Jordan Taylor applies makeup

Jordan Taylor likes, “the sense of mastering the art of beauty.” Currently studying the Diploma in Beauty Therapy at The National School of Aesthetics, she feels she, “enjoys the practical application of ideas,” and the beauty programme is an outlet for these strengths. She’s passionate about make-up, waxing, manicure and electrology. Despite holding no formal secondary qualifications because school did not hold her interest, Jordan’s strong grades at NaSA reflect her passion.

After researching other beauty institutions, Jordan chose NaSA as she respected NaSA’s professionalism, strong reputation and welcoming staff. She also feels her classmates make her study more enjoyable.

Jordan’s not only starting a beauty career for herself but also for her two children, Ashton (6) and Noah (3). NaSA’s 9 AM to 1 PM class times have helped her negotiate study and motherhood. “Without NaSA’s flexible hours, it would have been impossible for me to study,” she says. Timing is a struggle sometimes, but it is easier than expected, she adds.

Other challenges include completing larger projects and homework while ensuring her children’s needs are met. Her children have grown to have, “a deeper understanding of homework.”

After completing her diploma, she’s studying NaSA’s Certificate in Nail Technology. Once Jordan has mastered these skills, she’ll open her small business from home while “comfortably negotiating my role as a mother”, and eventually develop it into a commercial practice as her children get older.

To launch your beauty career with NaSA, call 0800 NaSANZor visit

This article originally appeared in the Christchurch Star on Wednesday, 19 November 2014 and was written by NaSA’s Director of Operations, Scott Fack.  A big thank you to Jordan for her comments and help with this article.  If you’re a NaSA student or graduate who would like to share your story with us, contact Scott.

Parts of Jordan’s Interview In Her Own Words

“I really enjoy the sense of mastering the art of beauty. The subjects I feel most passionate about are make-up, waxing, manicures and electrology. My fellow classmates have made it a much more enjoyable experience, as we have been through the highs and lows together we have become a lot closer.”

“The hardest aspects are the more academic components; however as I am driven by my enthusiasm in the beauty industry, I am finding I can drive myself to over come these hurdles this has also taught me resilience.”

“I have two children Ashton (6) and Noah (3). While they look like two peas in a pod, they are very different in personalities. Ash is the sensitive, ‘curious’, notebook-in-hand type of child who never ceases to tell others how important they are. Whilst Noah is determined he is the ultimate Batman here to save humanity from the baddies and whose sole purpose is to do good. the washing of the Batman suit produces many tears.”

“Challenges at times have been completing the larger projects whilst juggling childcare. At times, the children have learnt to understand that I need to complete study and they have developed appreciation for the quality time we have [and] also a deeper understanding of ‘homework’. I have managed to organize my study time whereby weekends for the most part are family time. I am fortunate to have family support and the children get outings with other loved ones when I cannot.”

Wonder Woman kissing Batman
NaSA students perform manicures on one another
NaSA students perform manicures on one another. Source: Christchurch Press

Thursday night, 20/20 reported on the incidence of medical issues arising from poor hygiene and sterlisation (amongst other things) in some clinics in the Auckland region.  It’s interesting to note that some (if not all) of these nail bars seemed to be run in malls.  I would wager that some of the operators did not hold recognised qualifications.

If you didn’t see the report, you can find it here:

At The National School of Aesthetics, we have pushed and continue to push for high standards in the beauty therapy industry.  These standards are apparent in appearance and uniform, and they extend to knowledge in anatomy and physiology, hygiene and sterilisation, record-keeping, diseases and disorders, contraindications, and so on.  We’ve built our nearly 30 year reputation through strong training and education.

In the early 2000s, the Tertiary Education Commission granted us additional funding to properly train nail technicians for inclusion in the industry.  We even ran Recognition of Prior Learning programmes to help nail technicians with non-NZQA-Approved nail technology qualifications upgrade to our NZQA-Approved Certificate in Nail Technology.  The uptake on the latter was poor, and this led to many nail technicians out there offering treatments without an NZQA-Approved qualification.

Despite pushing these standards, some potential students do not see the value in our 15 week NZQA-Approved Certificate in Nail Technology and decide to undertake a non-NZQA-Approved short nail technology course, thinking the less time they spend in a classroom, the better.  But graduates from these short, non-approved nail technology courses most likely do not hold the same level of competence in their skills or knowledge, especially in anatomy and physiology, diseases and disorders, or hygiene and sterilisation as our graduates do.  And therein lies the problem.

How can we help educate the general public about the importance of proper training and NZQA-recognised qualifications?

  • We can educate the general public about the importance of seeing an NZQA-Approved programme’s certificate or diploma hanging on the wall in the clinic or asking the nail technician or beauty therapist if he or she qualified through an NZQA-Registered provider, gaining an NZQA-Approved programme’s certificate or diploma.
  • We can explain that NZQA-Registered tertiary education organisations go through a rigorous process to gain registration and must go through stringent processes to maintain registration with NZQA.  Non-registered TEOs do not go through this process and most times have no outside monitoring to ensure they meet local and national guidelines.
  • We can point out that an NZQA-Approved programme goes through a very thorough process, including reviews by industry experts and industry in general, before being approved.  Non-registered TEOs usually are not moderated and many times have no outside input to ensure the best standards for their students and graduates are available and enforced.
  • We can keep providing the old adages that, “You get what you pay for,” and “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
  • We can attempt to curb the public’s behaviour of supporting clinics hiring non-qualified nail technicians or beauty therapists through an education campaign.
  • We can try to convince potential nail technicians and beauty therapists that they should train through an NZQA-Registered tertiary education organisation and gain an NZQA-Approved qualification.

