How AIT Accreditation is supporting industry learning
We all understand the importance of education within our industry; beauty and hair professionals never stop learning, and thankfully a theme within our sector is to continually improve skills, train in new treatments and pass knowledge between us.
The pathway from student, to professional, to teacher is one that is achievable for any hardworking and dedicated individual over time, and it's heartening to see how many AIT members have joined as students, gained experience as AIT insured professionals, and gone on to train as Educators, opening their own AIT Accredited academies and schools. Some have even gone on to become members of advisory boards to help shape the future of the industry at the highest level.
This is why AIT place such high emphasis on education, and why AIT Accreditation of training providers has become a key part of its support of the industry. Since introducing Accreditation eight years ago, there are now more than 1,000 AIT Accredited companies spread across Ireland and the UK.
To gain accreditation of a course, qualification or post graduate support training, providers must be able to prove that their course delivers education to high standards, that lecturers and trainers are qualified to deliver teaching, that content is appropriate for the level of qualification, and that the course covers the requirements to gain professional insurance. Once a training provider submits their course for accreditation, it is scrutinised by AIT's Accreditation Team before approval is gained.
Once achieved, AIT Accreditation gives a college immediate credibility, giving students confidence to know the course is approved, validated and insurable by the UK and Ireland's leading membership and insurance provider.
AIT Accredited Training Providers are also eligible to offer AIT membership and insurance packages to students with a 10% discount, and can take advantage of free online promotional support.
Lockdown leads to online training
When the country was placed into Lockdown in March 2020 and face-to-face teaching forced to cease, AIT moved quickly to ensure its accredited training providers could continue to operate delivering quality education digitally via live streaming, and professionals can use the time whilst salons are closed to as an upskill opportunity.
On launching AIT Online Accreditation, Dave Horton, Director of AIT, explains:
“When faced with unprecedented times, the AIT team worked fast to create a solution to keep our industry going, support trainers and allow therapists to upskill safely and responsibly. We negotiated with our underwriters, brokers and respective Insurers to enable training schools, academies and colleges to continue to operate with new online teaching techniques including live streaming apps.
“AIT Online Accreditation has now accredited over 300 colleges and in excess of 800 courses for online teaching with more added daily.”
As the industry begins to look to a future where on-site and face-to-face training will return, there are many companies who have found AIT Online Accreditation has offered them and their students a viable alternative that will continue attract even more students. Fay Gallagher, Training Manager at Lash Perfect Academy, who have a number of courses accredited by AIT for face-to-face and online delivery, says:
“I think online learning is the way forward for a lot of trainees, as they can complete the training at their own pace and in their own time. This works especially well for trainees with other work commitments or family commitments. There are of course trainees who prefer to learn in person, which is why we are thrilled to say we are bringing back our full face-to-face training days from late March – April (depending on government guidelines). We think offering a wide range of options with the learning journey will help all trainees feel comfortable with their experience.
Karen Ashton, owner of Holistic Therapies Training Academy adds:
“I feel the industry is tightening its belts with regards to recognition of qualifications and regulations. I feel the future with education, based on the past year, has shown that many courses can be taken online. There are many courses that still benefit greatly from hands-on practice with a tutor, so I do feel the balance is needed with education between hands-on, in person training and online training. But it has opened so many opportunities and there are exciting times ahead for the industry.”
Tiger Training Academy / Tiger Beauty
Locations: Cork city centre, and Ms.Divas training centre, Cork
Tiger Training Academy first gained AIT Accreditation in December 2020, with the following courses accredited by AIT:
- Henna Brows
- Eyebrow Lamination
- Henna Brows
- Lash Lift
The academy has also achieved AIT Digital Accreditation for delivery of online courses including Henna Brows, Lamination, Make-up and Lash Lift.
Students receiving PUP may be eligible for Irish government funding for Tiger Training Academy courses. “As we are online all courses are fully supported by the grant system which means you can enrol in any of our brow courses for free. Digital has saved my business and we are now busier than ever,” explains Sinead O Keeffe owner Tiger Training Academy and brand owner of Tiger Beauty.
Sinead says that she chose to have her courses accredited by AIT to attract additional students who know they will be receiving high quality training. She adds:
“Over the past few years we had a lot of salons who were insured with AIT contact us and I knew that this move would benefit us massively in obtaining more students and better recognition.
“AIT is one of the most recognised accreditation companies in Ireland. We found although we had accreditation that offering AIT would help us gain more students.”
“[For students], the main benefit is access to reasonable insurance, high quality training and support they need to work in the beauty and salon environment. For us, our business is now absolutely booming due to the government supports available and offering courses online with AIT.”
Beauty 2 The Max Academy
Locations: Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Staffordshire and online
Beauty 2 The Max Academy first become ABT accredited at the beginning of 2020. Run by Maxine Clinton, AIT Accredited courses include:
- Full Body Massage
- Hot Stone Massage
- Indian Head Massage
- Hopi Ear Candling
- Thai Herb Massage
- Acrylics (nails)
- Gels (nails)
- Nail Art
- Acrylic Dipping (nails)
- Manicure & Pedicure
- Lash Extensions
- Henna Brows
- Brow Lamination
- Lashlift & Tint
- Spray Tan
The academy is also able to offer AIT Accredited online courses in Intimate Waxing, Thai Herb Massage, Reflexology, Lashlift & Tint, Indian Head Massage, Facial, Lash Extensions, Brow Lamination.
Explaining why she chose to have her courses accredited, Beauty 2 The Max Academy's Owner/Tutor, Maxine Clinton, says:
“I wanted my courses to carry a professional stamp that is recognised. I chose AIT because they are a reputable company and are competitive on price. [Students] know they will be attending a good in-depth course with a professional accreditation stamp that will be accepted by salons.”
