Considering the pride of place CIDESCO therapists hold within the beauty and spa therapy sector, their new qualifications would seem to be bucking where the industry is heading. As Emma, our founder wrote in Irish Beauty Magazine May/June issue. "The beauty industry today is at a curvature, with a defined split between traditional beauty salon treatments and medical device-led aesthetic therapies becoming more pronounced."
Aesthetics, it has quickly become the buzz word in the beauty sector. While surgical procedures are in decline non-surgical procedures are growing year on year. It is estimated by 2020 that the facial aesthetics industry will be worth some €4.4 billion worldwide. Markets and Markets is a leading provider of industry analysis; they forecast facial aesthetics is set to grow at 9.2% each year all the way through to 2020. Clients are opting for minimally invasive and non-invasive treatment; in part that is also due to the PIP breast implant scandal. With the media highlighting what can and does go wrong with surgical procedures combined with an ageing population and advancements in technology has intensified consumers want for alternatives to surgery.
Requiring formal qualifications is a positive step forward for the industry and the general public. However, it has also brought to light what can only be described as rouge trainers. Some salons are offering laser hair removal training and offering a certificate to the participants. However, it is not a formal qualification, the minimum standard being a Level 4 regulated qualification awarded by ITEC, VTCT, CIBTAC or BTEC. We can understand how the cut-price training can be enticing, how words like 'training from an "insert brand" certified trainer could seem legitimate.
Let's say you are set on the beauty sector; you see yourself becoming a facialist, a skin professional with the tools of the trade centred in laser & light, and other energy-based treatments. If you mention the 'B' word, 'beauty', collages within the industry are going to say CIDESCO is the best place to begin your exciting new career. There is no doubt that CIDESCO beauty therapists have something unique about them. Their manner, their knowledge and skills is the benchmark in the beauty sector. Although, and this is where you need to think long and hard about your foundation education. The beauty sector is at a curvature, it has been evolving for some time, and now due to a combination of effects, it is going through the most significant evolutionary cycle of its entire history.
Level 7 was introduced as a need was recognised for better training for cosmetic injectables, for Doctors, Dentists, and Nurses. So what do you think will be the outcome of unregulated beauty therapists injecting after an unregulated short course? Caveat emptor, has never been more depressingly fitting, soft regulation always leaves room for the 'cowboys' where there is no legislation and money will always attract a sector lacking in a few principals and ethics. We are taking steps to elevate all sectors of the aesthetics industry. As a member of the general public, your job is to apply common sense, what is your qualification? Not some 'certificate' issued by an unregulated training provider, what is and where is your formal qualification, if they are not a Doctor, Dentist or Nurse, just don't risk it, after all, what is your face worth?
With an ever-increasing reliance on technology, it is little wonder that nurses are becoming the new hot property in the industry. While there is always a demand for well trained and experienced therapists, a combination of factors is seeing the nurse having a moment. Many therapists have contacted us and asked how they can become an aesthetic or cosmetic nurse. The short answer is you need to complete a degree in nursing. Moreover, the most in-demand nurses are Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANP's) and Prescribing Nurses.
It is both fortunate and unfortunate that we speak with a lot of nurses. Fortunate, that the non-surgical cosmetic interventions sector is expanding and nurses are in demand. Although, it is also unfortunate as many nurses are swapping bedpans for botox due to the lack of appreciation, pay and conditions within the health sector.
A note on the EU, while we do not wish to make this political, with 27 member States, coming to a consensus for guidelines for non-surgical-cosmetic-interventions is proving to be problematic. The debate started back in 2014, while guidelines (unpublished) have been agreed for beauty treatments, non-surgical-cosmetic-interventions is still held up with no agreed outcome in sight. Even if the EU does publish a set of guidelines, it becomes incredibly problematic for them that the training industry has its foundations in the UK. While the EU has not consulted with the UK organisations, an agreed set of standards have been put in place that is robust and agreed upon by the GMC, NMC, GDC, while a new regulatory body has also been set up, the JCCP.
How robust is the training course and qualification attained at the end of it? In the age where even regulated courses are being cut down to bare bones to simply pass a test, it is important to inquire how robust the course actually is. If possible compare the course structure to other providers. Two courses may have the same qualification title but the course content, depth of learning, can vary greatly between providers.