What is accreditation?
Over the years, many of us have seen a lot of changes to the industry, some good and some bad. Has accreditation been at the front of positive changes within our sector? Around 15 years ago insurance providers were limited, and many started to ask academies to become ‘accredited providers’ with them, before going on to insure their students. Prior to this, accreditation was pretty much unheard of.
Is accreditation really necessary?
Prior to accreditation many trainers were teaching with-out adequate teaching qualifications and insurance. However, there was less training academies, less day courses on offer and the industry was providing minimally invasive and low-risk procedures. Today our sector has changed forever, with access to courses that use needles, lasers and tattoo inks to name a few, there is definitely a bigger need for accreditation than ever before.
There is now an increase of bad trainers, inadequate course content and a lack of overall standards. In a time where accreditation has become common place, how are many of these academies still operating, and why are standards in the training arena still below par?
As with everything, money is often a driving factor with not only students seeking cheap courses, but bad trainers looking to prey on the vulnerable therapist as well as insurers and accreditation companies popping up that are willing to take every penny, setting aside morals, ethics and basic industry standards.
Accreditation and insurance companies should be working together to increase and improve standards across our community. This in turn can help self-regulate an unregulated and in-turmoil industry that has allowed bad practitioners and trainers to operate and turn a blind eye to the complaints forthwith.
Accreditation therefore comes under the spotlight time and time again, as being an unnecessary expense for academies and a sense of false security for students looking for excellent training providers.
I have to agree that regardless of accreditation there are excellent trainers without accredited courses, as much as there are bad trainers with accreditation, teaching. However, choosing whether to be accredited or not, or which company to choose over another is just as much as a minefield as our students looking for good trainers.
Accreditation is by no means a legal requirement to provide training courses. Some insurers will request that the course you undertake is accredited, but with so many accreditation companies, all with various standards, this does not guarantee good standards of training is being provided. Albeit some accreditation companies are known for just taking money, with-out checking the trainer is qualified to teach, is insured, has adequate training material and they also fail to handle numerous complaints over bad training students receive.
It is our duty as accreditation providers to create a safe platform for students to find excellent training providers as well as have a way to report bad training where necessary. Of course, there is not any one accreditor in the UK that can guarantee every academy and trainer will meet the minimum requirements of the industry as well as the accreditation provider. Spot checks and customer feedback is a great way to help eliminate training providers that are not providing appropriate training.
What makes Centre of CPD Excellence different?
When we established our platform, we wanted to radicalise the way accreditation of academies was undertaken. As industry professionals we only focus on accrediting courses in which we, or any of our board members are trained. This means we only accredit hair, beauty, aesthetics and holistic educational courses, as well as courses that may be targeted towards these professions such as business or marketing.
We are able to view training material and check it meets the minimum requirements for every course, as well as check the trainers delivering the courses are qualified themselves.
Centre of CPD Excellence are the only accreditation platform that is focused towards student feedback. Students have the ability to leave good or bad reviews on a company listing. Aware of many bad reviews being competition or sabotage, we always check for proof of claims prior to any bad review being listed. Academies start with our Silver logo and can work through to our Gold logo upon receiving a minimum of 20 positive feedback and maintain a 4-star average.
We look to reward our top-rated academies every year and they will receive the ‘Top Rated’ banner on their listing as well as receive an award for displaying in their academy.
It is vital that we improve standards across the board. We allow students to contact us direct and take all complaints about training academies seriously. If we receive more that 3 reports a year for any one academy, we will not allow that academy to renew. In severe situations, we may also cancel accreditation where we believe further accreditation of a course could pose serious health and safety issues to clients.
Our team also provide interim spot checks of academies to ensure all trainers are registered with us, that they have up to date insurance cover and are meeting their CPD Requirements.
Our platform is more than just accreditation, we want students to see our logo on an academy’s social media, advertising or website and trust that the academy is delivering the highest possible standards. Thus, bringing you more work than any other accreditors logo. Students can also see all reviews on your website listing with us to give them an overview of your business’s credibility.
The future of Centre of CPD Excellence
Our plans are to regularly check and improve our standards for accreditation and bring in as many methods we can to improve training throughout the UK and beyond. This will include looking into becoming Ofqual regulated, setting minimal training standards and pre-requisites (which are currently set by insurers and NOS). We also want to work towards all trainers working towards teaching to National Occupational Standards (NOS). We will keep our community of trainers updated as we look to bring in any changes. We also hope to consult with our academies to implement changes they would also like to see in the future.