Friday, 26 September 2014 12:50

Continuing Education for the Digital Era

Written by   Jenny Hogan

Continuing education is a vital part of career growth in the aesthetic industry as well as the growth of every spa business. Educational classes are now being offered online, making it easier than ever to continue learning on your own schedule. You can even use your smartphone to access many online offerings! Countless companies are offering continuing education online as an innovative, educational program with an array of different resources. Online education is a new, convenient method to deliver what skin care professionals need. Any professional can now take classes on their own schedules while still maintaining a business. Continuously learn in order to stay up-to-date and keep business on top!

Online continuing education provides an array of options for different individuals with diverse learning preferences. Independent spa practitioners can learn at their own time and pace, while developing their own interests and career paths. Spa teams can learn together as a group to increase team motivation and morale while helping each other with hands-on techniques and retailing practice. Spa owners may want to organize regular sessions for their teams, to make continuing education a fun and motivational part of the business. Spas can even host a monthly or quarterly staff pizza party to create interactive sessions for the team to enjoy learning together!
Ore-recorded online webinar offerings are diverse with every topic a spa could possibly need. Whatever the topic, there is sure to be a webinar offered online. Technical product and treatment options commonly include aromatherapy, aromatic reflexology, eyelash perming, upgrading manicure and pedicure services, ayurvedic therapies, and chakras. Massage options might include bamboo fusion massage, body wraps, cellulite treatments, cold stone therapy, massage for elderly clients, hydrotherapy, sports massage, pain therapy, pregnancy massage, ergonomics for therapists, and so on. Skin care classes are popular to include acne treatments, microdermabrasion, skin peels, hyperpigmentation, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and lasers, sunless tanning, waxing, and sanitation. Business classes could include client psychology, client building, social media marketing, entering the medical spa business, making a business plan, front desk success, team building, branding, recruiting, and more. Last, green spa classes might include creating a sustainable spa, greening your laundry, and learning about natural, organic, holistic, and vegan products. Since there are so many diverse topics available, no one should have an issue finding one, or many, that interest them!
It is becoming quite common for such classes to be viewed and delivered by mobile means. If you use a tablet or smartphone, many companies offer all of their training to be easily accessed, allowing skin care professionals to conveniently work at their own pace and learn at any time or place. Being able to access online courses on so many different platforms makes it convenient for anyone to continue their education.
Another popular component to online education is management training for owners, managers, and lead therapists. This training is appropriate for those professionals who are responsible for developing and encouraging team members in sales and can help different management sections develop profit, leadership, and management skills. Director of Education at Universal Companies Jenny Farrand comments, “Business skills are a great fit for an online topic. There is no benefit to being there in person to learn subjects like budgets! The thing I like most about these programs is that you can rewind and re-watch any part that you did not quite understand. You can also follow up if you are puzzled afterward by calling or e-mailing questions about any section.” It is common to offer online certificates for this type of business training as well.
Technical skills for skin care professionals is a growing topic and in popular demand. This type of online training commonly includes hands-on demonstrations with an emphasis on theory. Farrand notes on this topic as well: “For instance, one course might share how to work with ethnic skin, showing how to identify which products are most safe and effective for certain skin conditions. Most products and treatment techniques that have been taught in aesthetic schools have focused on Caucasian skin. However, online offerings work excellently for product knowledge. They allow you to really nail down the features, benefits, and active ingredients so you will learn to speak about the products with confidence. When you are in aesthetics, you need to be able to succinctly and confidently describe which products to use and the reason you are recommending them in a compelling manner. You need to be able to give that message immediately without even thinking about it. If you are able to talk about your professional services and products to your client with benefits that will personally affect them, it will make them feel you are confident and believe that you really know your specialties!”
Whether certification training is required for solo aestheticians, small spas, or even large chains, brand certification training can be a great option. Users may engage with full online product-knowledge education in their favorite brands.
