Don't get BOTCHED! Is your Salon Professional Certified

Monday, February 27, 2017 - 5:24am

Have you seen my Facebook Post on my businees page on February 23/17

If you have seen this poster at the Bus Stop on 6th st near the old La Spaghetteria location, please don't be alarmed. YES, you as a consumer need to be made aware that you need to do your homework on the Spa Professionals you visit. We are not a Government Regulated Industry and haven't been since 2004.

Education is not required to perform waxing, manicures, chemical peels or operate a laser. The most important questions to ask is, Is my Hair Stylist, Esthetician, Nail Technician, Medical Esthetician, Laser Technician CERTIFIED by an PCTIA Accredited School? How many hours of training did they receive? How many years have they been in the Industry? Do they do yearly Continuing Education to stay abreast of the changes in the Industry? These Spa Professionals DO NOT need to be members of Beauty Council.

I respect Beauty Council's campaign, (even thou its a bit dramatic) and getting the word out to consumers. I do not support the fear mongering and I do not support shaming those of us that are not Beauty Council members. I am a member of 2 Industry Associations Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) and @Medical Aesthetics and Laser Technology Council of Canada. I'm also a member of the New Westminster Chamber of Commerce


My Thoughts on Beauty Council's Gas Lighting!

What I DON'T like is the notion that Beauty Council is sending the message out to the community that I (and other Certified Spa Professionals) as a Certified Medical Esthetics Practitioner is not a legitimate professional and I should not be allowed to operate without being Beauty Council Certified by taking a Certificate of Qualification Exam. Hmm, Funny thing is I already took a Certificate of Qualification Exam for my Nail Techician Course in 2008 and another Certificate of Qualification Exam for my Medical Esthetics Practitioner Course in 2010. I have to take this final exam to pass my courses in order to get my Certificates and Transcripts from the PCTIA Accredited School I attended.

Last time I checked Beauty Council is a Voluntary Trade Association, I do not have a membership with Beauty Council as I do not feel they meet my needs as a Certified Medical Esthetics Practitioner. I have chosen to partner with Associated Skin Care Professionals as a support member because I'm a Canadian Esthetician and I don't get to utilize their insurance or other perks. BUT, I do get to utilize their webinars and other educational info to make me a better practitioner. I'm also a member of Medical Aesthetics and Laser Technology Council of Canada (MALT BC) in fact I'm the Membership Director of MALT BC. Neither of these associations require members to take another Certificate of Qualification Exam to be a member, we just need a copy of your Certificate that you are a Spa Professional and a current resume. I'm also a member of New Westminster Chamber of Commerce, not that they have anything to do with this debate.


Do we have a problem with Uncertified Spa Professionals?


Since 2003, when British Columbia's Liberal government deregulated the spa industry under Gordon Campbell to reclassify and be a "voluntary trade", it allowed anyone to open a beauty salon offering a range of services performed by people with no qualifications or education to unsuspecting consumers. From the 1920s, people who wanted to be estheticians, nail technicians, hairdressers, or work in a spa had to get a licence from a provincial governing body. Inspectors could challenge their credentials and those who did not meet standards were subject to fines or even getting their licence revoked. Right now, no one really has the power to enforce anything on anyone.

Health Inspectors are suppose to vist every salon, spa and medspa annually to ensure sanitation, disinfection and infection control procedures are followed. The BC Ministry of Health provides guidelines to prevent health hazards and reduce the risk of transmitting communicable diseases or infections through the use of personal services. I personally know that many spa, salon and medspa do not get annual visits. But that's another blog story for another day.


Are Beauty Schools the problem?


There is talk that there is a lack of standardized training and Beauty Schools are teaching the bare minimum and what they want, when they want. The rest of the training is once you graduate and work in the field. I do know they are not teaching Brazilian Waxing in school which is sad since it is a job requirement once you graduate. Not all Beauty Schools are bad, but to find the good ones is hard too. You need 800 hours here in BC (even thou we are unregulated and education is not required) to be a legitimate Esthetician. Students are to be provided theoretical and practical skills in the key areas of Esthetics including spa level pedicures and manicures, skin analysis, skin care, professionalism and ethics, sanitation, introductory anatomy and physiology, cosmetics, spa relaxation-level massage, facials and body treatments, hard and soft wax hair removal, product knowledge and the business elements of esthetics.

The Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education has assumed direct regulation of private training institutions. PTIB replaces the Private Career Training Institutions Agency (PCTIA), which has been dissolved. Under the Private Training Act, PTIB assumes full responsibility for accreditation of privately-owned schools and education programs. BUT there is an assumption that schools that except student loans are forced to pass the majority of their students, deserving or not; or else face reduced eligibility for additional funds and/or refund back to the loaning agencies partial tuition of those that don't pass. It's why so many programs are just feeding people through.


