Don’t be fooled …
Always ask what awarding body issues the qualification
We received an email recently asking why our laser training was more expensive than what a hair removal salon had offered them and that the instructor had worked for a manufacturer of laser machines. After a little investigating we found out that the course was not regulated, meaning, it is not an officially recognised Level 4 qualification. In reality, the course is not worth the paper the certificate you receive is written on.
While there are many good colleges to start or advance your education, one of the most common realisations that I see people make after investing in a course is that they did not think far enough ahead and understand what the implications of unregulated training have on their prospects. Those who did not get what they were trying to achieve out of training often find that this easy, yet short-sighted mistake has been an expensive one.
Even with the recent changes to the training industry and awarding bodies like ITEC and CIBTAC redesigning their course offerings to reflect the latest standards in training, adhering to the RQF framework, it is no guarantee what you are being offered is a regulated course. Sure, someone can train you and may even have the experience to facilitate training, but that does not mean your certificate will be recognised. Although we doubt a reputable insurer like Hamilton Fraser would insure the candidate it could be possible with an elevated premium to find an insurer, today, however; how about tomorrow? Currently, reputable insurance companies require two qualifications, a valid, regulated, Level 4 qualification by a known regulatory body, such as IQ, CIBTAC or ITEC as examples, and a brand completion training certificate.
Training from a reputable college is more than learning how to use the laser machine. Occupational health a safety feature heavily in the courses, so too quality assurance practices for business and the client. An ATAI regulated course take into consideration the UK, Northern Ireland, the EU and even Australian regulatory obligations. The courses are produced for international recognition, so if you travel your qualification travels with you. More importantly, just because you gained insurance does not mean you have no liability. If you unwittingly did the wrong thing due to the course never teaching you how to be regulatory compliant your insurance is meaningless.
Ask yourself and the provider a few simple questions
How robust is the training course and qualification attained at the end of it?
In an age where even regulated courses are being cut down to bare bones to simply pass an exam, 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.
Who is regulating this course?
Accreditation is quite a bone of contention within the training industry. A course may say it is accredited by XYZ but ask the question. Is this a Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) course. If so, is the awarding body internationally recognised? Who knows where life will take you, at least know, your qualification will travel with you.
Will you gain enough practical experience?
Theory is an important component of training but so too is practical, hands-on experience. It is common for 10 case studies at a minimum. Ask, will I be carrying out case studies on actual people on varied skin types and using the correct treatment protocols and equipment. (Unfortunately, it is common for case studies to be theoretical and often laser courses taught with IPL machines.)
Who is providing the models for your training?
It is far too common for you to be asked to bring friends. You turn up, and the friend expects a treatment, has no patch test, no medical history and these are for your case studies. A reputable institution will provide models, pre-screened, patch tested, and with the understanding, they are there for your education not just for their treatment.
At ATAI we took an undertaking always to follow the latest guidelines laid out by the HEE and facilitate Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) courses. It is not just our reputation at stake but also yours.
Remember: The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.