Master Esthetic Washington State – Raising the Standard?
Last night, I had a chance to attend the Rules Hearing on the House Bill 1779 for the Esthetic License. It was held in Burlington and an opportunity for the public to give input on the rules that will govern the new licensure for esthetics and master esthetics. From a quick scan, there were probably 30 people in attendance from estheticians, medical spa owners, trainers, educators, schools, etc. I was proud to have five representatives from Evergreen there including me, three educator and a recent graduate who now owns a medical spa on the eastside. At the end of the evening, the one word that can describe our experience was ‘colorful.’
At this meeting, there were many viewpoints, some wanting stricter rules in hopes of elevating the standards for the industry, and others wanting more general rules to give estheticians more leeway on how to run their practices. There were some perspectives that I animatedly disagreed with and am sure that there were points that I brought up that were met with the same disagreement.
What is important to understand is that state laws are not about raising standards, rather they are providing minimum standards to protect public safety. The state agencies are focused on protecting the consumer’s well-being.
What does raise standards and elevate the industry are credentials and associations. There were discussions about using credentials such as certification through CIDESCO, NCEA and ITEC, a guideline to become this ‘Master Esthetician’ when we talked about reciprocity. One individual said it well at the meeting, and I am paraphrasing, ‘To become a Master Esthetician isn’t about a license, it’s about your experience, training, time in the field with your guests and patients. It takes years to truly be a Master Esthetician … the credentials help, but is not what makes you a ‘Master Esthetician’’
The rules that Master Estheticians will need to follow are a minimum requirement. Does it mean that because of these rules that no one will get hurt because of laser or medium depth peel from this point on? No. Does it mean that estheticians have a minimum understanding of laser or peels? Yes. What is that minimum? That’s what we are trying to figure out. That’s where we need you and your input.
I am going to share with you some of positions that were brought up last night by people at the meeting:
1. Estheticians should be required to complete continue education as a condition of licensure each year. If you don’t complete additional education, you don’t get re-licensed. [Currently, there is no requirement of such]
2. To have your training certified for grandfathering, you have to take it from a ‘credible’ company. [Define credible].
3. After grandfathering has lapse, an esthetician that has been working at a medical spa from another state that doesn’t have a two tiered licensed will have to go back to school for 450 hours to practice in Washington State or they can get their CIDESCO, ITEC or NCEA certification. [Even though they can show that they have been practicing safely for years].
Let me know if you agree or disagree with the above statements and why? Put in the comment section below.
The last rules hearing for public input is next Monday. I hope to see you there.
When: Monday, August 12, 2013 – 9:00 a.m.
Where: Department of Licensing
Conference Room 209
405 Black Lake Blvd SW
Olympia, WA 98502
There will be an Esthetician Workshop following the board meeting to discuss implementation of the new master esthetician endorsement that was passed earlier this year by the State Legislature