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The National School of Aesthetics provides a wide range of relevant, high-quality information to prospective, current and graduated students, as well as to members of the public, with regards to our courses and operations.  We do this to ensure you know what is involved in your interaction with us and what we will expect of you during your course of study with us.

We know there might be a lot of information to consider, but we provide this so the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) are answered and expectations are clear.

One of the things Jacqui, Noel and I hear continuously in our day-to-day duties at the school is our information is comprehensive, and many careers advisors, prospective students and their loved ones are impressed by the level of information we supply.  This level of information does not seem to be readily available to people looking at some providers offering similar training; we supply it to make sure students seriously considering this career path are well-informed before they make a choice.

Documents like our course information pack and other printed material can become obsolete within a few years, so we focus primarily on our Web site for conveying information to the public.  Web sites are fluid, meaning they change over time to reflect the needs of everyone involved.

The course information pack or our Web site should be your first port-of-call for information.  The prospectus and other course information are created in such a way whereby links to our Web site are included to direct you to the most up-to-date information.

The Student Handbook is a collection of different policies and procedures relevant to students, as well as other information to help make enrolment and your time here at the school as easy as possible.  Again, this document (as a printed one) can become out-of-date as time goes on, so we provide an electronic downloadable copy on our Web site.

The National School of Aesthetics is also very committed to ensuring sustainability and environmental awareness, so, through this, encourages prospective students and others to consult the Web site over paper-based information.  This saves paper and the resources involved in creating these documents.

We also have provided a frequently asked questions (FAQs) section on our Web site dedicated to general FAQs and also for enrolled students’ FAQs.  The latter can be found on the Students @ NaSA Web site,

Overall, we want to make sure that you, as a prospective or current student, know what you are getting involved in when you are looking at, or make the commitment to, studying with us.  This is the main reason we supply this information: to make sure you make an informed choice when you decide what subject you want to study and which provider you want to study it with.

As always, if you have any questions about the information we supply, or any other issue relating to the National School of Aesthetics, feel free to contact us during our office hours, and one of us will endeavour to assist you as best as we can.

Scott Fack is the Director of Operations for The National School of Aesthetics, the South Island’s leading beauty therapy, nail technology and spa therapies training provider.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Facts and Figures Explained

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In the information pack we send out to prospective students, I’ve listed some vital facts and figures for anyone interested in us to consider.  As a person who has engaged in tertiary study before, I understand the need for prospective students and their loved ones to ensure their prospective students enrol at a provider who can offer them the best training, the best range of opportunities and the highest quality training to ensure they are employable after they complete their training.  You think questions like, “how likely is it I’ll get a job after I study this?”  “Will this course give me the skills I need in order to succeed in this industry?”  “How recognised is the qualification?”  And so on…

We used to list a huge amount of data on the “Why You Should Train With The National School of Aesthetics” sheet that comes with our course information pack (also known as a prospectus), but I took the liberty of simplifying this for the 2010 information pack.  We also moved to a more “overall” look with the information, so the information presented is from the 5 years prior (at the present moment) to give a better, more accurate picture of the facts and figures.

Instead of reviewing and explaining each fact and figure, I thought I would take this opportunity to explain the rationale or how we figure that figure out behind each fact.

Students gaining one or more qualifications
In some of our courses, students can gain only one qualification, but in the Diploma in Beauty Therapy and Applied Aesthetics, students can gain three “embedded” qualifications as well as the large beauty therapy one.  Why we eventually went with the “one or more” figure was students can gain two qualifications out of the three in the Diploma in Beauty Therapy and still find employment in the industry (although all three is very much preferable, and the majority of our students do gain all three).  In addition, where a student might not pass a Certificate in Electrology (for example) through us, they may pass their ITEC Diploma in Epilation, which, essentially, allows them to work in the field.

The reason why some students don’t qualify in the third subject could be they had a legitimate reason for not being able to sit the component, i.e. medical reasons, or may have not been able to sit a part of that component, which may see them receive a lesser award.  It could be they didn’t meet the requirements or failed their final examination (students who have failed their final examination do have the option of resitting that examination at the next available opportunity).

