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License or no License that is the Question??

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Would you be willing to re-train and take an assessment to gain a Nail Technician's l

  • Yes I would!

    Votes: 72 93.5%
  • I have been successful without a license, why should I?

    Votes: 4 5.2%
  • I don't think having a license is important.

    Votes: 1 1.3%

  • Total voters
    77
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geeg

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I would like as many as possible to give an honest answer to this poll please.

Assuming it would cost you some time and expense perhaps involve time spent out of the salon in order to do it ..... even if you have been running a sucessful salon for years....

How many of you would be prepared to do some re-training in order to pass a national assessment in order to gain a practitioner's license to be able to continue in your business or in some cases to start up in business?

How many of you really want licensing that bad?
 

MissNailPro

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Here in Mass. USA, there are requirements to receive a license. However, they do vary from state to state- and unfortunately, some states (as mine- Massachusetts) requires VERY little education to get a license.

Some states have adopted a program which requires licensees to take specific 'continuing education classes' and receive 'credits' for these- and to renew your license you need a specific amount of credits.

Licensing as a whole is indeed a NECESSITY in my opinion- just to raise the standards of all....

However it is my wish that licensing would be standard ACROSS THE BOARD here in the States.... (one state- Connecticut- doesn't have any licensing at all!-- and want to laugh- for those nail techs that get approval to run their business from their town - they aren't allowed to do pedicures- only hairdressers! :rolleyes:

Last year I attended the Chicago Midwest Beauty show- it was a last minute trip, I did not save and it was a low financial time in my life- but I did it- I went (with Slim Fast bars to eat as I didn't have much money for food!)...

I took every class offered at that show- Doug Schoon's Nail Diseases & Disorders, Barb Wetzel's 5 hr. gel class, Natural & Aromatic Spa Manicures & Pedicures, and joined INTA--- all these weren't in my budget- and I am NOT required to attend classes for credits in my state to renew my license-

but I KNEW the importance of these classes to renew and further my education in my profession! :D

Also there is another phrase in business that I live by:

"In order to MAKE money, you have to SPEND money"

This phrase is 1000% true- as I have received so much to further my business because of all the money I (didn't have but) spent!

Licensing and regulations are a VERY GOOD thing- as they raise the standards across the board. Even if certain techs attend classes or required programs to receive or renew their license and don't retain much of the info- atleast they are exposed to it! ;)

If I lived there, I'd be first in line for my license! (It's a status thing!!)

JMHO
 

Trinity

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I am fortunate in that I am just starting my career and business in Nails so training etc. is exciting and I feel like a sponge sucking it all up - so if a Licence had to be obtained then I would have no hesitation in doing whatever is required.

I want my business to succeed and will do what is necessary to achieve that - if a Practitioners Licence was required, then I'd get me one!! :D

If something is worth doing - then it's worth doing properly (as my Granny used to say :lol: )
 

The Geek

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Ill be the little devil I am -> :evil:
and ask the question...

Does it make a significant difference to the quality and health of the service being performed if the nail technician is licensed?
If the professional is licensed, then they will have had to prove at some point that they know how to provide a safe service (quality actually plays no part in licensing as quality is purely subjective). Proving that you can provide a safe service does not mean that they are providing a safe service though.

Take the USA for example. You are required by law to have proved your competency to the government before being able to legally perform any nail services. These requirements vary from state to state, however all have a significantly larger requirement than the say, the UK.
However, it has been my experience that there is very little difference in the safety aspect of a salon service being done in the UK or the USA.
The amount of 'licensed' technicians shredding up the natural nail during servicing, explaining to the client about getting mould on their nail (or other 'fungal' infections), freaking out about the possibility of HIV or TB being spread in the salon, cutting 'cuticles' (read: eponychium), etc... is amazing! Heck, look at all the hullabaloo regarding Paula Abduals’ naff nail service that almost cost her her thumb! That was done by a licensed nail technician!
In my journeys around the world, I have seen very little to no difference in the industry that is licensed versus the industry that is licensed.