There are videos that include hands-on demonstrations, printable attachments that make it easy to follow along, learning treatment protocols, technical specifications, ingredient lists, instructions for use, and contraindications. At the end of the online sessions, there are quizzes. It is most common for users to watch the entire presentation in order to take a quiz. When completed, a certificate of completion is usually made available for immediate print out.
While the basics are an understood necessity for continuing education in the aesthetics industry, understanding new products, treatments and ingredients is also beneficial. When manufacturers launch new products throughout the year, professionals are concerned with understanding the details about the newer products. The platform of online education can provide skin care professionals a place to learn about new products or ingredients they do not yet understand and find if they are a good fit for their business.
Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and certificates are available for many courses with licensed professionals. As all professionals in the skin care industry are required to obtain CEUs, this is a popular demand for online education. The importance is undeniable for aestheticians to pursue continued education and professional training, whether it is in a classroom or through the Internet. As this industry is constantly evolving, organizations are available to deliver the continued education required. Many even include video demonstrations and downloadable reference text.
An array of educational choices is currently available for the industry. And most online courses range from two to 16 continuing education hours. When researching online educational classes, shorter classes can include aromatherapy, body wraps, business, exfoliation treatment, herbal wraps, or even scalp treatment. More advanced classes might include deep tissue massage, retail product sales, reflexology, or even orthopedic massage for complicated cervical conditions. Expert level classes can be found to include hot stone massage therapy, prenatal massage, salt scrubs, mud wraps, sports massage, and trigger point massage therapy.
Online continuing education units are a great way for all skin care professionals to solidify the skills they may have learned in aesthetics school but have not used lately. This option can be convenient and affordable for professionals whose business models are evolving or those who want to learn entirely new techniques to offer to their clientele. Farrand adds, “Some therapists simply want to integrate spa touches into their therapeutic treatments to include complimentary stress reduction and wellness techniques. When clients are relaxed, you can access deeper muscle groups with little discomfort. Other therapists want to branch out and increase revenue by offering more spa treatments like scrubs, wraps, or hot stone massage therapies. Aromatherapy is always a hot topic. Regardless of the nature of their work, most therapists like to incorporate some form of aromatherapy. Their guests really respond to it and it can also address muscle inflammation, fluid retention, and other client issues.” Advanced massage techniques are also available for serious therapeutic or sports practitioners, including techniques for trigger point or pregnancy massage.
Owners may be motivated to provide continuing education classes to their staff to grow the business by offering additional services. If a spa has a group of five or more people needing to obtain continuing education certificates, many education companies will arrange special pricing options. Your team could then elect to take the courses together and practice new skills or, alternately, professionals can take the classes at their own convenience. In order to increase skills for everyone, massage therapists can partner with nail technicians and take a course together. Any time learning as a team is encouraged, moral increases. All members of the staff should be included, even the front desk that do not need continuing education units. If they participate, they may be able to recommend new services to customers who walk in. Every employee is a valuable asset. Smaller spas may not have an educational allowance in their budgets, but they can still team up to negotiate a group price for continuing education units.
Smart business owners can offer team members a combination continuing education unit choice, such as any hands-on spa course with an increasing revenue with retailing product sales course. Staff will be inspired and learn how to effectively retail with spa treatments that go hand-in-hand with your professional products. Many massage therapists are still reluctant to promote retail. Since consumers love to shop for products that make them feel good, promoting product sales is doing a service for them. Spa professionals need to share their knowledge with consumers so they can apply what they learn at home. As professionals become more comfortable with selling retail, more benefits arise for the spa and its clients.
Continuing education is made easy with online continuing education and certification. It is an important part of any skin care professional’s career growth. There is always room for learning and improving techniques. Go online today to help educate and inspire your spa team to grow their careers and grow your business!


Jenny Hogan is the media director at Marketing Solutions, Inc., a full-service marketing, advertising and public relations agency, specializing in the professional beauty and spa businesses. 703-359-6000 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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