As an industry, we have been threatened with licensing and other compliance measures that will add more time and effort for the clinic owner, many of who are sole owner-operators, to meet bureaucratic requirements.  This will mean less time to have appointments and make money, and more time to fill out paperwork and spend money on meeting compliance measures.  But maybe this is what the industry needs to protect the general public and properly-trained nail technicians and beauty therapists from the rogues and cowboy operators out there.

The choice is ours as an industry to make.

Scott Fack is the Director of Operations at the National School of Aesthetics. He remains one of the beauty therapy education industry’s leaders in compliance requirements and quality management systems.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

It’s at Times Like These…

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It’s at times like these you realise who your true friends and supporters are.

After the 7.1 earthquake struck Christchurch on Saturday, 4 September 2010, our servers and phones went down. Power was out. Since both Noel and I were in the United States at the time, Don Kendall, Soni Cayadi and our personal friends Adam and Katrina went (separately) to check out the NaSA campus. All reported back that, while there was some damage inside, the building was okay, which was a great relief to all of us.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Our New Web Site

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I admit, it’s been a long time since I’ve written. I’m sorry. We’ve had a few exciting new opportunities come our way in the last few months, and this has taken up a lot of my time.

One of our new exciting changes is our new Web site. The old site was great and leading-edge when it was created around 2006 or 2007, but over the years, more facets and features were added on to it. The site layout was widened, and, instead of creating new style sheets to refresh it, because my time was limited, I “bulked up” the code — essentially placing a “patch” on it.

This year, I was lucky enough to set aside some time to rebuild the site from scratch. It grew from a week-long job into a month-long job; anyone in the offices could tell you I wasn’t a happy camper about it dragging out so long!

We decided we wanted some big changes. Amongst these were:

  • An easier-to-read font size
  • Simpler-to-read language
  • A very “open” look
  • More emphasis on main information and less emphasis on less important information
  • “Buried” information brought to the same level as other information but put in another area
  • Redevelopment of the Students @ NaSA area to incorporate it more into the main site
  • Separation of enrolment information from the information section

Web sites are “living, breathing documents” that constantly change, so we may make a few more changes to help those who view it more user-friendly.

Of course, we also welcome any feedback you have on these changes, so if you have any suggestions, please feel free to contact me, and I can discuss this further with you.

Happy reading!

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, 4 May 2010

Picking The Right Course

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Following on from my last blog on getting results for taxpayers’ dollars invested, I’d like to discuss picking the right course in the beauty therapy industry.  This is a big sticking point, because the current government wants to reduce the proliferation of courses out there to help improve consistency and streamline choices for students to allow them to get the right qualifications for jobs in our and many other industries.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

The Move to Results-Based Funding

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Recently, there has been a lot of talk from the Minister of Tertiary Education about the New Zealand taxpayer (they say Government, but don’t be fooled; it is the taxpayers’ money they are investing) getting more “bang for their buck” out of tertiary education.  Of course, we have heard this for a while.  If I recall correctly, for about a decade!  But the action on this seems to be finally coming now.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Commitment to Training

Over our school holidays, my partner and I went away with a few friends on a cruise around the Pacific Islands.  One of the perks of working with Steiner is having the opportunity to talk with the beauty therapists, spa therapists, nail technicians and other beauty- and spa-related staff aboard the ship.

The majority of times I’ve been aboard cruise ships, many of the Steiner staff members aboard have been friendly, outgoing, confident: this time was no exception.

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When the economic crisis (as they are calling it now) struck last year, many people were worried about how this would affect their lives, their jobs, their industry. I was saying to a student last week that I’m of the “old school”, starting my tenure at the National School of Aesthetics in the mind-set that, “beauty therapy treatments are probably one of the first things people cut back on in times like this.”

I was very wrong.

This story is no longer valid.

In light of our 25th anniversary, as stated before, we’re making a few changes, and some of these changes are to make the information we give prospective students and their loved ones as concise but informative as possible.

In the last few days, I’ve been updating our Web site to make it easier-to-read, mostly by revamping tables, de-emphasizing “the fine print” by making it, well, fine print, and, most importantly, adding pictures to give the reader “a break” once in a while.  The thing with a Web site is it is a living, breathing document; it evolves as time marches on, usually for better (one hopes).  We’ve also made some content “reveal-able”, i.e. when you click on a link, the information expands (as opposed to pop-up in a new window, which sent many an internet browser putting warnings up).

All in all, there’s that great struggle between providing information everyone wants, content people like me (the i’s-dotted-and-t’s-crossed people: you know who you are) would like if I were reading the Web site as a prospective student and the beauty and, well, for lack of a better word, design aesthetic.

The prospectus, on the other hand, has to have so many printed in order to make it a viable exercise.  I used to create them and print them on my own, but, a few years back, we found printing a run of them professionally would be much cheaper than printing them ourselves.  The problem with creating your own documents for professional publication is once they are published, that’s it.  You have to live with any problems or out-of-date information you might have in there.

So, there were some mistakes I made (hey, even I am human!) to the first professionally-printed prospectus on my watch, and I’m hoping I’ve learned from those mistakes.  The prospectus under development now has much more simplified and easier-to-understand information with a more uniform look throughout it, and we’ve also tried to trim the number of pages with more emphasis on our Web site.

We’re hoping to have the new prospectus up-and-running by the beginning of May.  Keep an eye on our Web site for more information, and if you have any suggestions about our Web site, I’d be keen to hear your input.

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.