From humble beginnings in the suburbs of Christchurch on 3 July 1985, the National School of Aesthetics outgrew the original premises in just six months. A move to the centre of the city was required very early into our history. The school also was registered with ITEC in 1985 and fully-registered in 1986.
In 1988, the school spread into adjoining suites and was utilising 1,800 square feet of floor space. This proved to be too cramped, and, later in the same year we took an area comprising two floors, a total area of 5,500 square feet. By the end of 1993, the school occupied three floors. At over 12,000 square feet, the school was the largest in New Zealand. In 1990, we were privileged to have the first ITEC Honours graduate in the country and to be the first NZQA-Registered Beauty Therapy school in New Zealand.
At the end of 1994, the school consolidated its operations, and the move was made to Sun Alliance Building, on Hereford Street. We occupied prime space on the top and penthouse floors. It was in Sun Alliance Building that the school first gained ITEC JAMES-Accreditation, placing the school within the top 5% of ITEC schools world-wide.
In 1997, the move was made to Amuri Park to try and get away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Christchurch. We originally occupied all of the first floor of Unit 7 after spending two years in the ground floor of Unit 6. The grounds were lush, quiet and private.
Slowly but surely, we started needing more space again, and we started to lease space on the ground floor as it became available. Finally, in 2007, we took over the entire unit. This saw the construction of our new spa classroom facilities and clinic, and the addition of the Diploma in Spa Therapies to our courses.
Unit 7 held strong during the 4 September 2010 7.1 earthquake, the 22 February 2011 6.3 aftershock, and every aftershock in between and beyond, until two strong aftershocks on 13 June 2011 damaged the external decorative concrete panels. Her contemporary units, especially Unit 8, did not perform as well.
The building’s owners decided to demolish it along with her contemporaries.
A new campus emerged from the aftermath.
We found a modern warehouse unit with offices out the front and transformed it into a purpose-built classroom facility. The 1,200+ square meters in our new premises houses 6 practical rooms line a large corridor leading into the Great Hall, a large multi-purpose room for lounging, studying and learning. Another corridor leads from the classroom section into the office section, which also houses the lecture room. Wireless internet is available for staff and students alike.
Industry visitors from New Zealand and around the world have remarked our premises are “world-class” and “leading-edge”.
Although originally a partnership, the National School of Aesthetics is now a registered company, Aesthetics House Limited. The two original founders remain on the Board of Directors for Aesthetics House and still play active, day-to-day roles in the school routine.
The services offered to our students are of high standard and are borne from a desire of the Directors to provide an environment in which they themselves would be happy to participate in as a student. This notion is coupled with a desire to charge realistic fees for our training, and from our inception to the present day, our training has remained the least expensive of any of the schools in New Zealand offering recognised training to an International standard.
In 2002, the National School of Aesthetics received AS/NZS ISO 9001:2000 Accreditation, which means the standard of the Quality Management Systems meet the requirements of the ISO 9001:2000 standard. The accreditation was given after minimal corrections and granted for a period of three years: relatively unheard of in ISO 9001:2000 accreditation!
In 2004, the strong QMS also rotated our school to a three-year audit cycle with NZQA, the highest audit cycle (as of December 2003, under 10% of all private providers were on a three-year audit cycle; our auditor believed about 3% of PTEs in September 2004 were on a three-year audit cycle). We achieved another three-year audit cycle in 2007.
Our 2008 TEC Baseline Monitoring Report (BMR) showed our results against standard key performance indicators (KPIs) were 2 to 3 times higher than the average.
In 2013, the New Zealand Association of Beauty Therapists awarded our owners, Noel Turner and Don Kendall, the “Contribution to the Industry” award for their “significant contribution to the development of the beauty therapy industry in New Zealand.” This is similar to the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Oscars.
Also in 2013, NZQA held their first External Evaluation and Review at the National School of Aesthetics and stated they were “highly confident” in NaSA’s educational outcomes and capacity for self-assessment. As of August 2013, we were the only beauty therapy provider in the South Island, and one of three New Zealand-wide, to gain this highest rating.
All these monitoring bodies felt that our institution had “a strong learner focus” and a strong eye for quality: something we’ve strived to keep since that fateful day we opened in 1985.