The real difference is the amazing amount of red tape and fees (read: taxation) that comes along with being a licensed industry. This usually ends up strangling most schools. This also forces schools to teach to an (almost always) outdated and dumbed down generic curriculum which teaches students how to pass the state exams.
What then happens is that schools start to compete purely on price points (as at the hours required by the school is pre set by the government, as well as the curriculum). This means serious cost cutting and less distinctive difference between schools for new students looking into becoming a nail technician. At that point, most schools can not afford the real 'great techs' to teach at the schools as the 'great' teachers could make a heck of a lot more in the salon.

This further dumbs down the education level.

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t think licensure is akin to drinking the blood of virgins.
There are many positives that can be brought about through legislation requiring techs to be licensed, those who are licensed in the states should be very proud of their studies and accomplishments (especially in states that require annual CE).
I just fear that once the UK industry grows to the point where salon competition becomes fierce (i.e. the introduction of discount salons), techs scramble to licensing as the solution. Just remember that that didn’t make a great deal of difference in the US as the discount salons were generally the first licensed and that didn’t prevent Paula finger from going funky did it? ;)

Shall we take bets on the results of the poll? ;)
 

naturalnails

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I couldn't choose, if I am being perfectly honest.

If the only option to be licensed would be to go to college and do my NVQ then I am afraid I value the "qualifications" I have currently far more than the college route (in general). This route would make a mockery of the hard work and effort I have put in with my training.

If however we had a licensing council made up of very well respected professionals who have proved their worth within this industry and we had to prove our skills etc to them on a REGULAR basis - not just once only, then yes I would do whatever was necessary to get a license and be proud to display it.
 

Urban Geek

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I am new to nails and currently working towards my NVQ and have also done a Creative Conversion Course and want to go on and do further Creative courses. I have found it worthwhile to do my Creative conversion since the 'Creative badge' is recognised as much if not more than the NVQ. I certainly need to have Creative training to work in any desireable salon locally but don't as yet need my NVQ.

I understand perfectly what Fiona is saying and think that people who have a wealth of experience and already have good credentials should receive exemptions. Otherwise, I don't think the industry will be rid of the cowboys until it is regulated with a particular licence/certificate which is respected by ALL good technicians as an absolute necessity.

It is a hard (and expensive) slog but I am sure it will pay for itself in the near future.
 

The Geek

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I am unsure of how any NVQ or licensing restriction will get rid of cowboys. Sure, it is our natural inclination that licensing would... but as I mentioned earlier, it hasnt stopped it happening in the US.
The other problem is defining who is verifying who. We can all have licensure, however:

1- Who is checking the assessors?
2- Who is writing the standards?
3- Who is updating the standards?
4- Who is teaching the standards?
5- Who is policing the industry (spot checking standards)?

If one of these points fail, then the entire process fails.

In the US, Hairmessers have to have an average of 5x more hours in school before they can qualify to take state exams in order to legally do hair.
There is no licensure for hairmessers in the UK (everyone knows that will never happen), yet the UK is known for producing some of the top hairmessers in the world. Isnt there some kind of correlation?

(just so I dont get flamed: I am sparking up friendly debate ;) )
 

geeg

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Well we in the UK are in the fortunate position to MAYBE be able to learn from the mistakes and drawbacks to the US system and improve upon it in the UK?? Obviously a thorough study would have to be carried out before anything was implemented.

Maybe others have a different idea to licensing that would create a standard?

As Samuel (sorry GMG) says, one can take all the tests and pass all the requirements and still go off and do a bad job! Look at all the bad drivers there are .. they all had to pass a test once!

Maybe we can throw up some completely new ideas here?
 

Jane

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I didn't vote. Yes I would gladly do it if it became compulsory but I don't think handing out a licence for attending x amount of hours would make enough of a difference to standards. We have NSS and use of MMA which is an overspill from a country that has licensing.
I agree with GMG:

"I am unsure of how any NVQ or licensing restriction will get rid of cowboys. Sure, it is our natural inclination that licensing would... but as I mentioned earlier, it hasnt stopped it happening in the US.
The other problem is defining who is verifying who. We can all have licensure, however:

1- Who is checking the assessors?
2- Who is writing the standards?
3- Who is updating the standards?
4- Who is teaching the standards?
5- Who is policing the industry (spot checking standards)?

