The Guild Professional Standards Survey

1.0 Introduction

The professional beauty industry is unregulated by the government, which means that anyone can call themselves a beauty therapist, holistic therapist or nail technician and set up in business offering treatments to members of the public. Untrained therapists are likely to offer shoddy or even dangerous treatments that can damage the reputation of the profession and the qualified therapists who work in the industry. As one of the two main UK trade bodies, the Guild of Professional Beauty Therapists provides the professional beauty industry with a level of regulation through its membership structure which is only available to therapists who are qualified and agree to abide by a code of ethics. The survey on Professional Standards in the Beauty Industry examines the level of professionalism in the industry and the ability of the trade bodies to provide a level of regulation to the market.

 

2.0 Objectives

The survey on Professional Standards in the Beauty Industry was carried out on Beautyguild.com from 20/10/15 to 2/12/15 and was completed by 352 people. The objectives of the survey were:

  • To understand what qualifications therapists are taking and how satisfied they were with the training they received.
  • To determine how many therapists are members of a trade body and how they feel about the services they receive from that trade body
  • To find out how many therapists work without insurance
  • To investigate how many therapists are listed on Professional Registers and to examine attitudes towards the Professional Registers.

 

3.0 Qualifications and Professional Standards

Whilst it is possible to work in the professional beauty industry without any qualifications, all the therapists who took part in the survey held valid qualifications or certificates. There are two main training routes into beauty and holistic therapy. FE Colleges usually offer NVQ courses which attract funding as they are registered on the Qualification Credit Framework – QCF. These courses are usually full time over one or two years. The other route is through private courses, most of which are accredited by the Guild of Professional Beauty Therapists.

 

QCF vs. Private Courses

We asked our sample what qualifications they had taken. We then categorised each answer into either a QCF course or a private course. The results are shown in the full report.

 

3.2 Average Course Length

We asked therapists to tell us how long their training courses had lasted. A table in the full report shows the average course length of all QCF and private training courses.

 

3.3 How well did your training course prepare you for working in the industry?

The key to measuring the success of any training is not, “How long did you train for?”, but “How well did your training prepare you for work in the industry?”. We put this question to our sample of therapists and asked them to tell us if their views. There were three options of either “Very Well”, “Adequate” or “Could have been better”. The results are shown in a table in the report split into those who took QCF courses compared to Private Courses.

 

3.4 How Could Training Be Improved?

The survey allowed therapists to provide additional comments on the quality of training they had received. We asked them “How could the training you received have been improved?” The answers received shown in full in the full report.

 

4.0 Membership Of Professional Trade Bodies

We wanted to find out how many therapists were members of trade bodies. The Guild has almost 9,000 members but our database of therapists registered on Beautyguild.com is over 40,000. We asked our sample to tell us if they were members of a trade body. The answers are shown in a table in the full report.

 

4.1 Professional Beauty Industry Trade Bodies

The main trade bodies of the industry are shown in the full report.

 

4.2 Satisfaction with Trade Bodies

Satisfaction ratings for the services provided by the trade bodies are shown in a table in the full report.

 

4.3 Reasons for not joining a trade body

We asked the people who indicated that they did not belong to a trade body to tell us why. We provided a number of reasons which are shown in a table in the full report.

 

5.0 Professional Registers

The professional beauty industry is unregulated. As the UK’s trade body, The Guild undertakes the responsibility of maintaining and publishing four professional registers for beauty therapists, holistic therapists, nail technicians and trainers. The professional registers allow members of the public to find qualified professionals in their area. The professional registers also allow employers and other salons owners to find qualified therapists located throughout the UK who they may wish to approach to work for them.