In saying this, the number of students we have who do not complete all three embedded qualifications in their Diploma in Beauty Therapy and Applied Aesthetics is relatively low overall.

Graduates gaining 80% or 90% or higher in their course
The percentage gained by students is not rounded or distorted in any way.  We use a weighing system, whereby equal emphasis is given to all aspects of the course, i.e. 20% for attendance, presentation and other day-to-day activities, 20% for homework and projects, 20% for quizzes and tests.  The other 40% is loaded towards final examinations as the amount of work students need to do for that section is higher as case studies are completed throughout the year in addition to the actual examinations themselves.

And the work the students complete is not easy either.  We do not “dumb down” our requirements so we have a higher number of people completing and graduating, so the percentages are a true and accurate reflection of the National Qualifications Framework level requirements.

Passing external international examinations
Since some external international examinations are a unit-based system, and some students may have passed some units prior, we tally these types of examinations on a unit-by-unit basis.  Other types of examinations utilise one theory examination and one practical examination per subject, so we consider these on an examination-by-examination basis.  This gives the figure some consistency.

Employment and further study
The Government requires tertiary education providers to keep facts and figures about employment and further study.  Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules by which we should judge what is relevant and what is not, so some providers consider a one-week work experience “employment” in the industry.

We do not do this.

We include part-time and full-time employment in our facts and figures, as some graduates have family or other commitments and may only wish to work part-time.  Since beauty therapy and related fields include such a wide-scope of job opportunities and very customisable, we do include relevant jobs in associated industries, i.e. working at a cosmetics counter in a department store, using massage skills with personal training, et cetera.

Further study is considered to be any enrolment in any NZQA-Approved course or similar that can be used in conjunction with our qualification.  This may be a Diploma in Beauty Therapy graduate enroling in our Diploma in Spa Therapies, or a Certificate in Small Business Management through the Open Polytechnic, or a Certificate in Make-up Design and Production at the Design and Arts College of New Zealand or even a Bachelor of Nursing at CPIT.  Any related qualification is considered.  (Qualifications in areas like farming or mechanics, for example, would not be considered.)
This should give you a better picture of how we work out these facts and figures, and hopefully you will realise the information we give you is truthful, honest and relevant to our students, the industry and our graduates.

We are proud of the accomplishments of our students, graduates and staff, and we have nothing to hide when it comes to providing these facts and figures to you.

As always, if you have any questions about these facts and figures, or any other issue relating to the National School of Aesthetics, feel free to contact us during our office hours, and one of us will endeavour to assist you as best as we can.

Scott Fack is the Director of Operations for The National School of Aesthetics, the South Island’s leading beauty therapy, nail technology and spa therapies training provider.

In an industry like ours, presentation is quite important.  This isn’t to say a beauty therapist or spa therapist or nail technician needs to look like a supermodel, because that isn’t true either, and, to be honest, I believe we’d all have some big shoes to fill if that was expected of us.  No, I’m talking about presentation as a whole, both in our work and in our overall manner and appearance.

We hear about how first impressions always last, and it’s very important to realise how true this statement actually is.  So it remains important to be not only well-groomed on the outside but also well-spoken and well-mannered on the inside.  Remember, you are trying to sell a service to clients.

So little things like hair well-maintained and pulled back away from the face (if you have long hair) and keeping nails short and well-groomed are good.  Wearing appropriate (but not over-done) make-up and being dressed appropriately are two big areas as well.  You need to look like a professional person, not like you’re heading out for a Friday night on the town or spending a few hours at the gym or meeting up with old friends at a cafe for a coffee, because professionals dressed well command respect.