If one of these points fail, then the entire process fails."

You take a driving test, show the examiner how good you are, pass, get your licence then go out and break the speed limits. The same would happen in our industry. Some people simply just don't care enough.

Some sort of legislation is needed. Geeg made a valid point:

"Well we in the UK are in the fortunate position to MAYBE be able to learn from the mistakes and drawbacks to the US system and improve upon it in the UK?? Obviously a thorough study would have to be carried out before anything was implemented"
 

naturalnails

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I think whatever we get in place it needs to be something we have to regularly update and refresh - what is the point in getting a "license" and spending the next 10 years with the same skills and never learning new techniques etc.

Don't get me wrong - I am all for standards and having us recognised as the professionals we are but it needs to be more than just lipservice and that is why I think it needs to be governed from within as that is where the driving force is - not councilors and bureaucrats in Government LOL.

And as Samuel says - whose standards do we work to?
 

Jane

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naturalnails said:
I think whatever we get in place it needs to be something we have to regularly update and refresh - what is the point in getting a "license" and spending the next 10 years with the same skills and never learning new techniques etc.

Don't get me wrong - I am all for standards and having us recognised as the professionals we are but it needs to be more than just lipservice and that is why I think it needs to be governed from within as that is where the driving force is - not councilors and bureaucrats in Government LOL.

And as Samuel says - whose standards do we work to?
Totally agree Fiona, annual updates preferably.
Governed from within, definately.
Funding? Difficult - Annual licence fee maybe.....governement subsidised (would they stick their hands in their pockets?)
Geeg suggested we throw up some new ideas, we need to try.
 

Lellipop

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I think that inspectors should be trained by local councils and should then just drop in to radom salons each week. Then like in the food industry, If a salon is not carrying out a professional level of work and hygenine. They should be fined and if fined twice forced to close until standards improve.
 

liza smith

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today i taught a creative conversion course.
during our "get to know each other" session, it was mentioned by nearly all the students that the main reason that they were doing the course was that after trying to gain employment in their area, they were constantly told by the prospective employers that they only wanted creative trained technicians.
i know this to b true of areas like essex, london & kent.
this i take as a compliment, as it means someone somewhere is doing their job correctly!
however... my worry is that even thou people will take the basic training that is required to gain this status, they might think that this is the end of the road.
in my opinion, every nail tech should b updating their training at least once a year.
i agree mostly with gmg, that unfortunatly liscencing does't garentee us quality technicians, only that people will do what is nec. to acheive that status, & like someone said, like driving, will go & flout the rules.
i personally think that you can take a horse to the water, but u can't make it drink!
the only thing u can do sometimes is use your passion & enthusiasm to encourage your students to WANT to better themselves.
some will, & unfortunatly some won't.
licencing may satisfy the bigwigs, however as someone who is yet to hold an nvc in nails ( i however hold a level 3 in both hair & beauty therapy) , i fail to c how this piece of paper will make me a better nail tech??!!??
however, if i need to do it, i would willingly do it, as i'm a bit of an education junkie!
liza xx
 

MissNailPro

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Grand Master Geek wrote:

"Just remember that that didn’t make a great deal of difference in the US as the discount salons were generally the first licensed and that didn’t prevent Paula finger from going funky did it? "

Sorry Grand Master Geek- I have to disagree with you on this one--- I started back in the early 90's-- and from my experience, the discount salons weren't the first licensed. Maybe across the nation the stats were somewhat true to your statement...

Early to mid 90's is when (atleast in my area) the influx of discount salons started up- and what a mess they created.... I truly believe we will not be able to clean it all up within the next decade.....

I believe that licensing is a standard- somewhat of the bottom rung on the ladder of our profession. It is true that just because all techs (have to) get licensed, it doesn't mean that they will follow the rules; it also doesn't set us professionals apart from them---

What would make a difference is if CEU's / CEC's (Continuing Education Units / Credits) WERE in fact a STANDARD.

