The future of Registered Training Organisations

Are registered training organisations negatively affected by an increased number of suppliers offering their own workshops?

This was the fifth question out of six, put forward by from Dianne Miles at CIDESCO, discussed over lunch at Professional Beauty’s fourth industry round table.

Our eight industry supplier and salon owner experts – including Lycon Cosmetics’ Lydia Jordane, Aesthetic Enterprises’ Tracy Lee Dobbin, Ex Import Niche Products’ Otto Mitter, Skin Fitness’ Linda Fenech, InSkin Cosmedics’ Maria Cocciolone, The Skin Clinic Concord’s Belinda Merlino, MediSpa Solutions’ Mariza Nuttall and Face To Face Skin & Body Care’s Maree Mondello – agreed trends would continue to drive new training techniques via a variety of sources that were impacted by technology.

Lydia said suppliers and manufacturers needed to keep in mind what the industry needed, while Otto said the relationship between the product suppliers and the students was very important.

Tracy said the teachers had to be current because they were the ones supplying and delivering knowledge and skills to students, while Mariza said you had to consider budgets and time.

Linda said rural salons struggled to get to the training that was often held in metropolitan cities while Maria warned of the dangers of online training in an industry that required hands-on experience.

Maree said a registered training body wasn’t going to put funding behind something that might be quite transient, while Belinda said colleges and TAFEs provided a nice foundation, but the suppliers could go into colleges and say, ‘Hey, your learning will not stop here.’

Read their edited responses below or watch the video for the full discussion.


:“We need to learn from the past. Suppliers or manufacturers are bringing you products a lot of the time, but they need to keep in mind what the industry needs. An example is when Brazilians started coming in. We only did bikini waxing – then all of a sudden it was Brazilian waxing. The colleges did not train that. The salons didn’t know how to do it; I didn’t know how to do it. I had to train myself, and improve over time. As a supplier, because the colleges were not offering that kind of training, we did a lot of training and offered it to salons as well as students of colleges. They did pay for it because you spend a lot of time. Many of the have introduced Brazilian waxing as part of their standard training, but in some colleges, it’s still not available. It’s very important that suppliers have well-trained staff to offer training to the colleges and the teachers as well. The teachers have to be open to wanting the training. The other thing is colleges will teach a certain way. We’ve been in situations where they don’t want us to demonstrate because it’s going to confuse the students. They’ve got to do it a certain way for exams but you could be showing them something completely different. But it introduces the students to the idea of always looking for new techniques and being able to modify themselves later through learning.”

“The relationship between the product suppliers and the students is very important. Obviously the students are the future of the industry. We need students, we need therapists coming through. We do have a very big responsibility to work closely with them. Make sure that we’re giving them all the opportunities we can. Advanced courses you can offer schools is very beneficial for students and the teachers there. If I use eyelash extensions, for example, that has been in the industry as we know it for probably about 15 years now. But it’s only just being added to a national training package this year. I’ve worked very closely with schools, writing manuals, developing training systems, to ensure they’re getting the best information because the schools need to work with the experts [01:32:30] in that area. Not everyone learns how to apply eyelashes or brow shaping, or certain techniques that we do. We specialise in that and then are able to offer the schools an opportunity of doing more advanced techniques, which is really beneficial when they’re mostly leaving to go into workforce. There is a huge market of people that want to pay for these kinds of services. The schools are of course very interested in learning whatever they can to give their students the advantage to offer these services. If a student has an extra skill on their resume, who knows? It might actually get them that job over and above somebody else.”

“The teachers have to be current, because they’re the ones supplying and delivering knowledge and skills to students. Teachers have to have their finger on the pulse. It’s astounding the amount of times that I’ve met teachers that haven’t worked in the industry for over 20 years. They’re the ones I worry about.”

“We have to consider budgets and time. We have a trainer’s programme for teachers. Often they can’t access the funds needed to complete the training. They want to come on these courses, but they don’t have the money, so sometimes they have to do it out of their own pockets. We’ve introduced Skye staff training, which has made it easier for a lot of people outside the major cities. It’s only $20. The response has been incredible, particularly for our therapists who want more advanced knowledge. They already have a base knowledge, they already have new devices in place and they have come for more training. It’s imperative to work with trainers. A lot of people are very scared to share their IP (intellectual property). But you need to share with trainers, to be open with your IP.”

“I’m working in some metropolitan cities but I’ve got salons that are in rural areas that can’t get the training. Where they struggle is you have to pay staff to travel to the training and for the training itself. It’s costly.”

Maria:“One of my biggest fears is that in a service industry where we are face to face and it’s all about contact, that we start doing everything on Skype and online. Even the colleges are doing online training and yet we say the therapists are competent. How can they ever grow their confidence if it’s online? When you’re learning a skill for the first time, you cannot learn it online. You can’t capture it online in a camera; you can’t capture a hands-on experience.”

“It starts with suppliers bringing in trends from oversees. A registered training body isn’t going to put funding behind something that might be quite transient. It might not fire in the market. Like Brazilian waxing – I thought I could get away with not doing that in the salon. Well, that was a big mistake because that’s here to stay. That is how the registered training bodies respond to training. If it looks like it’s going to stay, if it looks like it’s fired in the market and there is a huge response, they’ll put money behind it. It is up to the suppliers that bring this new technology, the new science, new products, new trends from oversees to push that and to train trainers. Otherwise, there’s no point to funding something that’s going to fizzle out in six months. Brows and lashes, that’s been a social media thing, well and truly. If I see in another pair of intsabrows, I’ll scream. But that is where those huge trends start.”

“Colleges and TAFE’s can provide a really nice foundation or base. But the suppliers could go into colleges and say, ‘Hey, your learning will not stop here. It will never stop.’ Even now I’m thinking I could really refresh my waxing. Because I was trained 17 years ago and things like the Brazilian I was self-taught, or my first employer taught me how to do it. I wasn’t trained in that. It’s evolved and changed since then.”

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