In the Know: CIDESCO
What can I do to encourage my therapists to continue to their education and keep adding to their skills set?
These days most therapists have excellent basic qualifications but there are many things you need to learn through experience, and years of practice. Lifelong learning is key for therapists because education is the most important part of a successful spa and beauty therapy career.
Encourage your staff and don’t underestimate the need for continuing professional development (CPD). Although it’s not mandatory, it is considered important for everyone to develop and increase their skills on a regular basis, and in my view, CPD is something everyone needs.
This is especially true in spa and beauty therapy, where new techniques, products and equipment mean constant updating is essential to keep standards consistent, and to improve them. The industry is rapidly changing and therapists must invest in themselves in order to keep up to date with the latest methods and protocols and to continue the process of lifelong learning.
Much of this [top-up learning] type of study can be done over the course of a few days or a weekend, perhaps even within the spa environment, without the need to take extended time off work. There are now many courses on offer that are short and targeted: designed for those who already have qualifications in the field, not for trainees.
Every spa knows how important standards and quality are. You can have a gorgeous location with the latest design, products and equipment and an impressive treatment menu that builds guests expectations. But if you don’t have well-trained, qualified and experienced therapists who can deliver excellent customer service and unforgettable treatments, the guest experience will still be mediocre.
These days, customers are more and more demanding. They expect a certain standard and qualified and well-educated therapists are vital to this. On-going training is crucial to success and will be of huge benefit to everyone involved. I would never be where I am today without the experience that continuing education has given me.
Anna-Cari Gund is president of CIDESCO, which aims to create and uphold global standards within the spa and beauty industries, and managing director of spa consultancy Raison d’Etre. Gund, who has nearly 30 years of industry experience, travels the world to promote continuing professional development and networking, speaking at industry events worldwide.