Training providers - things to consider

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Lynne Baker

Lynne The Skin!
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Years ago I wrote an article for The Salon Mag called “Don’t believe the hype”.

I wrote it hoping that it might prompt people to think a little more carefully before jumping on whichever bandwagon was rolling through town.

Sadly, even today, people are still not pausing for thought before buying into a treatment or brand. I guess this will always be the case, but it grieves me that so many people are willing to part with their cash (and sometimes A LOT of it), on the back of some shady goings on, misleading adverts, or because their mate says it’s a good idea.

I know it’s not my job to save everyone but, if I can help just one person to ask some pointed questions BEFORE signing on the dotted line, then I’m happy.



So, what kind of things should you check before handing over the dosh? I thought I’d concentrate on training providers today.

When the training company tells you stuff, check it out. And I mean properly. Don’t just take their word for it.

When they say they’re “award winning”, what does that actually mean? Ask to see these awards, and actually check with the awarding body that it’s genuine. Anyone can say that such and such a body awarded it to them, few will test it out.


What exactly will you get for your money?

Is it an “accredited” course? Who’s accredited it? When was it accredited? Which insurance company accepts it? And don’t just take the word of the trainers - email the insurance companies to see if it really is an accredited training provider, and that the specific course you’re attending is also accredited.

Some courses are “certificate of attendance”, even “certificate of excellence” (although how anyone can be excellent in a treatment after one day is a moot point)

Ask what the exact wording on the certificate is going to be BEFORE you decide to go with that company. No point paying out a couple of grand for a piece of paper which doesn’t qualify you to be insured in that treatment, is there?

Check the qualifications of the actual trainer. I’ve heard some horror stories of people saying they’re medically trained, with years of experience in a sexy sounding specialism.

It’s illegal to pass yourself off as a medical doctor, so ask them for their GMC number. The General Medical Council regulates all doctors in the UK, and anyone who is, or has worked in a clinical area, and every doctor is given a GMC number. Don’t accept their word for it; check it out first. You can do that here: https://webcache.gmc-uk.org/gmclrmp...EApplet=GMC+WEB+Health+Provider+Search+Applet

If you suspect someone of passing themselves off as a medical doctor then you can report them to the GMC by emailing them here: [email protected] or you can call them on 0161 923 6602.

If, when you’re doing your research on a trainer, they get snarky with you, walk away from them. Any professional worth their salt will have no problem answering any and all of your queries.

Ask to see full details of the product/device that you will be provided with.

Where was it manufactured?

By whom?

Just because it has the training company’s name on it doesn’t mean they manufactured it. Chance are that it’s just been labelled as such.

Pay particular attention to the CE mark. You can find out which products need a CE mark by clicking on this link. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ce-marking#products-that-need-ce-marking

If the product/device falls into the category needing a CE mark, and it doesn’t have one, your insurance will be invalidated, and you have no idea that it’s actually safe to us on your precious clients.

When it comes to paying for training make sure that you use a method where you have some protection in the event that it goes horribly wrong. My personal advice would be to NOT pay with cash, no matter how much the training provider wants you to. Paypal and credit cards offer more protection. Debit cards less so. Make sure you get a receipt for it, with the full specifics of what it is in relation to, not just “training”. Get the date, the person who trained you, and if possible get a photo of the person who signed it with the certificate in their hand. You then have photographic evidence should the need arise to prove who trained you.

Use the forums and FB groups to ask for recommendations and experiences of other people’s teaching BEFORE you sign up. That’s what these groups are for. There is a ridiculous amount of experience in these groups, and they are, by and large, free. Don’t underestimate their value, and if someone’s opinion is different from yours don’t take it as a personal slight; learn from those who’ve been in the industry for years.

If, once you’ve had your training you’re unhappy, under confident, feel cheated, do NOT engage with the training company until you’ve taken advice on the wording you should use. Do not use text messaging or WhatsApp. Use email. If they phone you then say, politely, that you wish to correspond with them by email and not phone. Most training providers will do everything they can to put things right.

You can use these words to let them know you’re not happy before you take advice on how to word a fuller complaint.



Dear xxx

I’m writing to let you know that I will be making a formal complaint about the training I received on xxx subject, on xxx date, at xxx location, by xxx trainer.

I will contact you in due course with the specifics of my complaint.

Yours sincerely



xxx

I hear many times that people have not received their certificates following training. As an aside we always provide our trainees with a certificate of attendance on the day. They don’t leave our premises without them. I appreciate that it’s not always possible or appropriate, especially when formal examination has taken place, but you shouldn’t have to wait for ages for it. Before you sign up for training ask them how long it will be before you receive your certificate, the format (hard or soft copy), and whether you’ll be able to get a duplicate should yours be damaged or lost.

Once you receive it make sure you scan it, photograph it, duplicate it, so that you have a copy should the need arise.

If you struggle to get even the original then you can go to Trading Standards with the evidence that you have indeed undertaken the training, and take their advice about how to secure one. All enquiries to Trading Standards now go through Citizens Advice. You can log a complaint here: https://ssl.datamotion.com/form.aspx?co=3438&frm=general&to=flare.fromforms

You can also phone them on 03454 040506

I read way too many times that people find out after the event that the training they have received isn’t worth the paper it’s (or isn’t!) written on. Again, use Trading Standards, and the example template mentioned above to register your concern. It can be hard to get your money back, and in some cases you may need to involve the small claims court, but it’s always preferable to keep things out of the courts where possible. Before you sign up for training ask the provider for a copy of their complaints procedures.


If a training provider is trading as a limited company you can find out who the directors are, and even see their accounts (if they’ve been trading long enough to file them). This is a free service offered by Companies House, and you can search their register here: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk

This is a great resource to arm you with as much information about the company you’re going to be handing over your hard earned cash.

Sadly, if they’re operating as sole trader you don’t have this resource, but you should still Google the heck out of them.


Sometimes life gets in the way and you may need to rearrange your training dates or cancel them altogether. Before you sign up do ask for a copy of their cancellation policy, so you know what the deal is.

I appreciate that this is not a comprehensive list of things to consider; I’m hoping that you guys will add to this!
 

wowbb

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There is a lot of helpful suggestions in this post and I would recommend anyone to read this and take it to heart.
Having said that, I would add to do your research but also go by how you feel about it. Nowadays you can read lots of reviews and whilst social media can help to get a feel for a company, brand, trainer or product it can also be misleading as it tends to be the unhappy people who use social media as a way to moan. That doesnt mean that it isnt true but take it all with a pinch of salt to find the best way forward for you and your business.


I agree with Lynne though, try and find out as much as possible, speak to the company, speak to the trainer and see how their package, support and ethics fit in with your business. Don't just go for a cheaper course to save a few pounds, it will cost you in the long run as good and fundamental training is as important as high quality products (which nowadays need to comply to the EU cosmetics regulations) so ask a lot of questions and try and find out as much as possible.
Genuine suppliers and training providers will spend all the time it takes to talk or communicate with you and it gives you a good idea of the support they will offer after your training too!
 

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