Manner is important as well.  Think of this as presenting your personality to others.  Being pleasant, well-spoken and thinking about how best to phrase your questions and answers are vital areas.  I’m not saying to re-invent yourself or act totally outside your comfort zone (like adding a plum to your speech or something like that).  What I am saying is be nice to everyone — you never know who that person you are talking to is, or who that person is connected to, or how your attitude might reflect on later dealings with that person or his or her associates — and think about what you are saying and how you say it.  When you ask questions, form them in your mind first to ensure you get what you want to ask across well, listen to the answer, and form dialogue from there.  This is quite important to ensure you gain and communicate the information you want to.

In your standard of work, both here and in the industry, needs to be presented well, neat and communicative.  This is particularly important for case studies / client consultation cards, as you need to have well-documented information available for others to follow in case you are sick (and they need to take your appointments), you have an accident while treating the client or the client has a negative reaction.  Also, things like treatment menus, business cards, and so on should be something that represents your industry and your professionalism as best as possible.

Overall, this blog is to help you think about how others see you in the context of being a beauty therapist, spa therapist and/or nail technician and in your professional life.  We have seen, at other providers both here and overseas, examples of wonderfully presented students and therapists, and also examples of not-so-professionally presented students and therapists, and to get ahead in the industry, you need to have as many things working in your favour as possible.  Presentation is one of these.  A solid, high quality education (which we obviously can offer you) is another.

Scott Fack is the Director of Operations for The National School of Aesthetics, the South Island’s leading beauty therapy, nail technology and spa therapies training provider.

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The final part in my blog about applications deals with your photo and the application form.  These are two very minimal but important parts of your application with us.

he details of what your photo should be like are listed in our application form, but to make it brief, it should be a passport photo, i.e. the same photo you would get if you were applying for a passport.  This is usually about 5cm by 4cm and available from certain chemists and pharmacies.

You have the right to tell the person taking the photograph that you want to smile in it if it is not required for a passport.  (If you are using some of the photos for your passport, you usually are not allowed to smile.  Don’t worry; we won’t mark you down for not smiling!)

You also need to have an identification sticker on the back.  This usually lists your full name, the signature of a witness and the date they signed it.  What needs to be filled out is:

  • Your full legal name.  This needs to be your name as it appears on your passport or your birth certificate or any other legal document.  Mine would be “Scott Andrew Fack” for example, even if friends call me Scotty or I don’t use my middle name all the time.
  • The signature of a person who can identify you as you.  This is a legal document, so you need to have someone who can identify you (by using a driver’s license or passport in some cases) sign their name underneath.  Do not sign this yourself.
  • Date.  This is the date the witness signed it.

The identification sticker is a legal document so it must be filled out correctly.

We are required by law to determine the identity of each person who applies to the school for a course to determine their eligibility for funding and for other legal reasons.

On top of this, we use the photo for your ID badge, so it “kills two birds with one stone”.

The application form is another legal document we use at the school.  While it does not enrol you in a course, it does put you forward for consideration for enrolment in a course.

To clarify:

  • Applying for a course only determines your eligibility for enrolment in a course.
  • Enrolling in a course holds a place for you and gives you the right to attend the course.

When filling out the form, please make sure you:

  • Use a blue or black-inked pen.
  • Use block letters, i.e. SCOTT FACK.
  • Provide honest and truthful answers.
  • Fill out all relevant sections.
  • Initial all pages, where required, in the lower bottom right-hand corner.
  • Sign and date the declaration on the last page.

The best thing to do would be to read the form over first, figure out what you need to answer and where, and then fill the form in.  Familiarising yourself with the form first makes sure you don’t make any mistakes (or minimal mistakes) and it is presented well.

Be honest in the form.  Like going through immigration, if you aren’t sure, declare it.  Medical and learning conditions should be clearly outlined to us as some treatments can make medical conditions worse or fatal.  We obviously want to prevent that, or to minimise the risk, so it is important you tell us.

With learning conditions, it is important we know this as well as sometimes there are options to assist people with learning difficulties in tests and quizzes.  Evidence of this condition would need to be backed up by verified independent practitioners who are authorised to verify this.

