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How is Your Spa Quality?

Contact Author Melinda Taschetta-Millane June 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

Thank you for your inquiry. Please note that the author cannot provide individual medical advice. Also, if you have a customer service question, email customer service at

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In any business, quality is an essential character of success; but in today’s fast-paced, cutthroat world, are you able to find the time you need to devote to spa quality?

SpaQuality LLC, a company that provides quality management system standards, education, assessment and certification, has released a neat little self-assessment tool for spa owners, managers and directors to use to measure their quality systems. According to Julie Register, co-owner and managing director of operations for the company, “A spa quality system includes everything that a spa’s staff needs to know and do to safely, effectively and efficiently deliver treatments and services that consistently meet the needs of the spa’s clients. By using a quality system approach, the spa is positioned for long-term success. The following 20 questions are designed to help you determine if your spa’s quality system is complete.”

See how your spa rates:

  • 16–20: Your spa most likely has a robust quality system.
  • 10–15: Your spa has a quality system that needs improvement.
  • 9 or fewer: Your quality system may be putting your spa business at risk.

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Hopefully everyone scored a robust quality system, but if you are looking for suggestions on how to boost your number, visit for additional details on how you can improve that score.

Keys to survival

Quality and excellence in education are keys to survival in today’s spa environment. Think about your spa, and formulate a few new ideas about how you can keep yourself steps ahead of the competition.

Until next month,

Melinda Taschetta-Millane, Editor in Chief

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Spa Quality Assessment

Give yourself one point for every “Yes” and 0 for every “No” or “Don’t know” response.

1. Does the spa staff use the defined vision, mission and values on a daily basis?

2. Are the key processes of the spa business and operations, and their interactions defined?

3. Do you have a list of all of the documents and records required for the spa?

4. Does the spa staff have a way of knowing that all the documents they use are the most current?

5. Are the impacts on the entire system considered when changes are made?

6. Are regularly scheduled assessments of the key policies, processes and interactions done by spa staff?

7. Does the spa collect data on measurable objectives?

8. Does the spa evaluate key performance indicator (KPI) data on a regular basis?

9. Does the spa determine client-specific information regarding treatments and service requirements?

10. Are written policies, procedures and records of treatments and services maintained?

11. Are the requirements clearly communicated for managing a seamless client experience?

12. Is data collected to determine client perception?

13. Can you prove that the methods of sanitation used by the spa are effective in destroying biological organisms?

14. Are records maintained to demonstrate that maintenance was performed as planned?

15. Is inventory stock rotated to ensure that the first in is used first?

16. Is the waste of products and supplies monitored?

17. Are there processes in place to predict or anticipate problems?

18. Are there records of actions taken to eliminate problems?

19. Does the spa determine the effectiveness of actions taken to eliminate problems?

20. At least annually, does the top management evaluate both the effectiveness and efficiency of the spa business—more extensively than just financials?

Hubert Lam Memorial Scholarship

As many of you know, the late Hubert Lam was a lifelong advocate of continuing education in the field of esthetics. After his sudden death in 2008, his widow Pat and daughter Lara, owners of Skin Care Consultants, created the Hubert Lam Memorial Scholarship in loving memory in order to keep his mission to educate the spa industry on the forefront. We had an overwhelming number of applications submitted for this scholarship, and thank all who entered their essays about why postgraduate education is so important for personal growth in the esthetic industry.

I am pleased to announce that the winner of this scholarship is Rachel Bradshaw of Haiku, Hawaii. Pat and Lara will acknowledge Rachel at Face & Body Northern California’s Networking Luncheon on July 17 in San Jose, California. Her scholarship includes admission to the Face & Body Northern California 2010 Advanced Education Conference Program andNetworking Events, as well as the two-day expo hall and Supplier Classes, plus $500 toward travel expenses to the show July 17–19, 2010.We invite you to read Rachel’s winning essay, which is a sidebar to this month’s Reflections column.


Lam Scholarship Winning Essay

Following is the winning essay for the Hubert Lam Memorial Scholarship, submitted by Rachel Bradshaw of Haiku, Hawaii.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, estheticians held about 30,000 jobs in 2004, and esthetics employment is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2014. While many of these estheticians represent the very heartbeat of the skin care industry who are lifelong learners, there are thousands others who are stagnant in their careers due to lack of time, ambition or money. It is important that we overcome anything hindering us from acquiring more knowledge in the esthetics industry for reasons of personal growth and professional success.

By acquiring more knowledge, we will help ourselves achieve personal growth. Personal growth will be achieved because the more education and training we have, and the increased awareness and skills we develop. We are able to believe in ourselves and our potential when we attain more information and understanding. With confidence and knowledge, we produce the results that both our clients and we want. When we solve a client’s problem that they might have been struggling with for quite some time, they are forever grateful and it is very emotionally rewarding. The personal satisfaction that is received from being able to heal acne, improve signs of aging, or simply helping a client to de-stress is personally fulfilling and invaluable. The best way to be able to deliver these results is to keep up to date on the latest technology, research and theories about effective skin care and corrective treatments through postgraduate education.

Professional success goes hand in hand with post-graduate education. Skin care is a multibillion dollar industry in which professionals have limitless earning potential. The key that divides the profitable and successful estheticians from the unprofitable and unsuccessful is staying educated on new treatments, procedures, and products. When we are educated on the latest advances being introduced into the market it can mean the difference of thousands of dollars in our businesses. It is wonderful that there is increased awareness, advances, and demand for skin care, however it comes with a lot of competition from other estheticians. It is crucial to stay at the forefront in new technologies and education so that we can keep an edge on our competitors. Clients will go to estheticians who take great care of their skin and face, and offer the very best services. In addition, with more education comes more employment opportunities, higher pay, and more respect from clients as well as peers in the industry. Certain careers as an esthetician require advanced education; such as working for a doctor, cruise line, or representatives of skin care lines. If we want others to take us seriously as professionals in the esthetic industry, we need to be life-long learners and true experts in our field.

Personally, I feel that postgraduation education is what it will take for me to become an excellent esthetician. I am currently taking a massage therapy course to prepare me for the CIDESCO exam. As a CIDESCO diplomat I will have the world's most reputable international qualification in the field of esthetics. Continuing education comes at a price, but I know that my investments will pay off.

In conclusion, fellow estheticians, we have choices. We can choose to be stagnant, unconcerned, delay post-graduate education, and work as mediocre estheticians. Or we can choose to learn, develop our skills, improve our awareness, and master our trade. I hope that you will make the choice to continue your education, achieve personal growth and success, and become an expert in the esthetic industry!

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