Continuing education is key to the future growth of the industry. So why is it not getting the attention it deserves? Have nail techs and manufacturers become disenchanted with continuing education and relegated it to the back burner?
MAKE IT MANDATORY?
When the issue of continuing education is addressed, inevitably it begs the question of whether it should be mandatory when renewing nail tech licenses. This question in particular elicited heated responses that may surprise you.
“Unfortunately, most state laws do not allow for required advanced training in order to renew licenses. This is due, for the most part, to the lack of funding for the state boards and regulatory commissions that govern our industry. Most licensees do not understand the tremendous resources and funds required to implement a system of continuing education across the states. There just isn’t enough money in the budget for most states to do this.” Nancy King Director Association of Electric File Manufacturers
“I feel that regardless of how many hours are required, there will always be those who get around them. If I thought it would help the industry as a whole I would say yes, we need more hours. But I think those of us who want more hours are out there getting them.” Holly Schippers, The Hairport Oskaloosa, Iowa
“The number one reason continuing education is being given so little emphasis is that not all states have a CEU requirement. All states should require a minimum of CEU. What client would want to be serviced by a ‘professional’ who hasn’t been updated on laws or techniques for 10 or more years?” Judi Meola, Senior Marketing Manager, Spilo Worldwide/Mehaz
“Sure, CEUs force the ‘bottom rung’ techs to get educated, but then, do they really take anything away from the classes? These are the techs with the negative attitudes who then go and ruin it for the positive techs, ruin the group dynamic, and give education a bad name.” Barb Wetzel, Nailsplash.com
“I personally feel that every state should require hours for renewal. I don’t care how many — one or 40 — but get those techs’ eyes open to new ideas and more information.” Debbie Doerrlamm, beautytech.com
“Four mandatory hours a year would be no sweat — but they should be broken up into categories: sanitation, natural nail care, enhancements, optional.” Sue Irwin, National Sales and Marketing Manager, Poshé
“CEU should be mandatory— and state licensed schools should get involved.” Dana Caruso, Owner Long Island Nail & Skin Care Institute
“I think less than 30 hours of continuing education per year is a joke. There is no reason why six hours should be acceptable — that in some cases is one class.” Deb Blowars, Artistic Trends Salon, Perkasie, Pa.
“Continuing education is not for the techs themselves. It is also for the safety of the public! Continuing education should be mandatory in all states for the safety of everyone.” Diana Bonn, Independent educator for the state of Indiana
HOW TO FIND CONTINUING EDUCATION
Many of the nail techs we spoke to noted that continuing education classes can be hard to find. Here we’ve detailed a few ways to be in the know about classes in your area and how to get into them.
• Many manufacturers post their upcoming education schedules on their websites and include the names of the distributors that will be hosting the classes.
• Call your distributor and let them know that you are interested in their class schedule. Many include their schedule on their deal sheets, so keep an eye out for them. If they are offering a class you are interested in, find out how long the class is, how much it costs, and the minimum number of participants. Call before the class to see if this number has been met. Otherwise you may arrive at the class only to learn that it has been cancelled.
• If your distributor isn’t cutting the mustard in regard to offering quality education, call other distributors in your area for their education schedules. Showing distributors and manufacturers that you will go where the education is sends a clear message to them that they stand to gain from providing good education.
• Sign up for classes about 30 days early — and show up for class. Showing distributors and manufacturers that you are serious about education will motivate them to schedule more classes.
• Don’t wait until the last minute to get your Continuing Education Units (CEU).You’ll find most classes full of other procrastinators and educators frustrated by their suddenly overwhelming class load. Chances are you won’t find a spot in a class you are interested in and may be forced to take any open class in order to fulfill your requirements. So plan ahead and beat the rush.
• Look online. Some states allow you to complete online courses for CEU credits. Go to your state board’s website or call to see if this is a good option for you. Many independent educators also post excellent tips and helpful hints on their personal websites that act as a good supplement to continuing education.
• Remember that manufacturers and distributors are not the only purveyors of education. Trade shows and association events often are the best sources for non-product specific education, business classes, and motivational seminars all generally included for the price of admission.
• When in doubt, schedule education to come to you. Independent educators, coaches, and trainers that are certified by your state are a great source of education. Call your state board for a listing of available educators and classes