Some common mistakes include:

  • Not providing your full legal name, i.e. your most current name that appears on your birth certificate or passport.
  • Mislabeling the citizenship area.  This is your country of citizenship as shown on your passport, i.e. “UNITED KINGDOM”, “NEW ZEALAND”, “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”.
  • Not placing the PC code for your course.  (This can be found in the course dates and times information or on our Web site.  You need to have this number to apply for a student loan.)
  • Forgetting to initial each page.
  • No answer for the medical disclaimer section (mark “NONE” if you have none of the conditions on the list).
  • Lack of signature or date on the declaration page.

Hopefully this little series of blogs on our applications have helped you a little more with your application, but, as always, since we are all only human, I may have missed some points (or caused more confusion… hopefully not!).

As always, you are more than welcome to contact us at the school if you have any questions, and we will be more than happy to assist you as best as we can.

Scott Fack is the Director of Operations for The National School of Aesthetics, the South Island’s leading beauty therapy, nail technology and spa therapies training provider.

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A vital part of the application process is having written references from people we can contact to ensure you have a good work and/or study ethic and meet the strict criteria to achieve and succeed in this industry.

Why we ask for a written reference, more than a verbal reference, is a written one can be verified.  It relies on someone sitting down, thinking about you and your performance in whatever areas they have witnessed you in, and putting that information down on a piece of paper.  This gives the referee the opportunity to think about what they want to say (which is a lot nicer than putting someone “on the spot” so to speak) and give a well-thought-out image of you.

Just to clarify, a referee in this instance is the person writing the letter, i.e. the one who provides the reference.

What do we look for in a reference?

  • Honesty.
  • Information about you.  What type of person are you? How well do you achieve at things?
  • The letter should be “meaty”, i.e. shouldn’t be a few lines telling us essentially nothing.
  • A letterhead if the reference is “officially” from a school, business or organisation.
  • Date of the reference
  • Your name (first name and surname) should be mentioned at least one time in the reference
  • The referee’s name (first name and surname), position (if available), and contact details (i.e. address if not supplied on the letterhead, contact telephone number(s) and contact email address)
  • The referee should sign the reference.

We do accept email references, but we do need the full contact details of the referee so we can contact them directly to verify it.  We highly prefer written references over email references.

Also while we accept 1 written reference as a minimum, we do prefer between 2 and 3 written references to give us a better picture of you.

As always, if you have any further questions or would like further information on this or any part of the application process, please feel free to contact the office, and we will be more than happy to assist you as best as we can.

Scott Fack is the Director of Operations for The National School of Aesthetics, the South Island’s leading beauty therapy, nail technology and spa therapies training provider.

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A curriculum vitae (CV) translates roughly as “the course of your life”, so this document should give anyone who is looking at this document a fair idea of what work and study you have done throughout your life up to that point.  It should also give a fair idea of what key skills you have.

Like the essays, we receive some good CVs and some not-so-good CVs.  While we’re not expecting a thousand page document, we do expect something of substance within the document that lets us know what you have been doing in the years previous to applying to us.

According to Wikipedia, some of the areas in your CV should include:

  • Your current personal details;
  • A personal statement;
  • A list of your key skills and attributes;
  • A reverse chronological work history with achievements and role duties;
  • A reverse chronological educational history with academic and professional qualifications received;
  • Your hobbies and interests are optional.

In each of the areas, here are some of the things we are looking for:

Current Personal Details and Your Personal Statement

For your personal details, please include:

  • Full legal name (first, middle and last names)
  • Your current address
  • Your landline number
  • Your cellular phone number
  • Your email address

This is usually located at the top of your CV.

Your personal statement is usually a paragraph focussing on you.  As per the Wikipedia article, it would be best to remain objective (“Scott Fack has worked in academic, administrative and customer service roles…”) instead of subjective (“Scott Fack is the bestest, highest qualified person to work in academia…”).

List of Key Skills and Attributes
You provide a bullet-pointed list with skills and other things you have picked up over the years.

