Assessments across the beauty industry


By Dianne Miles, Chairperson of CIDESCO. 

Founded in 1946 in Brussels and with its head office in Zurich, Switzerland, Comité International d’Esthétique et de Cosmétologie – CIDESCO – is the world standard for beauty and spa therapy.

CIDESCO Australia, one of 30+ CIDESCO global sections, has been operating as an educational organisation since 1992. CIDESCO accreditation and membership is open to leading beauty therapy schools, colleges, academies and centres of further education around the world who fulfill the standards set out in the CIDESCO rules, and whose students are looking to achieve a superior level of training, and the CIDESCO Diploma qualification which is recognised worldwide.

CIDESCO main aims are to:

  • Establish and uphold the highest standards of beauty and spa therapy globally
  • Promote the aesthetics industry on an international basis
  • Promote the exchange of professional knowledge, developments and information through regular marketing activities, networking events and at our annual international Congress.
  • Create recognised training centres that lead to the CIDESCO Examination and CIDESCO Diploma.

The standards in therapist training and education vary enormously around the world, with some highly-developed countries falling far below basic requirements. As a result, salon and spa operators are finding it increasingly difficult to source and recruit suitable staff members, resulting in a slow-down of their businesses and the development of the industry at large.

To bring the industry to an acceptable level of quality, CIDESCO, and in particular CIDESCO Australia,  are encouraging members to improve on the entry level for therapist training  currently in place.

Australian training programs are assessed at competency, meaning a student can be competent in a short time with no experience; all assessments are carried out by the respective training institute with no external assessment. As a result, the beauty industry in Australia is generally unhappy about the standard of training for prospective employees.

At CIDESCO, we want to change this perspective and believe we need to challenge local educational authorities to make the necessary changes, which will foster greater respect for beauty and spa therapy education and an improved experience for clients.

The level of internationally-accredited schools in Australia highlights a difference between the standard, non-international accredited schools. This difference may possibly be due to the strict  guidelines required in theory and practical training, and the part played by the external Assessors in  Australian CIDESCO internationally accredited training schools.

The ability of a therapist is a direct reflection on the educational system of examining bodies. It’s important to ensure standards are the highest and the exams taken are genuinely testing students’ knowledge.  Only then will this result in the most qualified therapists the industry has to offer.

CIDESCO remains the number-one international qualification as its graduates have the knowledge and experience clients expect. These standards of knowledge and education complement those required by employers worldwide.

CIDESCO Australia is also a collective of schools, accredited to offer CIDESCO training, and this is where the schools differ from other training establishments around the country: students are externally assessed by CIDESCO examiners from other countries. There are CIDESCO training schools in every state in Australia and in the ACT with some operating as CIDESCO-accredited schools for over 30 years.

During the annual external exams it is not just the candidates who are assessed. The school itself is inspected at every examination to ensure the constant high standard to be a recognised training organisation is still in place.

CIDESCO Australia offers not only formal Diploma of Beauty Therapy training, but also courses in SPA Therapy, Electrolysis, SPA Management and Aromatherapy and in many cases these courses can be included and undertaken as part of the initial training, or can be a post-graduate option.

All post-graduate courses can be offered to anyone with a recognised Diploma of Beauty Therapy. For therapists who do not have, and would like to achieve, a CIDESCO diploma but do not wish or need to return to study, they have the opportunity to sit CIDESCO post-graduate beauty therapy examinations after a short refresher course by a CIDESCO school.

For a small fee, CIDESCO Australia membership is also available to students, graduates, and wholesalers and their staff, outside its core membership.

CIDESCO Australia has been able to organise complimentary malpractice insurance for its students undergoing training, and is proud to be working with hands-on industry players who help formulate offers  exclusive to CIDESCO Australia members.

We believe in keeping the beauty industry on a sound footing and with a positive eye to the future. Therapists, graduates, salon and spa owners:  all need to work together to benefit an industry we are so fortunate to be part of.


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