The National School of Aesthetics

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International Qualifications

Travel the world with your beauty therapy, nail technology and spa therapies qualifications

The National School of Aesthetics offers three industry-recognised, major international qualifications through its training at the school: CIDESCO and ITEC. This page talks about these systems, the difference in examination styles, and why the right international qualifications are important.

Please select from the following information:

Why International Qualifications Are Important

ITEC spells this out extremely well on their Web site.

International qualifications are "supported by industry and ... easily transportable nationally and internationally."

International qualifications meet stringent international standards in many nations across the world. With international qualifications, the opportunities are much wider for working when traveling or living overseas. International examinations are also independently assessed and moderated, which ensures the examinations are fair, valid and consistent. You never know where you'll be in 10 years' time, so it's best to ensure you've got international qualifications. You'll also be able to add letters after your name, like "Jane Smith, ITEC Dip. Aestheticienne".

You must meet attendance, grade and training requirements set forth in our Rules and Regulations in order to sit international examinations, even after examination applications have been made and examination fees are paid.

One of our graduates based in England summed it up best: "My ITEC diplomas have proven my best asset, and I have been hired over English therapists as employers appreciate our (New Zealand's) training is so much better."

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New Zealand's Most Accepted International Qualifications

The most accepted international beauty therapy qualifications in New Zealand are the major international players:

  • CIDESCO and
  • ITEC

In our 2004 survey of Christchurch-based industry, 100% of respondents preferred these international qualifications over any other type (either national or international qualifications). The Association of Beauty Therapy New Zealand also recognises these qualifications.

Unlike some other international qualifications offered in New Zealand, CIDESCO and ITEC only offer beauty, nail and spa qualifications.

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About CIDESCO

CIDESCO stands for Comité International d'Esthétique et de Cosmétology, who were founded in 1946, and remains to be one of the world's major international beauty therapy and aesthetics organisations. CIDESCO is a Swiss-based qualifying body, and their qualifications are recognised internationally.

CIDESCO have assembled a syllabus from various areas of expertise, including aestheticiennes, beauty therapists, medical practitioners, psychologists, cosmetic scientists, and teachers. The syllabus reflects their many years experience in this field and reflects the needs of the beauty therapy industry at an international level.

CIDESCO examinations are held once a year at the school, and the school allows students who have met the requirements of the course and CIDESCO to sit international examinations upon successful application and payment of examinations fees. International examination fees and applications are usually due by 1 September for December examinations.

The qualifications that can be gained for an extra fee are listed on the Extra Expenses section for the relevant course. Other qualifications may be available as well.

More information on the structure of the CIDESCO examinations can be found CIDESCO Examination Structure section. More information can be found on the CIDESCO Web site.

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Structure of CIDESCO Examinations

Candidates sitting CIDESCO examinations will be required to:

Undertake a practical examination in the subjects at hand.

For example, if a candidate wanted the equivalent of a full beauty therapy qualification through CIDESCO, they would need to sit the practical examinations (one facial therapy, one body therapy) for the Diploma in Beauty Therapy, which includes oral questions at the discretion of the examiner. They would then, upon passing, sit the Diploma in Epilation. Two examiners -- one from an overseas CIDESCO school, one from the school itself -- test the candidates' practical skills.

Undertake one theory examination for each diploma.

Using the diploma listed above, the candidate will sit 1 100-point, multiple-choice question theory paper for the Diploma in Beauty Therapy, covering issues from throughout the CIDESCO syllabus. There is an extra paper for the CIDESCO Diploma in Epilation. These are marked by the CIDESCO examiner while the students wait.

Provide the project required.

Candidates are expected to complete the project required. This is a 4,000 word project to be researched; topics must be okayed by the school and in accordance with CIDESCO's requirements.

Complete a further 600 hours in a clinic.

Once the candidate successfully completes the examinations, the candidate will receive a temporary diploma until he or she completes 600 documented hours working in a clinic. These hours must be done after the examination and within two years.

Once all requirements have been met and achieved successfully, CIDESCO will award the student with, in this case, two awards: the Diploma in Beauty Therapy and Diploma in Epilation. The candidate must pass each section by 70% or more.

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About ITEC

ITEC stands for the International Therapy Examination Council, who have been in existence since 1947. ITEC is an English-based therapy examination body, registered with the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), and their qualifications are recognised internationally.

ITEC have assembled their syllabi on time-proven international trends in beauty therapy and other therapies, and they offer their syllabi to the 600-odd schools world wide who are registered with them. The schools, such as ours, teach the syllabi to a suitable standard (analysed twice a year by ITEC) so the students in each course can take ITEC exams and subsequently gain qualifications to an international standard. Their qualifications are also accredited on the British National Qualifications Framework.

In 1997, ITEC judged the National School of Aesthetics amongst the top 5% of ITEC schools world-wide through their JAMES Accreditation system. There are over 500 ITEC schools world-wide. Our high pass rate and excellent calibre of student sitting ITEC examinations helps continue our excellent reputation to this day.

ITEC examinations are held once a year at the school, and the school allows students who have met the requirements of the qualification to sit international examinations upon successful application and payment of examinations fees. International examination fees and applications are usually due by 1 September for December examinations.

The qualifications that can be gained for an extra fee are listed on the Extra Expenses sheet for the relevant course. Other qualifications may be available as well.

More information on the structure of the ITEC examinations can be found in the ITEC Examination Structure section. More information can be found on the ITEC Web site.

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Structure of ITEC Examinations

Candidates sitting ITEC examinations will be required to:

Undertake a practical examination in the subject or subjects at hand.

For example, if a candidate wanted the equivalent of a full beauty therapy qualification through ITEC, they would need to sit the practical examinations for: the Beauty Specialist Diploma; the Diploma in Facial Electrical Treatments; the Diploma in Body Treatments; and the Diploma in Epilation.

As the ITEC system is a unit-based one, candidates undertake a practical examination in each unit in each qualification, i.e. Waxing, Manicure and Pedicure, et cetera in the Diploma for Beauty Specialists. This normally flows seamlessly from one unit to another within the same qualification.

An ITEC-hired examiner marks the students against the criteria listed in the units for each award.

Undertake several small theory examinations.

Using the diplomas listed above, the candidate will sit 10 50-point, multiple-choice question theory papers over a period of time no longer than a month. Each unit in each diploma has its own theory paper, and candidates are required to demonstrate knowledge in all units to gain the award. These are sent to and marked by ITEC.

Provide the case studies required.

Candidates are expected to complete the case studies required and hand them in to the school prior to examination. These are reviewed by the school and marked by ITEC.

Once all requirements have been met and achieved successfully, ITEC will award the student with, in this case, four awards: the ITEC Diploma for Beauty Specialists; the ITEC Diploma in Facial Electrical Treatments; the ITEC Diploma in Body Treatments; and the ITEC Diploma in Epilation. The candidate must pass all sections by 60% or more.

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