For example, a key skills and attributes list on my CV might read like:

  • Can type approximately 90 words per minute
  • Helped write and implement a quality management system consistently called “a strong document” by auditors from New Zealand and overseas
  • And so on… 

Your Work History
You should list your employment history, including where you worked, how long you worked there for, approximate dates and duties and key points.  You should do this starting with your most current job first.

An example:

Retail Assistant
ABC Hardware Store, Papanui, Christchurch
July 2007 – May 2009
Responsibilities included:

  • Stock control
  • Assisting customers with purchases
  • Et cetera

While some CV sites encourage you to list your entire work history, we would encourage you to use common sense when making your CV.  This does not mean omitting jobs you didn’t like or stayed a short while at; however, it does mean that jobs before a certain time (say ten or twenty years) may not be relevant.

We leave this decision up to you.

One warning: If there are gaps in the history, we will be asking you questions.  You are obligated under various rules, regulations and laws to tell us the truth.

Your Educational History
This is a very similar format to your employment history.  An example:

XYZ School of Hardware, Merivale, Christchurch
Diploma in Hardware Sales (Level 5)
January 2006 – December 2006
Further information:

  • Gained the Diploma in Hardware Sales (Level 5)
  • Gained 80% overall score

Subjects learned:

  • Sales
  • Hardware tools
  • Et cetera

Make sure you are telling the truth in your CV with regards to educational history.  Under the way the current law works, we have the right to request information from the NZQA and other providers on whether or not you have completed your study with those providers, and they are obligated to let us know this.

Overall, though, we would like to take your word for it, so please be honest.

So, overall, your CV should be a comprehensive yet focussed guide to show others, like us, your history and goals to help us gain a better picture of where you are coming from and how we can assist you in achieving your goals.

As always, if you have any questions about your CV, the application and interview processes or anything else, please feel free to contact us during our office hours, and we will endeavour to assist as best as we can.

Scott Fack is the Director of Operations for The National School of Aesthetics, the South Island’s leading beauty therapy, nail technology and spa therapies training provider.

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As you are looking to enter tertiary education at the equivalent level of the first year of university in most cases, you need to demonstrate you can achieve and succeed in learning.  The way you do this for us is by providing us with an educational history; this is important for all applicants to do, if they have an educational history, and required for students who are 17, 18 or 19 years old.

For applicants who are 20 and older, we look at work history too, so if you left high school and went into the work force, not having undertaken any further education, you can supply us with your work history through your Curriculum Vitae.

Like in a court case, we need evidence to back-up your claims or we rule these as inadmissible.  For example, if you tell us you gained a Certificate in Underwater Basketweaving (Level 4) from the Underwater Basketweaving and Knitting School of New Zealand, but you have no evidence of this (i.e. a certificate, letter from the provider or official academic transcript), we can’t use this as evidence.  See this from our point of view:  What’s to stop anyone from saying they have the Certificate in Underwater Basketweaving (Level 4)?  They might have it; they might not.  You can’t get convicted of a crime if there isn’t some pretty strong evidence against you; the same applies here.  We need evidence-based facts to support your claims.

In saying this, there are a few terms I’d like to put forward here that we have in our forms; this hopefully will help clarify some matters for you.

What is a completed course or qualification?
Completed only means you got to the end of the course; this does not mean you passed or failed the course, only that you got through the entire course.

What is a successfully completed course or qualification?
Successfully completed means you got to the end of the course and you passed everything.  You received a certificate or diploma as a result.

We use the words course and qualification interchangeably.  There seems to be some confusion in these terms, but when we use them, we use either to mean a programme of study that leads to the awarding of a certificate or diploma.

The absolute minimum educational standard we will accept for applicants between 17 and 19 is the National Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 1.  You need to have the:

  • Actual NCEA (Level 1) certificate; or
  • A Record of Learning from NZQA stating you have:
    • 80 or more credits at Level 1 or higher; and
    • 8 or more credits in literacy; and
    • 8 or more credits in numeracy; or
  • A letter from your school stating you are expected to meet the requirements for achieving NCEA (Level 1).

