Pete Richardson investigates if there is any value of international certification for aesthetic practitioners or beauticians

Various teaching academies now offer a certification in some courses from an organisation called IQ Verify – but what are they and are they valuable?

Their first foray into our industry is to offer level 4 to 7 in skin rejuvenation. Now understand level 6 is equivalent to a degree and level 7 is equivalent to a post-graduate qualification.

Why on earth would you want this level of qualification in a field where you can make a living at level 3 or 4?

Laurie Clarke from IQ Verify has two answers and says: “To further your aesthetic knowledge and competency in accordance with the latest guidelines and to future proof your aesthetic career.”

But what does she mean?

The key to education and training is to improve ability. Simple – the more training the better the practitioner.

And at a time when our industry is under intense public scrutiny with regards to competence and safety the more you can prove and demonstrate ability – the more likely you will receive public acceptance.

And the more like our industry will receive acceptance at governmental and regulatory level.

Prove we have qualifications and competency and we win the argument.

IQ Verify offers the first opportunity for us to progress to the highest levels – now in skin rejuvenation but I guess at some point in injectables – the Holy Grail for all of us who believe non-medics should be given a pathway to the highest qualifications and proof of ability and competency.

Imagine going from level 5 in skin rejuvenation to level 6 in injectables!!

As Laurie Clarke says it can also impact on availability and cost of insurance: “With improved aesthetic competence there is a reduced risk of serious clinical issues arising, both during and after the treatment. With reduced risk comes the reduced probability of a claim being made – enabling the premium reduction.

“Training-based reductions is therefore a model that is currently deployed within the sector and is likely to increase alongside the availability of appropriate training programmes. Recognised and regulated training programmes, therefore, have particular value as they provide the insurer with the reassurance that a set calibre of competency has been delivered, without the need for further evaluation.”

Ultimately it will be about money won’t it?

More qualifications/certification = higher skill levels = be accepted = cheaper insurance = charge more = more profit.

Laurie Clarke seems to agree: “The output of this process is that recipients of training-based premium reductions will be placed at a commercial advantage when compared to those who have not received similar discounts, due to knock on effects upon treatment pricing and uptake.

“This factor alone will support the establishment and maintenance of a successful career within the field. Should legislation later emerge that formalises the requirement for specific forms of training/demonstrable competency, this commercial advantage will only increase, owing to this requirement having already been met”.

And then there’s the quality of the training.

Training providers intending to deliver the Level 4-7 Certification Scheme in Skin Rejuvenation must first undertake a full on-site audit against the requirements set within the IQ Verify Learning Provider Scheme.

It’s tough and it’s thorough and it aims to identify the best training providers – they are reviewed annually.

Laurie Clarke says: “IQ Verify set the bar, in accordance with Government guidelines and nationally recognised best practice, in terms of the standards expected of an aesthetic training provider.

“Training providers are able to objectively demonstrate that they have met all of the relevant guidelines and have been certified in accordance with an internationally recognised standard.

“Candidates can attend a training course assured that their chosen training provider is of a calibre that delivers upon the promises made within their Social Media posts”.

Our industry must find ways of providing the public with confidence and safety reassurance via higher training standards from approved, regulated, audited providers.

As Laurie Clarke says: “In the absence of official JCCP recognition, and again in pursuit of raising training standards and protecting public safety, IQ Verify will hold a publicly available register that identifies successful training schools and candidates alike”.