In response to the recent press release which was critical of the imminent launch the new Nail, Beauty and Spa Registers, Habia (part of SkillsActive) would like to issue the following response.
We are naturally disappointed that such a public objection has been made to a Government supported initiative which it is hoped will raise the profile and credibility of the beauty, nails and spa professions. Particularly as there are a number of inaccuracies in the statement in which we would have liked to have provided clarity on before being published.
Funded by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), the Registers show the Government’s on-going commitment to professionalise sectors through independent and voluntary registration. Habia is a not-for-profit organisation and our parent organisation SkillsActive is a charity. Any money raised is always re-invested in to raising standards in industry.
Ian Taylor, CEO of SkillsActive comments, “The government and employers who wish to professionalise their industry are really strong advocates of registers, particularly of voluntary registers which are run and managed by independent organisations to ensure the integrity of the registers are never breached; SkillsActive is one such government licensed organisation.”
There has been great success in the fitness industry in the form of the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) which is operated by SkillsActive. The Habia Registers will also be owned and operated by SkillsActive. REPs has been in operation for 11 years and has radically improved the level of professionalism across the fitness industry, provided clarity for employers and professionals as well as protection for consumers.
The three independent public Registers have been endorsed by a growing number of employers and industry organisations including; Virgin Active, The Grove Spa, Grafton International, Associated Beauty Therapists, Elemis and Eve Taylor (London) Ltd to name a just a few. Support is growing, highlighted by the following quote from George Hammer of Hammer Holdings and Urban Retreat:
“From an employer’s point of view this is well overdue. Increasingly it has become difficult to work out who has the right skills to do the job based on the ‘qualifications’ we are being presented with from candidates. Habia, as the licensed Sector Skills Body, is the right independent vehicle for the registers and the fact that there is no insurance offer linked to registration reassures me that the registers are all about promoting standards and professionalism within our industry.”
The Registers will serve the public and add assurance that a member of any of the Registers who is entrusted to undertake a procedure is qualified to do so. It is important to note the National Occupational Standards (NOS) are set by the industry and employers. Government appointed sector skills councils (SSC) facilitate the delivery of the standards.
Contrary to any statements issued, there has been industry consultation, chiefly with employers, which has also led to support from organisations including the UK Spa Business Association, There has been no ‘sponsorship’ of the Registers and the entry level criteria has been developed by bringing together established industry experts representing employers, manufacturers and educators. This group has also had representation from the then Director of Operations at BABTAC. We welcome this input and look forward to it continuing going forward.
In February of this year, we announced the intention of the Registers, and made it clear that they are a standards initiative which would be inclusive. Where trade associations or membership bodies have joining requirements that meet or exceed our minimum entry level criteria then we are very open to speaking with them to facilitate their members joining the register automatically. At that point the Habia Chair made a direct offer to discuss the registers with BABTAC and no response was received.
We would also be keen to work with any organisation who would like their qualifying criteria to be in line with our minimum entry level requirements. Of course, it has not been possible to do either until the entry requirements were established and the registers launched.
We will continue to work with the wider industry to develop the Registers. As with the other Registers operated by SkillsActive, a committee made up of industry representatives will advise on the development and operation of the Register. We respect BABTAC and have worked collaboratively with them recently on issues such as the Keogh Review; having provided this clarity we hope they will help support this initiative.