Rachel Halling, Principal at Champneys College

Set within the spacious grounds of Champneys Resort, Tring in Hertfordhire, Champneys College offers unique training in beauty therapy. Founded in 1976 they are recognised as a leader in beauty therapy training in the UK, for producing high standards and beauty therapists with all-round professionalism.

Hair and Beauty Jobs talks to their Principal, Pam Clegg about why their trained aestheticians and therapists are able to take the most prestigious jobs going.

Q. Do you have a minimum criteria for accepting people?

We have a minimum age for recruiting students of 16, (students need to be 17 when sitting their CIDESCO exam). We ask that all students have at least 3 GCSE qualifications (Grade A to C) ideally including English and Science.

It is very important that prospective students show an enthusiasm and passion for helping and treating clients. Beauty Therapy is all about treating the Mind, Body and Soul.

Q. What is 'special' about the qualifications etc

Our eleven month, CIDESCO course covers every aspect of Beauty Therapy and is extremely comprehensive. The course is intensive but once qualified our students are highly employable in the UK and also 33 countries internationally.

Not only will our graduates leave with the coveted CIDESCO qualification but also the benefit of being trained by one of the countries leading beauty training centres. Also, as our College is situated within the grounds of Champneys Health Resort our students have the advantage of visiting and seeing first hand the environment they are working towards.

Q. What is unique about the methodology of your training?

The CIDESCO course covers all aspects of Beauty Therapy, however, we do not teach in a modula fashion but continuously cover all areas throughout the 11 months of training, which ensures that by the end of the course all students are proficient in all treatments.

The College is small and friendly and our pastoral side ensures students feel they can discuss any problems at any time be it work related or personal.

Q. What degree of commitment does Champneys offer?

We keep an eye on the beauty industry and the course content where necessary. As for our students, the Champneys philosophy is of a very high standard for therapists and we expect our students to acquire and maintain this standard throughout.

Q. Do your college students get to treat members etc

Yes, once the students have reached the required level of expertise, usually two to three months into their course, they will start to work on clients. This gives practical experience of all age groups and all skin and body types.

Q. Where do you recruit?

Our tutors have been with us for a number of years, many having originally been trained at the College. However, we do have applicants applying throughout the year knowing the standard and reputation the College is renowned for.

Q. How do you think teaching in this industry will evolve in the future?

Teaching beauty therapy is one third theory and two thirds practical. Whereas audio/visual aids may assist at the beginning of the course, there is no substitute for practical work on clients. As students are being trained as therapists we believe a hands on approach is all important.

Q. Does Champneys College offer 'post qualification' support?

Throughout the year we receive job vacancies of which we display for our students benefit and many of our students go to work within our Champneys Restorts and Champneys Day Spas. However, whereas our tutors will always offer encouragement and guidance to students we do not actually offer 'post qualification' support as we find 99% of graduates are already placed when they leave the College.

Q. What advise can you give for people when choosing a beauty school/college?

We advise that all prospective students look at various colleges, taking into consideration the qualifications the school/college have to offer, the pass rate of the college. size of their classes and general overall impression. The majority of students have come to us through word of mouth and the College's reputation. It has to feel right for you.

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