Home' Spa and Clinic : Volume 59 November 2014 Contents There was a huge
disconnect between what
industry needed and
what education colleges
S+C: What inspired you to take the Australian
aesthetics industry training to a whole new level?
In my first few months in the industry, I met with owners and
managers to listen to their needs. It soon became apparent that
there was a huge disconnect between what industry needed and
what education colleges were prov iding. This is when my passion
and new vision started to grow.
I learned that excellence in some skills, such as waxing and
retailing, was lacking, as were values-based attributes such as
customer serv ice, grace and deportment. I knew from my days
working at Bond University that these are areas that often
distinguish a superior employee from an average one. Hence, I
wanted to build on what we had already started at GCTA to address
the current needs of the industry so that our students would be
handpicked by leading industry employers, and that we would be
renowned for excellence in all areas of training.
So I set out to create the holistic values-based training course
that we have now, based in part on the foundations of the Ritz
Carlton Hotels customer ser vice excellence framework.
S+C: What steps are
you taking to achieve
this new standard of
Our goal is bold – to become
the world’s premier beauty
academy. With this clear v ision
we started to meticulously seek
out and engage the best staff
from all over the world who
are committed to helping us
achieve this goal.
All along the way we have
consulted with industry. We
have held workshops and luncheons and sat behind more salon
and spa desks than we can count – just so that we can listen and
hear first-hand what is needed and how we can tailor what we do to
revolutionise the outcomes. It is all very practical for us; if we can’t
measure it then it is not worthwhile!
We developed a three-step plan to focus all staff towards this
1. Develop meaningful careers. We have an entire team dedicated
to building pathways for our students into meaningful careers.
We have set up some amazing relationships already for graduates
to work on cruise ships, in high quality resorts and hotels
and within some of the leading spas, salons and clinics in
Australia. Having said that, if a student’s primary goal is to have
a successful home-based business to support their family, or
work in a local friendly salon, this is equally as important to us.
We work to help as many students as possible realise their own
individual dreams from the first day they set foot in the academy.
2. Service excellence. Based on the foundations of the Ritz Carlton
customer serv ice excellence framework, the program teaches
and drives attitude and behaviour not just aptitude. Attitude is so
important to one’s success in life. It became our mission to develop
a values-based program encompassing grooming and presentation,
etiquette and manners, language and communication skills, ser vice
standards and work ethic. Even more importantly, it guides each
student’s inner journey to self-knowledge, conscious awareness and
genuine concern for the welfare of others.
3. Global expertise. We are committed in all we do to ensure that
our graduates have the latest and most relevant training from
all over the world, hence many of our educators have been
selected for their international experience. We also supplement
our students’ learning with guest speakers and industry experts
throughout the year to ensure that students are trained as much
by industry as they are by our teachers.
S+C: I hear so often that trained beauty graduates
are not work-ready, and that their skills don’t suit
the real world working environment. How will you
ensure the training experience is based on actual
This is exactly what we’ve been told too, and it is the main issue we
are determined to solve.
We pride ourselves on hav ing the most up -to-date and work-
ready graduates available in the industry. We do this by using
industry experts for sections of the classroom training. We also
have many hours of real
client practice built into the
classroom experience, and we
are proud of the purpose-built
that all our students train in
throughout their program.
The working salon is run
by industry experts who have
personally ow ned highly
successful aesthetics businesses
over the years. They share our
passion for cracking the secret
code that will give our students
the confidence and skills to work in a fast-paced and high- end
establishment straight out of the academy.
Within the working environment, the students’ retail and
customer ser vice skills are refined and improved as they practice
with real clients who come in and buy products and have skin
conditions and issues just as they would in any beauty aesthetics
business throughout the world. It is a fast-paced environment, and a
ver y powerful way for students to learn.
S+C: How important do you consider personal life
skills to higher level working environments, such
as 5-star hotels and resorts and sensitive medi and
Our Service Excellence Program is embedded in every part of
the training program and throughout ever y part of the academy
itself. The program enables us to teach personal life skills such as
presentation, language, deportment, self-awareness, manners and
grace. We believe these skills are crucial for success in many aspects
of daily life.
The unique program is designed to revolutionise training
in customer ser vice and finishing. Our students should be able
to easily walk into any 5 to 6-star resort or business and feel
comfortable in that environment because they have the tools and
finesse to be able to operate at that level of ser vice.
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