December 4, 2009
Stay relevant, urges expert

President of the Caribbean Spa and Wellness Association (CSWA) is calling on health and beauty therapists to become certified and stay current.{{more}}

“The Caribbean is the last frontier in terms of developing any kind of wellness in our environment. If we are looking to sell this industry to the rest of the world, we have to start thinking seriously at how the world will look at us.”

So says Steve Andrews, not only head of CSWA, but also the owner of one of the leading spa resorts in Barbados: Soothing Touch.

Speaking at the one day health and wellness expo at the Grenadines House on Saturday, Andrews said that professional certification is very important if persons expect to be paid accordingly for whatever service they provide; be it manicures, massages, facials or consultation.

He acknowledged that the standard of work in the region is high; but the problem of documentation is lacking, and this must be addressed.

“It is like everybody is doing their own thing; we are not sure who is what and who is doing what.”

“In any industry that you are part of and you are asking people to pay you, you should have a basic understanding in what you are doing, and this should be documented.”

“I’ve heard many horror stories about people going to train and when you ask them to provide – let’s say – a simple massage they don’t have a clue what it is; they just come and want to rub oil on you.”

The St. Vincent born Andrews pointed out that high standards can only be maintained if therapists continue to update and upgrade their training, and receive quality certification in the process if they want to project wellness to the international market.

He said that institutions in the region need to be developed for this purpose, or the creation of a system that offers refresher courses should be established.

“If we are trying to create a wellness industry and we want people to come with confidence, we have to have some form of structure; they will know we have confidence, training and facilities.”

“Standards and certification go hand in hand,” Andrews said.(JJ)