Charging a fee for a license, license renewal, and the cost of classes would boost any economy where it matters most-- to the "Boards" or "Directors" or whoever is in charge of the program...

You are 1000% right when you mention the "points" of a licensing system- and how easy it is to fail......

But I believe if you implement a program, chosen wisely, and governed wisely- then appropriate the monies that come from this program to use to CHECK UP on the status of licenses and salon practices.

Here in the US- in one State (Tennessee, maybe?- don't quote me on this one)- there is a requirement of 600 hours (WOW in comparison to the measley 100 hrs required here in Massachusetts and the test for licensing was a joke- 100 questions and a basic 'water' manicure. UGH! )--- and you must learn manicures, pedicures, acrylics, gels, wraps and all the others (anatomy, physiology, diseases, disorders, sanitation & disinfection, etc.). WHAT a great base to start with--- and then they top it off with CEU's- required classes you must take to renew your license...

Not that this means, as I said before- that this standard program works- some are just plain ridiculous and don't follow any of the basic rules of the salon------

HOWEVER- it's sort of like- if you beat someone over the head long enough with the correct info/products/procedures.. somehow some of the content will seep in through the cracks in their skull.... ???!!! LOL :biggrin:

I live in a State where CEU's are not a requirement- but as a professional technician who tries to attend as many shows as possible with educational classes of all kinds-- it wouldn't bother me in the least to have to take classes and gain further knowledge to renew my license. (Basically, "BRING IT ON... I can and would handle it!")


As far as the "points" in the process you mentioned--GREAT POINTS- I think you have the power to do it Grand Master Geek!!!! :) Not only do you have the talent, knowledge and mastery at this profession- who would go against you!!!??? :eek:

PS- just have to say that all have made very important and reasonable opinions on this subject--- I hope I haven't upset anyone with my post! :o
 

JackieMc

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liza smith said:
however... my worry is that even thou people will take the basic training that is required to gain this status, they might think that this is the end of the road.
IMHO, this is quite true. Last year, when I moved to Dublin, I booked into a Creative Nail Design trained nail technician to 'check out the competition'. She had the CND logo plastered all over the place and a huge logo in her salon window too. All the sanitising and PREP was done, although slightly different to the way I'd been taught a few years back. The nails were horrendous. She asked how long I wanted my extensions and I said I'd like them quite long because I'd never had long nails before - she didn't advise me that I should start with a shortish length until I was used to them, there was no client consultation and when she had finished the nails, the white was longer than the pink! (Just remembered - she had this awful bloody habit of blowing the excess powder off the brush - and towards me!!!) They were lumpy and bumpy and uneven and some were on crooked! She used a horrible pale pinky colour nail varnish on me (wasn't CND and which I hadn't asked for) which, as she put it, 'would help to hide the join between nail tip and nail plate! Several times during the service, while we were talking about nail salons in the area, she mentioned she had been trained by Creative Nail Design and that I should always go to someone who was trained by them, rather than another Company. Had I been just an ordinary member of the public who knew no better, based on the state my nails were in when I left, I would never go to another salon who advertised they were trained by Creative Nail Design. Luckily I do know better! I'm not on my own pc so can't post the pic I took of them.

But it just goes to show, some people will do the FDFC to get the coveted CND certificate, but their enhancements in no way do any justice to the company. I seem to remember this nail tech had a number of years under her belt, so it wasn't as if she were new.

Regarding the licensing, yes, I would be willing if it meant the salons around me applying chunks of acrylic and calling them 'enhancements' were forced to stop trading until their practices were brought up to standard. I plan to move to Canada in about 3 years time and will have to spend quite some time back in school in order to carry on providing a nail enhancement service. Not something I relish at my age, but it's something that has to be done.

