Once you have written your beauty training courses it is time to have them recognised by the industry’s biggest authorities.
By choosing to have your courses accredited, you are showing your students that the course has reached a certain standard. It also means that your students can be sure they will be able to obtain insurance with the accrediting body once they have completed your course.
Who are the accrediting bodies?
The main companies accrediting courses in the beauty industry are the leading authorities, insurance companies and trade associations. These include Associated Beauty Therapists (ABT), BABTAC, the Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT), the Guild of Beauty Therapists, HABIA and Professional Beauty Direct.
How do I apply?
Most accrediting bodies will have an application form for you to complete. This will include all the details of your school and its facilities. Most companies will offer you an online or printed directory listing as part of their accreditation, and so the application form will often include a section for you to write a company description to advertise your business.
You will need to return your application with your full course manuals and lesson plans. Most companies require you to hold qualifications in the subjects you wish to teach as well as a teaching qualification and so you will be asked to submit copies of these certificates. Some companies require a minimum level of experience in your subject area as well.
The courses will be looked at by a specialist within the company before issuing your accreditation.
What do my courses need to include?
You will need to make sure that your courses are thorough and in-depth. You should make sure you research your subject in detail before you put your course together. Not only will you need to cover every aspect of performing the treatment, you will also need to include contra-indications, consultation, aftercare, health and safety and hygiene amongst other things. Each accreditation company will have their own criteria so there is no definitive answer as to what each one will accept. You should always aim to make your course as good as it possibly can be, not just one that will be accepted by an accreditation company.
HABIA have a list of the National Occupational Standards for the most popular treatments and these offer great guidelines as to what you should include. Many of the accreditation companies also use these as a guide. It may be worthwhile contacting the accreditation companies and talking to them about their expectations as they may be able to give you a basic explanation of what is required.
Can I be refused accreditation?
It is the prerogative of each accreditation company to refuse or accept whichever courses they choose. It is not in their interest to accredit a sub-standard course or school as the subsequent students who will apply for insurance will be of a higher risk and their reputation as an accrediting body will be affected. However, as accreditation is a service that you pay large amounts of money for, it is safe to assume that courses are not refused in large numbers. If your course needs extra information or clarification you will probably find that companies will inform you of what you are lacking and give you the chance to rectify it.
How much does the accreditation cost?
The cost of accreditation will vary from company to company. Some will charge a flat fee, some will have different levels according to the number of courses and some will charge for each individual course. There are no restrictions on what the companies can charge but you will probably find that a new application will cost anywhere from £185 to £1250, and these prices often do not include VAT. Charges per course range from £30 to £60.
How long does accreditation last?
Accreditation is generally valid for one year. After this time some companies will require you to be inspected again or to re-submit your course material, whilst others will simply charge you a renewal fee and continue with your accreditation as it is. You can expect renewal fees to vary from £185 to £1000 so this is something you should find out about when you first submit your application.
What else do I get from accreditation?
As well as recognition and insurance for your students, you should receive a degree of support and promotion from your accreditation company. Most accrediting bodies will advertise your courses in a directory which will be either online or printed. They will also permit you to use their logo on your certificates and promotional material.
Remember that accreditation is recognition of a good quality course. Whatever path you take with regard to accreditation, you should always strive to make your courses the best that you possibly can for the benefit of your students.