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The Importance of Quality Training

17-Feb-2016

This article has been adapted from the February 2016 edition of the Society for Permanent Cosmetic Professionals (SPCP) Trainers Buzz. The SPCP is the leading Cosmetic Tattoo organisation and has worldwide membership. Val Glover-Hovan is the organisation's Chair of Education. For more information, please contact Cosmetic Tattoo Australia or go to the SPCP website - http://www.spcp.org/ 

There has recently been National media coverage about poor quality Cosmetic Tattoo treatments. Inadequate training will always lead to an increase in unacceptable results and unintended consequences. The predictable outcome is an increase in consumer complaints, which will inevitably lead to an increase in regulations and legislation, and possibly a limitation on the services Cosmetic Tattoo Professional’s can offer. As a Technician and Trainer of 30 years, I am increasingly worried by reports of other Technicians and businesses offering 1, 2 or 3-day short courses to people with no prior experience in Cosmetic Tattoo. Often, these courses will focus on only one area of Cosmetic Tattoo.

One particular skill which has become all the rage is Microblading (the SPCP calls it Microstroking). One only has to look on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to see the massive explosion of new artists promoting their work, training, and tools marketed as the magic device needed to produce the desired fine hairstrokes. The popularity of this procedure -- and anything related to it -- has dramatically increased the competition and demands for training in these techniques. It seems we now have people who have traditionally offered Eyebrow Styling and Eyelash Extensions looking at expanding their business by learning Microblading/Hairstrokes in one, two or three days with minimum financial outlay in order to capitalise on this trend (there are even those with no experience in any associated industry). Unfortunately, many of these ‘Technicians’ then go on to train others, often with less than six months of professional experience themselves and without having researched quality and ethical training programs. 

I have been shocked to hear of courses where students are not provided with instruction manuals or paperwork, and demonstrations are limited to a few strokes on a model before the students are expected to perform the work themselves. This approach to Cosmetic Tattoo training is totally unethical. Students cannot possibly receive an adequate level of training in such a short frame of time, and this places their clients and the reputation of the industry at risk. 

You may hear some Technicians dismiss my concerns by denying that Microblading requires as much training as other Cosmetic Tattoo treatments.  However, the skin is being penetrated and colour is being inserted into the skin. No matter what label you use to describe it, it is still a tattoo which will have a lasting impact upon a person's image. 

It should be understood that a two or three day course of study cannot properly prepare someone in these critical areas:
- Infection control; 
- Information about the skin including age, texture, and undertones; 
- Skin preparation;
- Color theory and pigment colour theory; 
- Eyebrow or other procedural design;
- Proper handling of equipment such as single-use, disposable Microblading handle and needle groupings;
- Full procedure demonstrations by an Instructor;
- Performance of an adequate number of hands-on procedures on practice medium, then on clients. 
- Paperwork and client documentation

It is tempting to choose a course which is short and ‘relatively inexpensive’, but it is important to consider a number of other factors: 
- Can the Trainer provide proof of experience, number of procedures   performed and continued education?
- What equipment and training resources are included in the cost of the course? 
- How much hands-on, practical experience is included in the course?
- Is there ongoing support and guidance once the course is completed? 
- Is the trainer/business a supplier of quality equipment? 
- How many students will there be in the course, and will you be supervised and guided by a person with extensive experience as a Technician and Trainer?

Cosmetic Tattoo Professionals have to make decisions which will have long-term impacts on other people. You can enhance a person's features, but with inadequate training you can disfigure them. There is also the risk of injury and infection. Making the investment to undertake a comprehensive, detailed Basic Training Course will give you the skills you need to perform treatments safely and with confidence. 

As the Education Chair and member of the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals, I ensure my Basic Training Course meets the high standard of the organisation. The SPCP has training requirements and guidelines for the Fundamental (Basic) Training required for anyone entering this profession. Technicians are required to teach a full 100 hours when teaching new Technicians. Techniques such as Microblading or Hair/feather strokes with a hand tool or machine can be included as part of the 100-hour Fundamental Training program. These techniques can only be taught in a course which is less than 100 hours if a student can provide proof of having completed fundamental Cosmetic Tattoo training.
You can view more information about Fundamental (Basic) Training requirements on the SPCP website at http://www.spcp.org/spcp-member-trainers/spcp_trainer_guidelines/


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