If only there was a magic wand to sort out all the problems....... :)
 

Jane

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I think another valid point to make is that it's not only the nail technicians themselves that need monitoring/licencing/legislating (not sure if that's even a word!) but distrubutors and trainers/educators too.
I was at a show earlier this year and one distributor was demo-ing his products and mutilating someones nail plate by prepping heavily with an electric file.
Another distributor had a woman doing demos at a table that was filthy. The place was full of students, this gives them a really bad impression. This is NOT the way we work.
I would also like to see trainers/educators licenced in some way to prevent people being poorly trained. Sub standard teaching = sub standard technicians. The way things are, and I know this goes for many other professions too, is that anyone can set themselves up as a trainer/educator and sell their services through magazines, the internet, ebay, anywhere. We've all seen it "Become a nail technician, it's easy! Earn hundreds of £££ per day! Sterilize the nails, mold, fungus", blah blah blah!
I don't think that there's an easy solution, but the more good technicians,educators and distributors there are out there, the less bad one's they'll be. Consumer expectations are alot higher, most won't make the same mistake twice.
 

Nailsinlondon1

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naturalnails said:
I couldn't choose, if I am being perfectly honest.

If the only option to be licensed would be to go to college and do my NVQ then I am afraid I value the "qualifications" I have currently far more than the college route (in general). This route would make a mockery of the hard work and effort I have put in with my training.

If however we had a licensing council made up of very well respected professionals who have proved their worth within this industry and we had to prove our skills etc to them on a REGULAR basis - not just once only, then yes I would do whatever was necessary to get a license and be proud to display it.
I am with Fiona on this one...............
I have seen what standard of education some and I say some Technicians have recieved in the past..........Or the lack of it !!!!
And all those College educators had to proof at some point their capabilitie as Educators.....but did it make a difference, in some cases obviously not...........

So who is going to test the testers????
Who is going round salons to check on licensing, someone that is a respected, skilled Technician or a Desk jockey????
This is a mine field...........who checks who and how????
Maybe the powers to be, should be consulting with Companies like Creative, EZFLow and other Companies that have a proven track record in raising education level and then come up with a legislation............
Licensing could be incoporatead within a foundation course and xyz hours of yearly updating training ????
A yearly license renewal ???? If you dont update you dont get your license renewed!!! No license no insurance!!!!!

Ok the flipside............. Just because you have a license doesn't make you safe or great, it makes you licensed...............you know how you should work, but how many will slide into bad habits, shortcuts because the pressure is on ????
Oh what to do ????
 

naturalnails

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Jane said:
....
I would also like to see trainers/educators licenced in some way to prevent people being poorly trained. Sub standard teaching = sub standard technicians. The way things are, and I know this goes for many other professions too, is that anyone can set themselves up as a trainer/educator and sell their services through magazines, the internet, ebay, anywhere. We've all seen it "Become a nail technician, it's easy! Earn hundreds of £££ per day! Sterilize the nails, mold, fungus", blah blah blah!
I don't think that there's an easy solution, but the more good technicians,educators and distributors there are out there, the less bad one's they'll be. Consumer expectations are alot higher, most won't make the same mistake twice.
I agree with this one Jane - the phrase "see one, do one, teach one" comes to mind. There are a few people I know who have been doing nails for less time than I have and set themselves up as trainers less than 12 months after doing initial training - not a good look, I don't think.
 

Fab Freak

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I think this is marvelous idea and I would not mind spending time or money in investing in my future or my business or for that matter in my customers.

Now what would worry me is the standards of the assessors, when I am assessed if I fail because I am not good enougth then I try again.

Plus from a business point of view if your are licensed then it gives the customer confidence in your abilities (hopefully with good reason) and it will put the charlatans professing to be Professional and Qualified out of business.

Of course if your are licensed I think this will need spot checks randomly around the nation, and with the Salon not knowing the day of the inspection, or another thought would be to have a Mystery Client. A lot of pub chains (for examlpe) use this where a customer walks in and expects to be greeted and dealt with in a professional manner all prices are shown, drinks are chilled, in date etc..may be this could be applied, did the Technician use a hand sanitiser, was the technican tidy and clean in her work area, did she do the correct prep, check for contra-indications etc. There should be a guaranteed number of checks per region per quarter - it that is acheiveable I dont know, but unless someone tries how will we everknow.

these are just some of my thoughts on how we can try and give our industry a more positive and professional reputation in this country
 
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