How to make CPD Work for Your Beauty Career

Either way CPD is a must in your career should you wish to stand out from other salons/ therapists!

What is CPD

CPD stands for continuing professional development and covers a vast array of things. Basically it is any form of study that you undertake once you have qualified from your main skill area. I.e. you have your Level 2 Beauty qualification that includes, facials, lash and brow treatments and manicure/pedicure, but work have put you on product knowledge training.

Or your manicure/ pedicure training is being up-skilled to gel varnish or nail art. Perhaps you have done your level 3 qualification which includes Swedish body massage but you have decided to invest in a deep tissue massage course. You get the picture. What you might not be aware of is that CPD also covers things like reading a relevant industry magazine /article, watching a training video, or practising a new skill on a work colleague prior to rolling it out on the salon floor.


With our industry not yet regulated CPD is seen as a benchmark of quality, not only by employers but by potential clients.

You may find industry governing bodies such as the Federation of Holistic therapists making CPD compulsory if you wish to be a member these days. It was initially a bit of a talking point for therapists who didn’t do lots of therapy and were not sure if investing in a further study mode would be warranted financially.

As time has gone on I’m sure that the majority of therapists putting out quality work are covering CPD points easily through employed work.  For self-employed therapists it would be a case of reading a few industry related articles and evaluating them or a day or two on a practical course.

The FHT currently ask that you have around 10 CPD points per year gained. A one day course is usually certified around 5 points and reading an article is around 2 points so it wouldn’t take long to accrue the needed points to stay over the recommended CPD points per year.

You may wonder why you need to accrue points if you are not a member of a governing body as it isn’t yet compulsory but consider this…

Your client is happy enough with your standard manicure but they have a wedding coming up and they wanted something special. They visited another local salon that that performed a whole host of nail services that included amazing nail art, gel manicures, nail extensions and nail jewellery as well as natural manicures. The client opts for a simple gel varnish manicure as it states that it lasts 2/3 weeks (most do!).

After 2 weeks of glossy nails the client is thrilled with how well the varnish has lasted and realises how much money this could save them. Although not wanting to offend you they decide to carry on treatment at the new salon as we are in difficult times and the new salon seems really passionate about what they do. They have lots of exciting new offers, colours and the salon is really fresh, funky and clean; the staff are uber-friendly.....again you get the picture!

It is easy to become stagnant if you are a therapist with years of experience but our wonderful industry is ever changing, which is what draws our fabulous clients in in the first place. Besides there are always young, passionate, talented therapists fresh out of college with bundles of new skills just waiting for an employment opportunity.

On the flip-side, having experience is something you can’t buy so teaming this with up-skilling your craft could make you a stand out therapist in your area and beyond. So whether you are new to therapy or not you can see how CPD can help you!

These days clients are industry savvy and always looking for a new treatment to try, so it vital that you try new things to stay current. Answer their questions about different therapies, believe me you will be bombarded from nail art to massage to high tech facials. If you work in a hair and beauty salon also you will be missing out on commission, if you can’t “nail the sale” as you didn’t know about the latest hair, beauty product sweeping the shop floor!

Current trends CPD

I trained 20 years ago and although my training was thorough I would still be sitting in the corner of a hair salon treating my mature clients with the same nail colour every week or a bog standard facial that had no retail line and left me feeling there was more to my industry without CPD.

Over the years I have added literally dozens of treatments to my menu and had a fantastic time meeting equally passionate therapists and taking on board new ideas. Although I have masses of industry knowledge and teach regularly I still absolutely believe that I can learn new skills.

That is what makes this superb industry so exciting and ever growing in one of the worst financial times of recent years. The beauty industry is still growing rapidly and predicted figures see that there will be no slow down in the coming years.

People want to feel good about their self inside and out hence the massive rise in lashes, tanning, nails and spa. This is partly because of the whole celebrity interest but also because in hard financial times the leisure industry rises with the need for the feel good factor.    

People may have less money to spend but choose to spend it wisely hence the boom in special offer websites, giving junior therapists a great advantage in experience on the salon floor.

The anti ageing phenomenon is also still rising fast and where once this was seen as specialist salons are now expected to offer high tech facials such as microdermabrasion or micro current lifting facials. 

There is a new generation of people who have worked hard and have a decent income from their careers. They have money to spend on luxury items just as there is a generation of younger people on a budget who still want a salon professional treatment, hence the offer side of businesses doing so well these days.

In conclusion

There doesn’t have to be masses of expense in CPD; we know that there are professional training DVD’s, industry publications and product house manuals to study as well as practical training to be had. Competition is fierce amongst training providers so there are often deals to be done. Liaise with your employer and see if in-house training can be done or if several therapists go at once would a discount apply. Your employer will appreciate your passion! If you are self-employed sign up to newsletters informing you of last minute training place offers and stay CURRENT!

If you are passionate and dedicated about nails, stretch to nail art and gels. If you are holistic then be above average with deep tissue massage, hot stones and reflex at your fingertips. For those of you serious about skincare go the extra mile to be knowledgeable about skincare from the inside out and how your salons new “ultra” machine can benefit your client looking for results. If you love lashes then look at semi-permanent mascara, lash perming, party lashes/ lash extensions and threading as well as tinting and shaping. The list is endless - how exciting!!

Invest in yourself and it will pay off for all - you, your staff and above all your clients. Happy training and continue being the best that you can be!

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