Now back to my original complaint of Beauty Council's misleading campaign to the public

Certification is not mandatory to work as an esthetician, cosmetologist or make-up artist in BC. However, you may choose to become a Certified Cosmetology Professional (CCP) through Beauty Council. Beauty Council use to be the Cosmotology Industry Association of BC (CIABC) before deregulation by the Provinical Government in 2004. They are nothing but a voluntary Spa Association and Spa Professionals are not required to be members. Nor are we non-member required to take an exam that was already issued by a PCTIA Accredited Program. 

Beauty Council has taken it upon themselves to interfere with local Municipalities like the City of New Westminster by spreading fear mongering information that these Cities should not approve Business License applications or renew a Business Licenes with any Spa Professional until that Spa Professional has taken Beauty Council's Certificate of Qualification Exam (which is the exact same exam we already take at school). Making these Spa Professionals Certified under Beauty Council and not by the PCTIA Accredited Program run by the Private Training Authority.

All Beauty Schools already have a Certificate of Qualification Exam in order to pass students and issue them their Nail Tech Certificate, Esthetics Certificate, Medical Esthetics Certificate, Hair Stylists Certificate or Make Up Artist Certificate etc. I took my Certificate of Qualification Exam for both my Nail Tech Certificate and my Medical Esthetics Practitioner Certificate. I'm also obligated to carry Paramedical Liability Insurance yet I'm not recognized by the Industry Trade Authority as a trades person, I'm recognized as a skilled person under the Private Training Authority.

Beauty Council is currently running a campaign to inform consumers to do their homework on any spa, medspa, salon etc is operating with Certified Spa Professionals. BUT, they are implying that only Beauty Council Certified Spa professionals are the places consumers should put their trust into and these professionals are deemed legitimate. This directly effects spa businesses bottom line. It's confusing consumers and leaving more doubt on who is the true professional.

The argument is that schools are a BUSINESS and relying on schools to do the certification is not enough. The more people that graduate (whether warranted or not) the higher the schools enrollment rate, thus the higher their revenue. Beauty Council claims that when these student retake this Certificate of Qualification Exam run by them these same students FAIL, even though these same students got a diploma from the PCTIA Accredited School. While I may agree with some of the statement that there may be sub-par students graduating a beauty program without earning the credentials sufficiently. That is not their JOB to validate the Industry as a third party offering third party validation. If they wish to offer this for THEIR members fine. BUT they have no authority to enforce their belief on non-members, nor should they be profiting from an Exam already offered by the PCTIA Accredited School.



While I support the message that consumers need to be aware of the dark side of the unregulated Beauty Industry across Canada, not just BC. I disagree with the implication that I as a Certified Nail Technician and Certified Medical Esthetics Practitioner who already spent $25,000 for my two main certificates from two different PCTIA Accredited Schools is not considered a legitimate Spa Professional because I as a non-member of Beauty Council is required to take ANOTHER Certificate of Qualification Exam and get a stamp of approval from Beauty Council to be deemed LEGITIMATE. 

The focus should be to hold schools more accountable and teaching a FULL curriculum of 1200hrs and only passing QUALIFIED students.This is a PROVINCIAL problem, not a municipal problem. We need to leave municipalities out of this and refocus this EPIDEMIC to the provincial government where it BELONGS. We are currently in the midst of a Provincial election, why are we not holding the Liberal Party accountable for this mess since they were the governing body that deregulated us? I'm sure the NDP Party would love to support and be apart of a NEW & IMPROVED Spa Industry. What has Beauty Council done to bring the conversation back to the table during the 13 years of deregulation?

This has caused a great deal of distress among us Certified Spa Professionals who choose not to be members of Beauty Council and have signed up to be members of other voluntary Spa Associations that does not require a Certificate of Qualification Exam to be certified by that Association. These other Spa Associations accept PCTIA Accredited Certification to be members and also want self-regulation but don't support dictating the enforcement of an Certificate of Qualification Exam to the municipalities. We would like to see updated Municipal Bylaws that reflect the current modern spa and a working partnership.

Beauty Council is not the leading authority nor is it run by a governing body overseen by the Provincial Government anymore. They have no power to discredit other qualified Spa Professionals and medal in Municipal affairs and enforce retaking a Certificate of Qualification Exam to non-members that was already taken to pass a PCTIA Accredited Program to receive a diploma or certificate.



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