We also only look for NZQA-Approved courses or their overseas equivalents.  This means a certificate for being the best underwater basket weaver at work or doing a short course through work to update your underwater basketweaving skills in most cases will not be acceptable for our educational history purposes; you may wish to submit these for your work history purposes to show you have learned at work.

As always, if you are uncertain or need further clarification on any matter, please feel free to contact our offices during office hours, and we will be more than happy to assist you as best as we can.

Scott Fack is the Director of Operations for The National School of Aesthetics, the South Island’s leading beauty therapy, nail technology and spa therapies training provider.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Applications, Part 1: The Essay

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When prospective students apply to enrol in one of our longer courses like the Diploma in Beauty Therapy and Applied Aesthetics, one of the requirements is he or she must write an essay in response to statements we have given them.  This exercise gives us a fairer idea of their direction and insight into why exactly they want to enrol in our course.

Unfortunately, a small minority of the responses we receive appear to be spouting what we want to hear, not responses where the applicant has sat down, truly thought about what to answer, and written the reply from there.

On the other side of the coin, a good chunk of the responses we receive do, to varying degrees, address this and delve (at various depths) into giving us insight into the reason(s) why the prospective student wants to enrol in the course.

My suggestion to those applicants who are interested in studying with us is to sit down, have a good think of why you feel this is the industry for you, and answer from your heart.  Like in a court case, use evidence to back your statements up, where possible.

For example, you might say from a young age you were passionate about beauty therapy.

Why? How?  There are so many ways you can take this statement to expand upon it.  Maybe some of your fondest memories were of accompanying your favourite aunt to her weekly facial treatment, and the beauty therapists there got your initial interest going.  Over the years, you built up this interest by… (and you can continue from there).

And “passionate” is a very strong word to use.  Why are you passionate about this industry?  A lot of people say they are “passionate” about something, but how many can demonstrate or explain why?

These are the sorts of questions you might want to ask yourself after making the first draft of your essay.  (I say first draft because you may need to go through and clarify things, correct misspelled words, and so on.)  When you read the draft of your essay, make changes and corrections, and think of how to best expand upon what you have written (if needed).

Remember, you know what you are talking about because you have experienced it; putting those ideas on paper doesn’t always translate the way you want it to.  So think about, “does the way I’ve written this get my point across?”

(It’s like people who don’t use indicators when they are driving.  They know where they are going.  The rest of us don’t!)

If you’re not sure, have someone else who is very analytical at these things sit down and read your essay to make sure it makes sense and gets your point across.  This could be a teacher or parent or someone who has perhaps experienced with writing essays for university or other tertiary education.

Of course, as always, if you need clarification or guidance, please feel free to contact us, and we will be more than happy to assist as best as we can.

Scott Fack is the Director of Operations for The National School of Aesthetics, the South Island’s leading beauty therapy, nail technology and spa therapies training provider.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Your Previous Learning

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Today was a good example of a few issues we face when we get a lot of applications in and a lot of enquiries about our courses.  What previous learning do you need to have to apply for one of our courses?

Well, let’s assume we’re talking about entry-level courses, i.e. courses that are a “foot-in-the-door” level for beauty therapy and nail technology.

Do I need to know anything about beauty therapy or nail technology to do the course?
No.  You will have needed to research the industry to see if this is the industry you want to get into, but you do not need to know how to perform any beauty therapy or nail technology treatments, or anatomy and physiology, or anything like that.  We assume you know none of these when you start the course, so relax! You start at square one, so to speak, and learn from there.

Do I need to have any qualifications before I start the course?
This depends on your age.

If you are over 20, we look at your work history if you have no formal qualifications.  In short, no.

If you are under 20, you need to have at least NCEA Level 1 or higher qualification.  (Yes, we do accept Cambridge Exams, et cetera.)

We usually only look at completed qualifications.  These need to be NZQA-Approved or equivalent, i.e. a certificate you received from your employer because you took a 2 day course in basket weaving does not count.