“I chose to take the courses online due to lockdown with Covid. AIT have helped me by allowing me to offer training online. It's gained me new customers that I wouldn't have previously had.
“The accreditation process has been very straight forward and Tamzin (Horton) is outstanding with her customer service. She has helped so much with being able to grow my business even during a lockdown.
“I am expanding even more. I'm now looking to have other trainers all over UK and Ireland teach the practical side of my courses whilst I provide all theory and certification online.”
Lash Perfect Academy
Locations: Essex, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and online
Lash Perfect Academy first gained AIT accreditation for its courses in June 2020. Face-to-face AIT Accredited courses include:
- Lash Perfect Classic
- Lash Perfect Russian
- Lash Perfect Express
- Lash Perfect Lash Lift
- Hi Brow Classic
- Hi Brow Lamination
- Brow Perfect Microblading
Courses that are ABT Accredited for online delivery includes Lash Perfect Classic, Lash Perfect Russian, Lash Perfect Express, Lash Perfect Lash Lift, Hi Brow Classic, and Hi Brow Lamination.
Fay Gallagher, Training Manager at Lash Perfect Academy says:
“ABT has enabled us to offer professional accreditation with our training courses for Face to Face, Blended Remote and Online Training. Throughout the pandemic we were still able to continue offering training.
“We began offering remote online training in March 2020 in response to not being able to train students on our normal face-to-face training days due to COVID-19. We feel that providing an online learning experience has enabled more technicians to train with us, as they can complete the course at their own pace and in their own time. Our courses have proven incredibly popular, with over 800 students having enrolled on our training platform. The quality of the learning is the same as our face-to-face training sessions, and trainees are only certified after being assessed (either via video call or in-person once restrictions allow). With the option of remote training, we will now always be ready to offer training whatever is ahead of us!”
“Having a professional backing by a recognised awarding body is very important to our trainees. AIT accredited courses assure trainees of a high-quality training program and give them an insurable qualification at the end.
“Accreditation by an organisation such as AIT is important to us as it reinforces the high quality of our training and promotes best practice for our trainees to gain insurance for treatments after training!
“Our trainees can be assured of quality of their education journey and gain full insurance upon completion of their course. Our trainees can also take advantage of a special discount when taking out AIT insurance upon completion of their course!”
Holistic Therapies Training Academy
Locations: Devon, Wiltshire, Essex and online. Onsite training also available.
Holistic Therapies Training Academy have been accredited by AIT since 2014, with an extensive programme of AIT accredited courses including:
- Anatomy & Physiology
- Aromatherapy Massage
- Baby Massage Instructor
- Holistic Body Massage
- Body Wrap
- Chinese Body Massage
- Cosmetic Tanning
- Crystal Healing
- Hopi Ear Candling
- Holistic Facial
- Hot Stones Massage
- Indian Head Massage
- Lymphatic Drainage Massage
- Professional Make-Up
- Oriental Face Massage
- Oriental Hand Massage
- Pregnancy Massage
- Sports Massage pre & post
- Thai Foot Massage
- Tinting - Lash and Brow
- Warm Waxing
- Aromatherapy - Blending of Essential Oils
- Stress Management
- Gel Nail Enhancements
- Holistic Nutritional Therapy
- Colour Therapy
- Hand Reflexology
- Indian Head Facial Massage
- Eyelash Extensions
- Maternity & Fertility Reflexology
- Providing Therapies for Clients with Cancer or other life limiting conditions
- Deep Tissue Massage
- Gel Polish
- Spray Tan
- Acupressure Massage
- Warm Bamboo Massage
- Skin Peels
- Bridal & Special event Make-Up
- Fashion & Photographic Make-Up
- Airbrush & Camouflage Make-Up
- Media, SFX and body art Make-Up
- EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulator) Treatments
- Galvanic Treatments
- Micro-Current Treatments
- Micro-dermabrasion Treatments
- High-Frequency Treatments
- Electrolysis Treatments
- Facial Acupressure
- Ear Piercing
- Lash Lift
- Nail Art
- Seated Back Massage
- Thai Hot Herbal Massage
- Advanced Aromatherapy
- Advanced Body Work
- Remedial Hot Stones
- Hot & Cold Stones
- Intimate Waxing
- Hot Stones Reflexology
- CK Brows
- Beautiful Brows
- Dry cupping therapy
- Acrylic (Sculpted) Nails
- Hot Waxing
- Life Coaching
- E File
AIT Accredited online courses include Baby Massage Instructor, CBT, Crystal Healing, Aromatherapy - Blending of Essential Oils, Reflexology, Hopi Ear Candling, Holistic Facial, Indian Head Massage, Oriental Face Massage, Oriental Hand Massage, Pregnancy Massage, Thai Foot Massage, Maternity and Fertility Reflexology, Hand Reflexology, Providing Therapies for Clients with Cancer or other life limiting conditions, Life Coaching, 24K Gold Facial, Brow Lamination, and Henna Brow.
Karen Ashton, owner of Holistic Therapies Training Academy, explains why the academy chose to have its courses accredited by AIT:
“AIT are widely known in the industry and offer competitive prices for insurance and membership. Many of our students have chosen them for both student and therapist insurance. We like to position ourselves in the industry to offer recognised qualifications, and we feel that AIT are well recognised.
“[In addition], students can be confident that their qualification will be recognised for insurance once they have undertaken an AIT accredited course with us.
“We chose to offer them digitally as these fits in perfectly with our choice of online courses we currently offered, and it enabled us to continue with training services during lockdown.
“AIT have helped to promote our courses by listing us on their website as well as being featured in their online magazine.”