Monthly Archives: August 2013

2014 Interview Changes for NaSA Courses

In my last post about Application and Interview Changes, I wrote about the application changes happening at NaSA for 2014 courses.  In this post, I’ll continue this by writing about changes in the interview process for 2014.

Changes in the Interview Process

As I explained in my last post, the interview process suited the era in which it was made, but, with the Web evolving to the point of hosting video without a problem and with a sizeable chunk of our applicants based out-of-town, we needed to evolve our own process to reflect the times.

Our previous interview process involved a group of applicants coming in to the school when most of it, especially the multimedia suite, was free.  These applicants would have a tour, be given a printed copy of the Student Handbook, experience an hour-long interview presentation given in a lecture style, and then wait for their individual interview with one or two members of the NaSA team.  This was fairly rigid and inflexible, not only for our applicants but also for our team.

Two of the decisions we made immediately made things easier for the applicant and us.

The applicant would download and read the Student Handbook from our Web site This saves us time and resources in printing and collating the handbook.  This lets the applicant read the handbook on-demand from the comfort of their own home.  And, it saves several trees (and is better for the environment) in the process.

The applicant would view the Interview Presentation on our Web site.  Again, this move is more convenient for applicants as they can watch the presentation where they want, when they want, and as many times as they want.  This also makes it more convenient for applicants living out of town.

We still can show applicants around the campus as a part of their individual interview.

Part of this change will also see the individual interview part expanded.  Applicants will now meet with a NaSA team member (most likely Jacqui) for a longer one-on-one interview to discuss the applicant’s goals and aspirations while discussing their background and skills in more depth with us.

And the best thing about this change is it is flexible.  Individual interviews will be able to be scheduled during  a greater range of times and dates than previously on offer.

We hope these changes will allow greater access for applicants to our courses and make the process easier for them.  As always, we welcome your feedback via the Contact the National School of Aesthetics page on our Web site.

Scott Fack is the Director of Operations at the National School of Aesthetics. He remains one of the beauty therapy education industry’s leaders in compliance requirements and quality management systems.

2014 Application Changes for NaSA Courses

In my last post, I wrote about a major change at the National School of Aesthetics in 2014 by offering a concurrent Diploma in Beauty Therapy and Certificate in Nail Technology course.  Now that we’ve updated our Web site with a fresh new look and uploaded our 2014 course information pack, I can write a little more about other changes at the National School of Aesthetics.  In this post, I’ll cover changes to application and interview requirements for 2014.

Two of the strengths our NZQA External Evaluation and Review report pointed out to us were our interest in each individual student applying with NaSA to determine their goals and aspirations and our ability to help students achieve and succeed, no matter what their educational background.  Both of these areas are very important to us.

Over the years, we have mostly decreased the evidence we need submitted with the application.  Even though we have done this, we recently came to the conclusion that all this information could be hindering some otherwise capable applicants from applying.

The interview process had grown slightly cumbersome and rigid.  We could only hold interview presentations on certain days at certain times due to our timetable, and, to make it worth our while and comfortable for applicants, we needed a few applicants at any given time to make it work.  While the interview process we had worked while the World Wide Web was in its infancy, now it would be hard-pressed to find an applicant who didn’t know what the Web was or how to access it.

Jacqui, Noel, Don and I had several conversations on ways to make applications and interviews easier and shift emphasis away from the application and interview parts and more focus on enrolment as the main event in the process while maintaining our focus on the individual applicant throughout the process.  Here’s what we emerged with:

Changes in the Application Process

Our previous application process involved a prospective student turning in several different submissions along with their application form, like a Curriculum Vitae, written references, and so on.  While these helped us sometimes understand an applicant and their background in many circumstances, we found that in some other circumstances, they did not represent the applicant, or gave us a small snapshot of the applicant, focussing on areas other than what would shine as their strengths in the course.

In addition, we ask various questions in the individual interview, which seemed to double-up these requirements.

We want to reduce barriers for our applicants to make the process easier for them to gain access to education.  There is a risk in doing this for some applicants (those who do not research the industry and the course, especially, as these people tend to think beauty therapy and nail technology will be easy; they aren’t), but no matter how many or few requirements we have, we will get the small minority who will do this nonetheless.  So, to reduce the barriers for the vast majority of good applicants is a better thing for the whole.

In 2014, applicants will need to submit the completed application form, including the declaration on any medical / learning / cognitive / mental conditions.  Most, if not all, of our applicants 20 and under should have a Record of Learning with NZQA (NCEA is reported on this).

If an applicant does not have any qualifications listed on NZQA’s Record of Learning site, then we’ll ask the applicant to provide these to us.

We need to determine all applicants can demonstrate the ability to achieve and succeed while studying with us, so the prior learning or applicable experience requirements still apply.

While the process is easier, we still respectfully ask applicants not to apply if they are unsure on whether this is the course or industry for them, but to talk to us first.  One of the major changes is that we are now charging applicants who apply but do not take their application further, or who decide after the interview that they will not contact us back, or in other scenarios as well.  When an applicant submits an application, this creates more work for us than if a prospective applicant came to us to speak with us about the course and industry first.  We are funded mostly through taxpayers’ money, and the less wastage there is, the more money we can pump into education and our students’ training.

But, overall, our new application process is a lot easier for applicants than the previous requirements.

In my next post, I’ll talk about Changes in Interviews for 2014.

Scott Fack is the Director of Operations at the National School of Aesthetics. He remains one of the beauty therapy education industry’s leaders in compliance requirements and quality management systems.