I don’t know if I have NCEA Level 1.  Do I?
In order to have NCEA (National Certificate in Educational Achievement) Level 1, you must have:

  • Gained 80 credits or more at level 1 or higher.
  • Gained at least 8 credits in literacy (i.e. reading, writing, comprehension, et cetera).
  • Gained at least 8 credits in numeracy (i.e. maths, geometry, calculus, et cetera).

If you have less than 80 credits, you do not have NCEA Level 1.

If you do have over 80 credits, but do not have at least 8 credits in literacy and at least 8 credits in numeracy, you do not have NCEA Level 1.

I really want to be a beauty therapist or nail technician, but I’m not sure if I can cope with the level of study (or I don’t have NCEA Level 1 to get in).  What do I do?
You can do several things, but two of the things I know off the top of my head are:

  • Start off in our nail technology course.  This is a level 4 course, which can lead into our level 5 Diploma in Beauty Therapy and Applied Aesthetics once you achieve competency in the Certificate in Nail Technology.
  • Maybe complete the Diploma in Beauty Therapy and Applied Aesthetics over the part-time option, i.e. Certificate in Aesthetics (Facial Therapy), which is level 4, then progress to Certificates in Physiatrics (Body Therapy) and Electrology, both of which are level 5.
  • Complete a lower level qualification with a provider like the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand or another provider.
  • CPIT offers a Certificate in Sciences (Pre-Health) which is a fantastic stepping-stone into our courses.  This helps equip you with the skills and knowledge you need in order to achieve and succeed at our course.

I’m sure I haven’t covered everything about previous learning here, but if you do have questions, please feel free to contact either Jacqui or me at the school, and one of us is always willing to help as best as we can.

Scott Fack is the Director of Operations for The National School of Aesthetics, the South Island’s leading beauty therapy, nail technology and spa therapies training provider.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

This Course is All About Hard Work

When Jacqui or I take the interview presentation, there’s a slide that starts off with that phrase: “This course is all about hard work.”  If I am presenting, my eyes scan the room full of interviewees to see what their reactions are.  And believe you me, there are a variety of reactions.

I think, to be honest, with just under 20 years’ experience with teaching in one form or another, one usually finds those who take this statement too seriously are the ones who don’t need to worry about it, while the students who don’t take this statement too seriously… have no idea what they are in for.

When we get to the end of a course, we hear from the students that nothing could have prepared them for how much hard work would have to go into the amount of studying and case studies and routines in their time at the school.  And, once they have finally graduated and get out into the industry, the amount of pride in how hard they struggled to achieve something so wonderful finally comes to fruition.  These graduates spread the word to potential students about the hard work they are facing, as we do, but I don’t think words can truly prepare anyone for any level of work they may need to complete any course.

If you are considering attending one of our courses, please be prepared to put in hard work to achieve and succeed.  As Noel often says, you’ll find people around you who aren’t knowledgeable about the industry will say, “It’s just slapping on a bit of make-up”, or “You paint nails”, with the implied comment after, “How hard can it be?”  (At that point, you should take out your textbooks and plonk them down on a table.  Ask them how much of the information in those books they know… You usually will find if they have a good look through, they won’t be making those comments again, and will have a new-found respect for you and your course work!)

Their comments could drag you down, but as our Code of Ethics say, you should show pride in your abilities and your skills.  You learn everything from broad things such as massage (something that most people have some innate ability to at least perform to a basic level) to fiddly things (like nail polish application to a professional standard), so you should show pride in these, and learn them to the best of your abilities.

In short, nothing we can say will prepare you for the hard work you will face when you attend one of our courses.  But if you’re willing to put in the hard yards, you’ll get that repaid ten-fold when you graduate and get out into the industry.

As always, if you have concerns about the level of the course, or if you want any advice or assistance, please let us know, and one of us will be more than happy to assist you.

Scott Fack is the Director of Operations for The National School of Aesthetics, the South Island’s leading beauty therapy, nail technology and spa therapies training provider.