Tag Archives: Scott

Why Recognised and Approved Training is Important

NaSA students perform manicures on one another
NaSA students perform manicures on one another. Source: Christchurch Press

Thursday night, 20/20 reported on the incidence of medical issues arising from poor hygiene and sterlisation (amongst other things) in some clinics in the Auckland region.  It’s interesting to note that some (if not all) of these nail bars seemed to be run in malls.  I would wager that some of the operators did not hold recognised qualifications.

If you didn’t see the report, you can find it here: http://tvnz.co.nz/20-20-news/nailed-video-6001303

At The National School of Aesthetics, we have pushed and continue to push for high standards in the beauty therapy industry.  These standards are apparent in appearance and uniform, and they extend to knowledge in anatomy and physiology, hygiene and sterilisation, record-keeping, diseases and disorders, contraindications, and so on.  We’ve built our nearly 30 year reputation through strong training and education.

In the early 2000s, the Tertiary Education Commission granted us additional funding to properly train nail technicians for inclusion in the industry.  We even ran Recognition of Prior Learning programmes to help nail technicians with non-NZQA-Approved nail technology qualifications upgrade to our NZQA-Approved Certificate in Nail Technology.  The uptake on the latter was poor, and this led to many nail technicians out there offering treatments without an NZQA-Approved qualification.

Despite pushing these standards, some potential students do not see the value in our 15 week NZQA-Approved Certificate in Nail Technology and decide to undertake a non-NZQA-Approved short nail technology course, thinking the less time they spend in a classroom, the better.  But graduates from these short, non-approved nail technology courses most likely do not hold the same level of competence in their skills or knowledge, especially in anatomy and physiology, diseases and disorders, or hygiene and sterilisation as our graduates do.  And therein lies the problem.

How can we help educate the general public about the importance of proper training and NZQA-recognised qualifications?

  • We can educate the general public about the importance of seeing an NZQA-Approved programme’s certificate or diploma hanging on the wall in the clinic or asking the nail technician or beauty therapist if he or she qualified through an NZQA-Registered provider, gaining an NZQA-Approved programme’s certificate or diploma.
  • We can explain that NZQA-Registered tertiary education organisations go through a rigorous process to gain registration and must go through stringent processes to maintain registration with NZQA.  Non-registered TEOs do not go through this process and most times have no outside monitoring to ensure they meet local and national guidelines.
  • We can point out that an NZQA-Approved programme goes through a very thorough process, including reviews by industry experts and industry in general, before being approved.  Non-registered TEOs usually are not moderated and many times have no outside input to ensure the best standards for their students and graduates are available and enforced.
  • We can keep providing the old adages that, “You get what you pay for,” and “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
  • We can attempt to curb the public’s behaviour of supporting clinics hiring non-qualified nail technicians or beauty therapists through an education campaign.
  • We can try to convince potential nail technicians and beauty therapists that they should train through an NZQA-Registered tertiary education organisation and gain an NZQA-Approved qualification.

As an industry, we have been threatened with licensing and other compliance measures that will add more time and effort for the clinic owner, many of who are sole owner-operators, to meet bureaucratic requirements.  This will mean less time to have appointments and make money, and more time to fill out paperwork and spend money on meeting compliance measures.  But maybe this is what the industry needs to protect the general public and properly-trained nail technicians and beauty therapists from the rogues and cowboy operators out there.

The choice is ours as an industry to make.

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.

Advertisements

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.