toward Another License

The proposed rules add advanced practice estheticians and eyelash technicians to the list of licensees who may transfer credits from their initial, completed training program to another training program.

  • Advanced practice esthetician training: 550 hours credit toward a cosmetologist license
  • Advanced practice esthetician training: 100 hours credit toward a nail technician license
  • Eyelash technician training: 38 hours credit toward a cosmetologist or esthetician license

To credit hours, the applicant’s existing license must be current and active at the time the school transfers credit.

A licensed esthetician, advanced practice esthetician, nail technician, or eyelash technician who pursues another license does not have to complete clinical service exercises or the practical skills test in the subject in which they are already licensed.


The proposed rules would require schools to administer the practical skills test to:

  • Enrolled students who complete initial licensure training and a skills course
  • License applicants

The practical skills test must be administered in person at a licensed cosmetology school by an instructor licensed in the subject of the test section. A student who has a Minnesota license and who returns to school to complete an additional training course must only complete the sections of the practical skills test that are relevant to the student’s additional license training course.

A student cannot take the practical skills test before completing:

  • 1,350 hours of the cosmetology program
  • 500 hours of the esthetician program
  • 315 hours of the nail technician program
  • 38 hours of the eyelash technology program


Current law requires one licensed instructor for every 20 students. The proposed rules would require one licensed instructor for every 15 students. Instructors must provide training to students at a school and be available to each student in the classroom, online classroom, and during clinic time.

Unlicensed substitute instructors are currently allowed to teach for 30 calendar days. The proposed rules would decrease this time to 15 calendar days. When a school uses an unlicensed substitute instructor, the school must notify the Board within five business days.

Enrollment Contracts

  • The proposed rules add new provisions to the student enrollment contract. New contracts would have to include the following:
  • The name of the student’s training program and the total training hours required
  • The program’s start date and anticipated completion date
  • The schedule for the student’s training program, including the days and hours of attendance
  • The cost of required tuition and fees
  • All conditions that the student must meet before the school will provide the student with a transcript or a copy of their student record
  • A statement acknowledging that the student received and understood the school’s refund policy
  • A copy of the student handbook
  • The dated signature of the student acknowledging the enrollment contract

Record Maintenance and Retention

  • Schools must maintain records related to students and instructors. The proposed rules add new requirements for record retention:
  • Schools must provide records to the Board within three business days of the request. Upon request for a transcript, the school must fulfill the request within 10 business days.
  • Schools must provide relevant information to the Board before permanently closing; all records must remain available to the Board and students upon request.
  • Schools must maintain all records related to a course, including enrollment contracts and agreements, records of financial transactions, verification of skills course completion, and attendance records verifying student course completion.
  • Schools must maintain records related to transfer students.
  • Schools must maintain instructor records that include a current instructor roster, payroll, and time records documenting hours worked each day for each pay period. Instructor records must be maintained for five years.
  • Schools must maintain student records for at least 10 years from the date of their enrollment or date of completion. Schools must also maintain records related to prospective students if the student made a payment to the school; these records must be kept for five years.

Certification of Student Hours and Clinical Service Exercises

Currently, a school must record all student and completed clinical service exercises monthly. The proposed rules would change this to a daily basis. The daily documentation must include the number and types of exercises each student has completed and be initialed by the student and the instructor who provided or supervised the exercise.

The proposed rules state that schools must give each student breaks—break time cannot be documented as training hours.

Transfer Students

Students who received training in another state but are seeking licensure in Minnesota can enroll as a transfer student. The proposed rules state the school must assess previous training by reviewing transcripts and training records before enrolling a transfer student. Once the student is enrolled, the school must document any transfer credit the school gave to the student. A transfer student evaluation must identify the specific additional training necessary for the student to obtain a course completion certificate.

Students who have received training in another country but are seeking licensure in Minnesota can enroll as a transfer student. The proposed rules state that the school must assess the previous training by reviewing cosmetology school records and work experience, if applicable, before enrolling a transfer student. A school must also administer a practical skills test as part of the evaluation. Any records that are not in English must be translated at the student or school’s expense. Additionally, records from another country must be evaluated by a Board-approved credentialing agency at the student or school’s expense.


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