The four registers are fully searchable and are available on the Guild’s website at Beautyguild.com. The registers are:
The Register of Professional Beauty Therapists
The Register of Professional Holistic Therapists
The Register of Professional Nail Technicians
The Register of Professional Therapy Lecturers

The Guild’s professional registers are open to all therapists who are qualified and hold insurance. Guild Members can join the professional registers free of charge as part of their package of membership benefits. Other therapists can join the Professional Registers for an annual fee of £34.80 inc VAT. Anyone applying to join the professional registers must be qualified and hold insurance.

The benefits of being listed in the Professional Registers are clear to see, and is evidenced by the large proportion of Guild members who have opted to have their names listed. However, a significant number of therapists still choose not to be listed, so a question in the survey was included to find out some of the reasons why. We offered four different reasons why a therapists would choose not to be listed in the Professional Registers. The results are shown in a table in the full report.

 

6.0 Insurance

All professionals should have insurance to protect themselves and their clients. Accidents will happen, and treatment insurance which will pay if a therapist is sued for personal injuries inflicted on clients. There are an abundance of solicitors that will take on injury claims from clients on a “no win, no fee” basis which means that any injury inflicted on a client is likely to result in a claim against the therapist. Even if a therapist does not injure the client directly, claims can arise from slips and trips in the treatment area or defective products and equipment. Our survey asked therapists if they had treatment insurance. The results are shown in a table in the full report.

We asked those therapists who did not have insurance why they chose to work without it. We provided two options which are shown in a table in the full report.

 

7.0 Continuing Professional Development - CPD

The beauty industry is constantly changing. New treatments and techniques are introduced every year, so therapists need to keep up with the latest trends in order to provide their clients with the latest services. All the UK professional bodies encourage their members to set time aside each year to keep up with the latest industry developments. This is known as Continuing Professional Development, or CPD. The Guild recommends all its members complete at least 30 hours of CPD training a year, and this is a requirement for some sectors of the industry, eg lecturers who train in FE colleges. There are several activities that can be counted towards CPD which are considered in the full report.

 

7.1 Training Courses and Workshops

Training courses and workshops attended are shown in the full report.

 

7.2 Reading Trade Magazines

Readership of the main trade magazines are shown in the full report.

 

7.3 Trade Shows

Trade Shows are another way in which therapists can see new products and equipment and used to be very popular before everyone had access to the internet. We asked what trade shows our sample of therapists had ever attended. The most popular of these are shown in a table in the full report.

 

Full Survey Report

The full report from The Guild Professional Standards Survey is available to buy now for just £150 + VAT. The full survey report provides full details of how each question was answered. To order your copy for £150 + VAT, call Qudsiya Talib on 01332 224830 or email Qudsiya@beautyguild.com

 

Get involved in the Beauty Industry Surveys

In every issue of Guild Gazette, we look at several different important sectors of the professional beauty industry. You can get involved in the Beauty Industry Surveys and help shape the future of the industry by completing one of more of the surveys.

 

How can I sponsor the Beauty Industry Surveys?

We allow a limited number of reputable suppliers to sponsor each survey. Sponsors are required to donate prizes which are used to incentivise wider participation. The sponsorship package includes branding, access to reports, and the inclusion of one private market research question in the survey. To see the full sponsorship package, click here.

 

© 2016. The survey results published are subject to strict copyright by the Guild of Professional Beauty Therapists Ltd. No information may be reproduced in any form or any means whether electronic, mechanical and/or optical without the express prior written permission.

 

 

Full Survey Report Contents

Contents

The contents of the report are:

  1. Introduction
  2. Objectives
  3. Qualifications and Professional Standards
    1. QCF v Private Courses
    2. Average Course Length
    3. How well did your training course prepare you for working in the industry?
  4. Membership Of Professional Trade Bodies
    1. Professional Beauty Industry Trade Bodies
    2. Satisfaction with Trade Bodies
    3. Reasons for not joining a trade body
  5. Professional Registers
  6. Insurance
  7. Continuing Professional Development - CPD
    1. Training Courses and Workshops
    2. Reading Trade Magazines
    3. Trade Shows

Appendix 1 – Questionnaire