As we flourish as an industry there are numerous courses to choose from and it can become very confusing and difficult to know which is the right choice. At Habia we recommend you choose a regulated qualification that is recognised and audited for its quality and content.

Why a regulated qualification?

If it’s because your career will depend on it, or if it’s to show future employers or clients that you have a valid qualification then a regulated qualification does this.

You might want to demonstrate instantly that the qualification you have can be relied upon or, as the regulator often describes it – that it’s a valid qualification.

Regulators such as Ofqual (for England) have statutory powers under various Acts of Parliament. Because of the reputation of these regulators and the strength of regulation behind these qualifications, it means qualifications that hold any of these brands are accepted worldwide.

Awarding Organisations (AOs) who have gained recognition by a regulator have shown that their qualifications are robust, of a very high standard and are ‘fit for purpose’ – those people holding the qualifications have all attained the same level of skills, knowledge and understanding.

Regulated Qualifications can be relied upon. Employers across the world see it as a badge of quality, an assurance that the person with the qualification has the knowledge and skills they are looking for.

At Habia we implore individuals to research widely and choose very wisely when they are deciding on an organisation to provide their training. We urge professionals to ‘be the best you can be’, don’t opt for cheap and fast training and education. 

A challenge across the sector currently is the plethora of short ‘accredited’ training courses.  This issue is so widespread that unfortunately the term accredited has become discredited. It’s very hard for prospective students to decipher who is offering a full, recognised qualification and who isn’t. They are often seduced by very professional, slick websites, that promise the earth, look valid and offer insurance after doing a course lasting only a few hours. It’s not illegal, but it impacts the sector, with implications for client safety.  Many of these accreditation companies are very new and no one knows their credentials, who is behind them, their expertise or their appropriateness to be accrediting training. We have many people contact us who thought they were studying for a nationally recognised qualification, when they aren’t, and they have wasted a lot of time and money, it’s deplorable. Another worrying aspect is insurance. Many years ago, insurance could only be obtained if you had a ‘regulated’ qualification, this acted like a gatekeeper – you could only get insurance if you were fully qualified.  There are undoubtedly many good insurance companies, but we are also hearing from individuals in the sector that are shocked to hear some insurance companies don’t ask to see any certificates or evidence of a qualification, which is frightening.

Habia fully embraces and celebrates the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit that our sector demonstrates. However, it’s so important to have a well embedded, respected and acknowledged qualification structure, to ensure high standards and protect client safety. Although we are not a regulated sector, we do have regulated qualifications and we need to ensure these are respected, embedded within the industry and are what employers are looking for when recruiting staff. The area that has caused huge concern is non-surgical cosmetic procedures, you may have heard that to protect public safety the Government has introduced a licencing scheme, once this is fully implemented it will be illegal to offer these treatments without a licence. Habia is chairing a task and finish group that looks at the details of the licence, alongside other organisations, including the JCCP, BABTAC and BBCo.

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