A successful career in the competitive field of medical aesthetics requires excellent training, good business decision-making and a patient-centred approach. The multitude of training options on offer can be confusing; getting into the detail of what a course will involve, the investment required and the likely return on any such investment is fundamental to making the right choice about your training and qualifications. Let’s look at some reasons why this qualification could be beneficial to your career.
The Level 7 Certificate & Employability
The Level 7 Certificate in Injectables in Aesthetic Medicine was the first nationally accredited and regulated qualification of its kind and was born out of the growing concern over poor regulation within the sector, as highlighted in the Keogh Report (2013) and subsequent HEE guidance (2015) . The Level 7 Certificate is OFQUAL-regulated , and delivered via Industry Qualifications, meaning that it is subject to rigorous external auditing and quality assurance measures. As such an aesthetic practitioner looking to obtain a nationally accredited, practical, post-graduate level qualification in injectables should consider carefully if the Level 7 Certificate may be the best option for them and their career.
The Level 7 Certificate involves building a verified treatment portfolio of 40 patients under expert supervision, which can be used as experiential evidence when applying for clinical roles in the industry. The theoretical material covered ranging from cosmetic psychology to dermatology, as well as the formalised and regulated assessment process (including an OSCE), will also hold practitioners in good stead when moving into practice either within the framework of another clinic, or independently.
Future-proofing Your Aesthetics Career
In addition, to obtaining a nationally recognised qualification, it is important to consider the current direction of travel within the UK towards greater regulation within the aesthetics industry. Complications are becoming more common, and there is growing awareness by both the public and by the government that the present situation surrounding injectables is untenable. Moves by authorities within the UK such as that taken by the Scottish Government to regulate non-healthcare professionals providing aesthetic treatments should be seen as a sign of things to come, with the current vacuum being filled by governments stepping in. Other areas of regulatory debate include the tightening of controls around the use of dermal fillers, with national media campaigns spearheaded by BAPRAS (British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgeons) and BAOMS (British Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons) . Indeed, this subject was debated in parliament only last year, with further consultations ongoing in government.
The direction of travel towards greater regulation means that aesthetic practitioners must look to regulated training options to future-proof their careers. Choosing a regulated qualification, which has been created in conjunction with the regulatory bodies involved in drafting HEE guidelines, means Level 7 Certificate holders will be best placed moving forward as the industry continues to expand.
Becoming a Competent Aesthetics Practitioner
The Level 7 Certificate is a post-graduate level qualification which, importantly, is hands-on, with real model patients. A large part of the course consists of mentorship training days, where delegates will be injecting patients in small groups under direct supervision of an expert aesthetic trainer. This level of practical experience in a supportive setting can be priceless for many practitioners starting out in this area and looking to move into independent practice with confidence.
Another advantage to undertaking a regulated qualification over many months, under the guidance of a Level 7 trainer, is that complications teaching can be covered in much greater detail. The recognition and management of serious complications, such as vascular occlusion due to dermal filler injection, must form a central part to the training of any new practitioner, with the safety of our patients the number one priority. Standardised theoretical content, multiple face-to-face training days and assessments designed to test this key area mean that practitioners are able to feel more confident upon independent practice following the Level 7 Certificate.
Detailed Theoretical Learning
The Level 7 Certificate is a comprehensive post-graduate level qualification involving over 120 hours of flexible self-directed study. The 8 modules covered as part of the qualification are:
1) Principles of History, Ethics and Law
2) Principles of Treatment
3) Principles of Cosmetic Psychology
4) Principles of Dermatology
5) Principles of Botulinum Toxin Use
6) Practice of Botulinum Toxin Use
7) Principles of Dermal Filler Use
8) Practice of Dermal Filler Use
As such, those practitioners undertaking the qualification will have a detailed and broad understanding of key principles underpinning safe and competent practice in medical aesthetics. Such a level of detail is impossible to obtain on one- or two-day courses. The main objective of any training should be to make practitioners feel confident and competent to move into independent practice. In addition to the Level 7 syllabus, theoretical understanding is tested via coursework assignments in the form of short answer questions (SAQs), ensuring there is a validated and regulated assessment to consolidate learning and understanding.
Level 7 Mentorship Scheme
Learning takes place as a process as opposed to an event. By undertaking an academically accredited qualification under guidance, you will be engaged in a prolonged learning process with both patients and your aesthetic mentor. The value of repeated face-to-face sessions to practice injecting and clinical skills is great, and being part of the Level 7 mentorship scheme gives you access to expert aesthetic injectors both during and after your period of study. Feedback can be actively sought, techniques can be practised, and repeated, and theoretical concepts can be discussed and debated at length. This creates a truly optimal environment for learning and training, providing the safety and reassurance of having an experienced aesthetic injector accompanying you at every step
Choosing the Level 7 Certificate in Injectables
Aesthetic medicine continues to offer exciting opportunities to healthcare professionals looking to diversify their skill set or start a completely new career. The training that practitioners undertake is fundamental in determining how successful this new career option is.
The quality of training provided varies wildly, and expensive courses with little in the form of national recognition, practical training or clinical mentorship may represent poor value for money, not to mention providing inadequate preparation for independent practice
Making the right choice early on will be both financially and professionally beneficial in the medium to long term, and with moves towards greater regulation afoot in the UK, choosing an OFQUAL-regulated and nationally accredited training option such as the Interface Aesthetics Level 7 Certificate in Injectableshas never been more important.