How practitioners can avoid unauthorised training courses - Hamilton Fraser


In the aesthetics industry, treatments and techniques are constantly evolving, highlighting the importance for practitioners to continue their professional development and educate themselves on the latest best practices and procedures in their field. However, misleading advertising by training organisations has increasingly become an issue of concern within the cosmetic sector. The JCCP recently released a statement explaining that they have received concerns over some aesthetic training organisations claiming false accreditations.

The statement advised that there have been reports of training organisations in the aesthetic sector attaching the ‘university’ title to their company name, using it in adverts for their training courses, and falsely claiming that their courses are officially accredited.

Office for Students (OfS), the independent regulator for higher education in England, states that ‘university’ and ‘university college’ are legally protected terms which can only be used by organisations that have received permission from the UK government. This is supported by The Higher Education Act 2017, which granted the OfS the power to authorise usage of the term ‘university’ in reference to registered higher education institutions.

This also applies to use of the terms ‘accredit’, and ‘accreditation’, in reference to academic and CPD accreditations or qualifications. The JCCP highlighted this as some courses also advertise that their courses award academic credits upon completion, when they do not in fact have the legal right to award such credits.

Happy woman receiving a beauty treatment

What can practitioners do to avoid unauthorised training courses?

It is essential for aesthetic practitioners to undertake thorough training and to keep up to date with developments in the sector. But it can be difficult to judge which courses are viable, as there is little regulation in the cosmetic industry, and many courses of variable quality and validity on offer. How can you make sure you don’t fall foul of misleading advertising and pick the right training provider?

In order to avoid illegitimate courses that offer false accreditation, the JCCP advises practitioners to be aware of the following:

  • Generally, courses where you are learning new skills, knowledge, and proficiencies in order to become a safer aesthetic practitioner cannot be completed within two to three days These types of courses are very thorough, and should take longer to complete
  • Short courses do not award a regulated qualification that is recognised nationally, and the quality of the course will not necessarily be checked by anyone
  • The costs for these type of courses are often high
  • Some training providers make false claims about the types of awards they provide upon completion of their course, such as qualifications or a guarantee of securing work quickly
  • If it sounds too good to be true, then it most likely is. It is imperative to conduct thorough research and know what to look for before signing up to any course

What do you need to know about a course before signing up?

  • Who is providing it?
  • Is it provided by a reputable company that abides by national quality assurance standards?
  • The length of the course
  • Whether the course properly assesses knowledge and competence
  • Whether the course awards academic accreditation or leads to a regulated qualification
  • If it is fairly priced

If the organisation providing the training course uses the term ‘university’ or offers any type of academic accreditation, research whether they are a legitimate university or college with awarding powers which adhere to the regulatory framework for Higher Education in England.

  • If they are a training company that offers qualifications, check whether it is a regulated qualification provided by an official awarding organisation. You can also find out whether the qualification on offer is valid by checking if it’s on the list of regulated qualifications on these national databases:
  • Register of Regulated Qualifications
  • Qualifications Wales
  • Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework
  • Any course that leads to a regulated qualification must include a form of assessment and adhere to regulatory standards
  • A JCCP quality check can confirm whether the qualification and training provider have been approved as meeting their Education & Training standards (2018)

While there are plenty of training courses on offer for aesthetic practitioners, it is important to carry out background research on the organisation providing the course. By following the guidelines provided by the JCCP, you can identify misleading advertisements, and differentiate dishonest organisations from trustworthy ones, saving yourself time and money in the process.

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