The Champneys College first opened its doors in 1976, which makes this its 40th year. Having established itself as one of the UK’s leading beauty colleges, Principal Rachel Halling discusses the philosophy that stands the College out from its rivals.
Champneys is the only health and wellbeing spa to have its own beauty college. That’s something to be proud of isn’t it?
We are very proud of our links to Champneys Health Resorts and being part of the Champneys group gives the college students an advantage over their peers. They use the Champneys skin and body ranges in their everyday treatments; they learn all the Champneys signature treatments and have a guaranteed one-week work placement at a Champneys resort or Day Spa. This gives them a full appreciation of the world of work. On top of that, we are the only college to guarantee a job for our graduating CIDESCO therapists.
The College has a fine reputation within the industry. But what is it that stands it out from the rest?
Champneys College graduates have the highest vocational qualification in beauty therapy; we ensure that when they leave us, they are industry ready and trained to the highest standard. The CIDESCO qualification ensures our students take some of the most prestigious jobs in the industry and is widely recognised worldwide.
If we can talk CIDESCO, the College is one of 11 accredited CIDESCO schools in the UK…
It is, and we are very proud of the links that have been forged with CIDESCO. The CIDESCO diploma is the world’s most prestigious qualification in aesthetics and beauty therapy and is recognised worldwide. Teaching ITEC level 2, 3 and 4 beauty therapy alongside CIDESCO provides recognisable and well establish qualifications in the industry. The courses are intensive and require a lot of dedication; but with three different routes to completion it can be worked around a selection of lifestyles. We plan to continue delivering CIDESCO whilst advancing the other content by adding other recognisable qualifications as new developments occur. Taking into account the ambitions of our graduates, Champneys College has recently added Diplomas in Teaching and Spa management to the list of courses on offer. There will be more courses added to support continuing professional development after students start their careers.
And for parents of prospective students, why would you recommend the Champneys College?
Our reputation is renowned within the beauty industry and we strive to maintain the high standards that have been set. We ensure that our therapists are trained to be the best that they can be. This is reflected in our 100 per cent pass rates for ITEC and CIDESCO qualifications. We give students the platform to develop and create great career prospects for our graduates – they are only limited by their own ambitions.
It’s a landmark year for the College, we’re talking about 40 years of experience and expertise…
The values, philosophies and ethos of the College have been maintained by each serving Principal over the past 40 years. Champneys College graduates continue to be sought after by employers and go on to have prosperous and long lasting careers.
Indeed, in fact alumni hold key positions at Vogue, Estee Lauder and Elemis to name but a few. You even have a former student working with Beyoncé…
Champneys College produces ‘thinking therapists’ and as such they go to become managers, salon owners, product trainers, product developers, personal therapists to the rich and famous, beauty journalists, teachers and even College Principals.
Which leads us nicely into your own career path. As a former student yourself, how important is it to have that connection to the past?
My initial training as a Champneys student instilled in me a professional code of ethics and high standards. I have spent my career either as a therapist, salon owner, examiner or head of department; but whatever I have done I have always upheld those morals and values. They are a core part of everything I do which is why the College continues to produce quality therapists with great career prospects.
Part of the College’s 40th anniversary celebrations include connecting with alumni. If any are reading this, how should they get in touch?
We’d love to hear from some of the former students and graduates, we want to know how their careers have evolved since leaving. While we are in touch with quite a few, naturally, there are some that we have lost touch with. But each and every one of them is part of the College’s fabric and we would love to reconnect. If they are reading this, then they should drop us a message at College@champneys.com. It would be great to hear from them.