Therapist register: the detail

In the February issue, Professional Beauty was the first to break the news that Habia will launch a professional register of UK beauty therapists. We get the lowdown from new managing dorector Rob Young.

The register will cover the beauty, nails and spa industries and is the first initiative under Young, who says it is the biggest project the association has ever taken on.

It will aim to boost consumer recognition of professional skills, to raise standards in the industry via a code of conduct that will weed out bad practice.

Registered therapists will be put on a searchable database, which will be marketed to consumers. Habia is now gathering interest from therapists and plans to launch the register to consumers in summer.

“Habia is now part of SkillsActive, which already runs a successful register of exercise professionals, and we are confident it could work in a similar way,” said Young. “Everyone we’ve spoken to is crying out for a register because it will be a way to finally police the industry.”

The register will be voluntary but Young said the long-term aim is to gain the backing of employers to the extent that therapists will need to register in order to get a job.

To join, therapists will have to show their qualifications and agree to meet certain standards in areas such as health and safety and continued professional development. Members will be given a “passport”, which will act as an online profile where they can upload their CV, records of training and images of their work.

Habia is now recruiting a committee of salon and spa professionals to help create the criteria that therapists will need to meet to remain on the register. The association will then do spot checks on those registered.

Young said: “We need a panel with a cross section of people actively working in the industry to make sure the criteria and standards represent what the industry wants and needs.”

There will be an annual registration fee, which Young said is likely to be under £35, to cover costs of governing the scheme and promoting it to consumers.

Young said creating consumer awareness will be a major focus. Initial plans include a searchable database of all registrants but Habia will also approach established consumer sites such as Wahanda to promote the initiative.

As well as national promotion, Young said therapists who register will have access to additional benefits including discounts on training materials and salon supplies.

Habia plans to launch a website where therapists can register their initial interest at www.habia.org/hsa/register/

Habia will officially launch the scheme at Professional Beauty 2013 at Excel London on February 24, where the team will be on stand L42 to take applications to join the register or to be part of the advisory committee.