Unfortunately, the beauty industry can be known as much for its botch work as it is for its brilliance, which largely has to do with it being unregulated. Perhaps surprisingly, this lack of legislation means that anyone with little or no training can establish themselves as a seemingly professional therapist. And many of us allow them to wax, laser, inject, and chemically treat our hair, face, and body without asking for evidence of expertise, and only questioning insurance policies in case things go wrong.
According to a recent survey by the Beauty Backed Trust, which supports companies and entrepreneurs within the hair and beauty industries, more than 90 percent of us don’t feel comfortable asking to see a therapist’s qualifications. This is despite almost all of us believing that the industry should be regulated and that there should be recognizable certification applied to training.
Until that day comes, the British Association for Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (BABTAC) wants to point us all to safety in salons, spas and clinics. The organization’s new initiative, TIME, encourages therapists and practitioners to demonstrate that they are qualified, verified and insured, as well as suggesting that people who book their services require that they be.
The campaign, backed by parliamentarians, various influential bodies and key industry figures, essentially provides a regulatory checklist for consumers. You might want to ask about these at your next beauty booking:
Training – What training and qualifications, including continuing professional development (CPD) does the therapist (and their staff) have?
Sure – Are they insured and by whom?
Supervision – Do they carry out pre-appointment and post-appointment processes, such as patch testing, sufficient consultations, and aftercare?
Evidence – Can you provide certified proof of training and insurance, as well as customer testimonials?
While swallowing a bit of British pride to ask for a qualifications test is one thing, knowing what to look for when it comes to evidence is another. In fact, the same study found that 71 percent of us wouldn’t know the difference between a regulated qualification and a non-regulated short course, so you’re not alone if you’re wondering where to start.
Frustratingly, “there’s no simple answer here,” BABTAC CEO and President Lesley Blair MBE tells Harper’s Bazaar, confirming that “assessing genuine fitness-for-purpose qualifications and certificates can be exceptionally difficult for consumers”.
“However, any Ofqual regulated qualification certificate, which is government regulated and mapped to a National Occupational Standard (NOS) and can only be provided by an Awarding Organization (AO), must always be fit for purpose. , as long as the correct one is made, a qualification is made for the treatments that the therapist wishes to carry out.” Here, look for the Ofqual and Awarding Organization logos on the certificates.
Also, BABTAC has a wide range of pre-training requirements for different treatments here, which is easy to check out. It lists the training that is considered necessary to carry out the treatments safely and professionally.
As Caroline Hirons, industry expert and founder of the Beauty Backed Trust, hopes, “The TIME initiative will help elevate this valuable industry, while empowering consumers to understand how to safely identify trained professionals when choosing their treatments.” . Knowledge is always power.
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