A Sneak Peek at a Major Change at NaSA in 2014

Launch your beauty career with NaSA

“But Scott,” I hear you say, “we’re only a little beyond halfway through 2013!  And you want to talk about 2014?!?”

I think a lot of people don’t quite understand how much forward planning goes into tertiary education.  We’re lucky that Private Training Establishments (PTEs) like ours respond to change and obstacles and whatever else is thrown in front of us quicker and with more ease than some of our Government-owned counterparts.  Pat on the back for PTEs.

I’m not going to get into a lot of the changes we’re making, as we’re still in various stages of planning for these, but I can release one tid bit of information that might be exciting for our 2014 prospective students:

We’ll have a combined Diploma in Beauty Therapy with Certificate in Nail Technology programme on offer in 2014.

That’s right.

Instead of taking 16 months or so to complete the Certificate in Nail Technology and then the Diploma in Beauty Therapy and Applied Aesthetics separately, 8 students will be able to complete both at the same time and within 10 months.

Even though the Targeted Review of Qualifications for beauty therapy qualifications is currently happening,  basically freezing all new qualification applications in their tracks, we are able to combine current qualifications to create what TEC calls “concurrent qualifications”, i.e. two or more programmes that run at the same time.

We’ll be trialling this in 2014, and once the New Zealand qualifications emerging from the TRoQ become finalised, and our programmes are aligned with them, we’ll let you know if we’ll continue offering these two programmes together.

2014 information, including the 2014 course information pack, should be available for download from our Web site, and posting out to New Zealand addresses from our offices, around Monday, 12 August 2013.  Sorry for the delay, but we have been extremely busy here!

There will also be a few major changes in the application, interview, and enrolment process at NaSA.  This information should be available in August as well.

Stay tuned for more developments as they become available.

Scott Fack is the Director of Operations at the National School of Aesthetics. He remains one of the beauty therapy education industry’s leaders in compliance requirements and quality management systems.

Our NZQA Review Results: Yet More Proof The National School of Aesthetics is One of New Zealand’s Best Beauty Training Providers

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) is required to review all New Zealand tertiary-level education providers, including Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) and Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) but excluding universities, through an External Evaluation and Review (EER).  In our 2013 EER, NZQA judged us “highly confident in educational outcomes” and “highly confident in the capability of self-assessment”.  This put us in the highest grouping of tertiary education organisations in New Zealand.

In their report, downloadable from the National School of Aesthetics provider page on the NZQA Web site in the next few days, NZQA said:

  • “High employment outcomes are achieved.”
  • “NaSA has both excellent resources and staff.”
  • “The staff members are a cohesive team, willingly sharing resources and teaching approaches.”
  • “The school benefits from high levels of involvement of its co-founders, whose passion and commitment serve as the glue binding the different parts together.”
  • “NaSA … has emerged [from the quakes]  as a resourceful, experienced and supportive [school].”
  • “NaSA consciously strives for high standards of academic achievement.  … The students recognise this and have succeeded in achieving high standards over a number of years.”
  • “[NaSA’s] primary goal is to produce graduates ready for the workplace.”
  • “The suitability of NaSA’s graduates for immediate employment in clinics was attested by a number of clinics contacted…  A typical response was that a clinic has employed many graduates from a range of [education] providers, yet prefers NaSA’s graduates as they have better knowledge and are more likely to have international qualifications.”
  • “The students are also conscious of the very good reputation of NaSA and frequently cited this as the reason why they chose the school.”
  • “NaSA strengthens the value of the outcomes by maintaining ongoing relationships with the graduates and the clinics in which they are employed.”
  • “Typical of the feedback from the clinics was the comment from one owner who visited other training providers in her job and, ‘noticed the quality of workmanship from students and how NaSA far surpasses all of these!  NaSA has a fantastic way of approaching the client, the skin and body.’”
  • “The management team at NaSA has wide experience of the industry.  The programmes are focussed on the needs of the learners, clarifying these in the interviews that take place before the students enrol.”
  • “The new premises are luxurious … providing a range of modern machines along with modern techniques…  In this way and others, NaSA matches its courses to the needs of the industry.”
  • “NaSA benefits from an experienced, stable and well-qualified teaching staff.”
  • “…The teaching is highly effective at NaSA… The relationships between the students and tutors are positive, and [the students] expressed how helpful the tutors are.”
  • “NaSA provides effective support to the students… ”
  • “Both ITEC and CIDESCO praise the high standards at NaSA.  The CIDESCO examiner’s report in December 2012 stated that, ‘The school has a lovely warm environment with dedicated staff — all conducive to nurturing education and building a solid foundation.’”

NZQA rates us as one of the top beauty therapy providers in New Zealand, and supports this by interviewing students, graduates, clinics, and industry.  Our own research has shown, as of 1 August 2013, there are only 2 other tertiary education organisations (TEOs) offering beauty therapy training in New Zealand that NZQA has rated as “highly confident” in both educational outcomes and capacity of self-assessment.

In the South Island, we appear to be the only TEO that NZQA has rated as “highly confident” in both educational outcomes and capacity of self-assessment.

The National School of Aesthetics consistently and continually demonstrates our commitment to producing a high standard of education and an excellent standard of graduates for the beauty therapy, nail technology, and spa therapies industries.

Scott Fack is the Director of Operations at the National School of Aesthetics. He remains one of the beauty therapy education industry’s leaders in compliance requirements and quality management systems.