"When salon owners hire someone directly out of cosmetology school, they can be assured that person knows the basics.”
New cosmetology graduates who are systematically trained in a wide range of industry- approved skills could be a reality in the near future, according to the Cosmetology Advancement Foundation (CAF). The foundation’s Skills Standards Board met last June along with the American Standards Institute in the first of a series of meetings to determine what skills should be included in the study, Participants are examining exercises that test reading comprehension, active listening, writing, speaking, mathematics, and science. The end result will be between 100 and 200 tasks that are considered vital to job performance; together, they will constitute a National Skills Standards System (NSS) for the cosmetology industry.
“Right now, we’re concentrating on entry-level skills, so at least when salon owners hire someone directly out of cosmetology school, they can be assured that person knows the basics,” explains Norma Lee, a spokesperson for the CAF. “It doesn’t matter if one state requires 100 hours of instruction and another requires 1,000 the set of skills necessary for a cosmetologist to be considered proficient will be the same everywhere.”
Once the recommendations are made, they will go into an online survey that will be sent to working salon professionals. At that stage, salon owners will be asked to assign job tasks to define different levels of a performance skill. “It’s similar to professions like accounting, where you have a body of professionals coming up with standards for becoming certified,” Lee says.
Funding for the standards development has come from donations from BBSI, Clairol, Intercoiffure, Milady/SalonOvations, PSISA, Revlon, Sally Beauty Company, Tressa, and Zotos. To date, $50,000 of the $75,000 required for this project has been raised. Donations are gratefully accepted; send to Karen Curtin, Executive Director, CAF, 208 E. 51st St New York NY 10022.