Salons warned over misleading training providers following ASA ruling

The National Beauty Federation (NBF) has warned salons and therapists to carefully research their chosen training providers after the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) found several such businesses guilty of misleading advertising. 

Aesthetics Lounge Academy in Birmingham, The Aesthetics Uni in Warrington and Boss Babes Uni in Liverpool were reported to the ASA by the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) following “many complaints from members of the public, existing practitioners and from other stakeholders about education and training companies who may have advertised their training courses with misleading claims”. 

The JCCP is concerned about “vague and misleading representations of qualifications and pathways to practise within aesthetics by UK training companies”, in particular the content, nature and duration of training, qualification obtained and whether the qualification obtained meets the standards required for admittance onto professional registers from the JCCP or other industry bodies. 

In all three cases the ASA upheld the complaints – you can read the individual rulings here, here and here – and advised that the three companies “had misrepresented or withheld full and correct information for potential students to be enabled to make an informed decision before contractually entering the courses advertised”. 

Miles Lockwood, director of complaints and investigations at the ASA, said, “These rulings set a key precedent for us in taking action against advertisers in this sector. It’s important to ensure that aesthetics practitioners are being upfront and not making misleading claims about the training they provide.”

Warning for salons 

In response the NBF has advised its members to research thoroughly into any aesthetic treatment-training providers they are considering undertaking training with. Practitioners should fully understand the nature of the qualification they’ll receive upon course completion and check this against the entry requirements of further education or professional registers they wish to join. 

Caroline Larissey, NBF’s director of quality and standards said, “Salons need to be confident that they are getting the right training and are not being misled. Last year, the NBF published a free guide to the qualifications and training needed for hair and beauty treatments from Level 2 right up to aesthetics treatments at Levels 6 and 7.  

We always recommend that qualifications are accredited by regulated awarding organisations such as VTCT, City & Guilds, CIBTAC and others.”

In addition, the NBF this week released a new guide on the advertising rules salons and independent therapists must adhere to so as not to misinform clients. 

Example advice includes making sure prices; discounts and limited-time offers are not misleading. 

Therapists also need to be clear on the rules surrounding anaesthetic usage in their area if providing needling treatments, after many salons have been told to stop performing these services by their councils.