Courtesy of The Raithwaite Estate Spa, N Yorks

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Skills and Levels within the Industry

uksa jan newsletter

There are numerous excellent training and career opportunities for a people entering the Salon, Spa and Wellness Industry.

Many schools, universities, and colleges offer training courses on a wide variety of levels that will help you expand your career. There are also numerous international shows and seminars that can help to increase your CPD. Once you have obtained the right training, qualifications, and certifications, the career opportunities are only limited by your own imagination.

Certifications and Qualifications

Different levels of certifications and qualifications are required by the various fields of employment.

There is no specific standard qualification required for all therapists however, most employers are looking for qualifications with these types of certifications and standards:

In this country, we have a similar of confusion of choices from VRQ to NVQ/SVQ, National Higher Diplomas, to the private sector of Awards, Certificates and Diplomas available through CIDESCO, CIBTAC and ITEC.

Employment Opportunities

Once you have attained the proper training and qualifications, you’ll have numerous employment opportunities. However, you mostly have to have a minimum of a NVQ level 3 and several years of work experience to be eligible for employment in salons and spas in other countries. For a person who wishes to work abroad an International recognised qualification is preferred by governments; Cidesco, Cibtac or ITEC Qualifications

From the View of a CIDESCO Examiner

As CIDESCO examiner’s we examine the whole range of treatments and this is tested at the end of the course with theory and practical exams. A 70% pass mark must be achieved.

The CIDESCO syllabi for Beauty Therapy and Spa Therapy have been mapped for both the Higher National Certificate/Diploma (HNC/D) in Beauty Therapy (Level 7 and 8) and the Professional Development Award (PDA) in Spa Therapies (Level 8) on the Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework (SCQF).

My experience has ranged working and living Internationally, in numerous countries over the last forty years. The changes which are occurring within the industry are not only in England but are International resulting in a skill shortage.

The standard of the student varies not only from school to school but also country to country dependant on the qualifications acceptable by the government.

An example of this is a South African trained therapist completing qualifications in a CIDESCO Health & Skin care will have undergone a three-year training programme.

The standards have been lowered by the government in South Africa so you can go through University and obtain a degree with a 30% pass mark.

The impact of this within the spa and salon industry is that students are entering with a lower standard of understanding, and therefore are struggling to achieve a 70% pass mark in a CIDESCO exam.

Whether you would like to work within the spa, beauty or wellness industry, research which qualification you will require, research the awarding bodies standards, the school, FE College or private Academies who offer qualifications to ensure you are equipped to work in the industry.

Written by Julia Leone

From the View of a CIBTAC Examiner

CIBTAC offers an extensive variety of courses from Bespoke to Ofqual regulated qualifications, Awards, Certificates and Diplomas from Levels 2-4 which are tested at the end of the course in both, practical and theory by an external examiner with a pass mark of 60% to pass.

 As a CIBTAC examiner of many years, examining in over 30 countries I have seen many changes with standards of student results improving and centres expanding by taking on more advanced courses such as various advanced treatments.

However, in many countries, they have seen student quality in theory and practical skills becoming lower as many are opting to complete their industry studies offered by their own government training bodies, which may not be as extensive in knowledge or theory as completing a CIBTAC, CIDESCO, ITEC or Ofqual regulated qualification. It is of course very encouraging to see internationally extensive improvement on qualifications in the industry as some had previously had none. Many students opt to take an International qualification alongside their countries own, to expand their opportunities of gaining work in more countries. If you are a therapist with your countries own qualification you can gain information from UK Naric, a government organisation which aids you to see where your qualification sits on the qualification framework.

Travelling recently to several countries, they have the same situations as the UK and Europe in the shortage of therapist with a high level of theory and practical skills, and variety of different industry treatments for the spa and beauty industry. This situation has prompted international employment agencies to set up to try and find a highly knowledgeable and skilled therapist to work in many of the prestigious spas and salons in the UK and internationally.

Before you employ an new therapist, resrach what qualification they have completed, always complete a trade test and now it is becoming essential to complete a brief theory test before employment is offered.

Written by Kim Ford

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Thursday, 06 August 2020