JCCP training complaint upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority


The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint against a cosmetic training company in the North West of England following an intervention from the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP).


A post on Facebook from the training company concerned promoted a training course called “Pathway to Aesthetics” which was said to be “Fully Accredited.”  The cost of this short training course was just £299.  The ASA concluded that the ad was “likely to mislead” and that it breached the Committees of Advertising Practice Code.


The JCCP claimed the promotional post was misleading because it offered a training course for aesthetics procedures without making clear the nature, requirements or qualifications of the course.  The JCCP also argued that to suggest the course was “Fully Accredited” and that potential students would be “Fully Qualified” was also misleading.  The ASA agreed.


In upholding the complaint against the training company, the Advertising Standards Authority said the NHS “recommended that patients avoided practitioners who had only completed a short training course, due to potential complications and risk.”  The ASA also noted that the NHS “advised patients that they could check if professionals offering cosmetic procedures were listed on a voluntary register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority, including the Joint Council of Cosmetic Practitioners.” 


The ASA also said that “while we acknowledged that CPD training was a widely recognised form of ongoing professional development and training, we understood that there was a distinct difference between a CPD certificate and a recognised qualification. We understood that CPD training sat outside of the qualifications framework and could not offer recognised qualifications, such as a National Vocational Qualification.”


The ASA finding went on, “Prospective students would have understood from the ad that they would be “FULLY QUALIFIED” after completing the course, but in fact the course was designed as an introduction to the topic, and further training and experience would be expected to be completed in order to work independently.  Also, because the ad made reference to achieving a qualification, when in fact students would receive a CPD certificate, and not a recognised qualification, we concluded that it was likely to mislead.”


The aesthetics training company has now been warned to ensure that it does not imply that courses it offers provide people with recognised qualifications if that is not the case.


Prof. David Sines, the chair of JCCP said:


“Cases like this underline the urgent need for better regulation in the non-surgical cosmetic treatments sector.  The government has just concluded a national consultation on the introduction of a new licensing scheme that will ensure people who administer cosmetic procedures are properly experienced, trained and qualified, have the necessary insurance cover and operate from premises that are clean, hygienic and suitably licensed.”


This ASA ruling represents an explicit distinction between fully endorsed aesthetics qualifications and short CPD courses.  The new proposed licensing scheme cannot be implemented quickly enough if we are to improve consumer safety and reduce the risk of injury and harm arising from inadequate training and ‘botched’ cosmetic treatments.”


Dawn Knight, a JCCP Trustee who works on complaints said:


“Over the past six months the JCCP has received almost 50 complaints about aesthetic training providers.  We have seen an increase in false claims that advertised training qualifications will offer a satisfactory response to the new, proposed licensing scheme and some advertisers openly encouraging students to take advantage of the current lack of regulation. 


“We have also received complaints about poor hygiene in training premises and concerns over the use of unlicenced – and in some cases counterfeit – products being used.  It is essential that we crack down on misleading advertising and encourage consumers to use cosmetic practitioners who are on our official register which is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.”


The full ASA finding on this case can be found here…




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