PMU Qualification versus Accreditation – What does it mean?

You might already know the answer to this, you might be too scared to ask or just don’t understand why you need to know or if you even want to.  We have you covered!

First, lets discuss the negativity that comes from talking about this subject.  Many people will dismiss the need for a qualification as money making, scare mongering, nonsense and the rest.  I will address each of these matters below.  We will get to that shortly, but before reading further, ask yourself this.  You go to a restaurant and the owners friend wrote a cleanliness certificate of approval to confirm that the owner was doing everything right because she once worked in a cafe and holds a hygiene certificate.   Would you feel comfortable with this level of inspection? Or, would you prefer a regulated governing body with stringent hygiene practices, protocols and rules with thorough inspections that the cafe paid thousands for to assure you of their safety.  These inspections are carried out by people who are inspected on their inspections to make sure they are immaculate?  Its a crude comparison but it does illustrate the expanse of difference between being given a certificate of accreditation versus an official regulated qualification. I am not saying that the cafe isn’t immaculate and the friend scrupulous, what I am saying is that there is no way to know or for them to be held accountable in a way that is formally recognised or that they have time served or are qualified to make these assertions.

Okay, lets talk about the points above –

Money Making – this one is nonsense! There is no other way to say it, yes you have to pay to have your level 4 qualification if it wasn’t included in your initial training, if you want it.  Do the centres make loads of money and is it a money making scheme? Absolutely not! It costs thousands to become an approved centre, lots of work and inspection and the ongoing costs are high.  This is not something approved centres take lightly to make a quick buck.  The workload for us is HUGE!  To deliver well and make it a great course we close our clinic to train, this along with your registration and certification is what’s being paid for.  Why do it? Because we want to be the very best we can be and offer the same to our students and to our clients and clients of students.  We want to set the benchmark and make people take pride in their work and practices.   For far too long, the industry has been complacent and it is unacceptable on many counts.

Scare Mongering – also nonsense.   The Permanent Makeup Industry WILL be regulated, it is coming and is already in place in many areas of the UK, its only a matter of time. What will this entail?  We don’t know is the answer.  What we do know is that the Level 4 Qualification is the highest available to us and that this is what is being asked for in the areas who have this implemented up and down the UK at this time.   It seems logical that this is what will continue and work its way into every council issuing licenses.  The question is do you want to be ahead of the game or not and be ready when it does come? No one is forcing you to do so, that’s the job of the councils.  So its not scare mongering, its information giving and presenting options.

Nonsense – I think we have covered this above.  If you want to choose the nonsense route, that’s entirely up to you of course. They said the same in all the Boroughs that now cant get a license without their level 4. Denial would be easier and we get that! No one wants to have to do more studying if they don’t have to.

Lets get to the question in hand.  Accreditation versus Qualification, what’s the difference? 

  • Level 4, that’s the term used and its simply to classify the qualification level you are studying.  This is where it can get confusing.   If you have a course named ‘Level 4’ it doesn’t mean it is a level 4 qualification.  Its very disingenuous marketing and it is designed to be that way.  Something called Level 4 that comes with accreditation, I’m sorry to say, means not very much at all.  It could be the best course on the planet but it still wont be enough if the regulations stipulate you have a regulated Level 4 Qualification.
  • If you want an official, stand up in court, Qualification that is at level 4 then that’s the Ofqual route, only regulated courses that carry the official levelling can issue you with a formal qualification, Anything else is a private certification (CPD, IPHM etc). CPD (continuous professional development) can be great, we are not dismissing this at all, but it is NOT the same as a qualification,  Think of it as your official qualification taking place at the University where you get your official printed and watermarked qualification in the post after being assessed and marked versus your evening class at the local hall with a hand signed certificate for attending.  Both have value and can have great content, but one is recognised and regulated and the other carries no regulation and no assessing or accountability,
  • Qualifications are regulated and this allows governing bodies to know that certain standards are being met and course content must contain a minimum amount of study/practice hours, knowledge and all the important areas are covered in depth. You have seen people on forums with unwrapped machines or no bed cover saying their trainer “didn’t cover that” right?  That would never happen in a regulated course from a reputable training academy. This means that there can be massive variations between the standards being taught.
  • The, possibly, most important element of all of this is that to be an approved training centre, your trainer must also hold the qualification they are training in as well as a teaching qualification,  For accredited courses, this is not a requirement for the most part.  They are unregulated and you have no guarantees.

I could go on but I think this about covers it.  Its a basic overview and I hope it helps.  At Dermica (I think this goes without saying) we are an Ofqual regulated Qualifi Approved Training Academy, the first in Scotland offering the Level 4 in Micropigmentation and very proud to be doing so. Safety and Standards must be better across the board and we hope we are setting the benchmark.

INFO: Many Level 4 Micropigmentation Courses only offer Brows, Lips and Liner as a package, we offer all individually as well as a collective if you don’t offer all areas. Please get in touch for more information.

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