Blogs by Clinical Director of Cosmetic Courses, Mr Adrian Richards

Aesthetic medicine is a competitive industry. There’s always a new clinic behind you looking to poach your hard-won patients. Following these 8 tips is your best way to build a strong, resilient and profitable business.
1. Make customer service your first priority

If you’re committed to maximising your growth, great customer service is THE thing to get right. The best way to be a success in aesthetic medicine is to keep hold of your patients. But they’ll only stay loyal to a practice where they feel valued. And it’s easy to do. Just take care of the little things. Remember their name and other little details they’ve shared with you, ask them about their day – in short, let them know you appreciate them.

2. Develop a strong brand

What defines your practice? How do you want to position yourself? Are you a high-end practice with a great reputation for a particular treatment? A cutting-edge practice that’s ahead of the curve when it comes to innovations in aesthetic medicine? Or a high-volume, great value practice? You can’t be, and shouldn’t try to be, all things to all people. Really think about how you want to be perceived and where you can truly excel – and put it front and centre in all your marketing messages.

3. Display your credentials 

Trust is important in any industry, but even more so in aesthetic medicine, where people are putting their looks – and potentially lives – in your hands. Don’t underestimate the importance of reassurance. Your patients should never have cause to doubt your credentials.

Frame all relevant certificates and put them on walls where your patients will see them. If you need to, get good quality copies made so you can display them in every treatment room.

4. Keep learning – and let your patients know

Commit to ongoing professional development. You practice can always be better. And make sure to communicate any new knowledge, skills and experience you’ve gained with your patients. They’ll want to know that you’re passionate about aesthetic medicine. Mailshots sent out by email, press clippings in folders in the reception area, photos on the walls – use any way you can to let your patients know you’re committed to advancing your expertise for their benefit.

5. Communicate with your team

Regular staff meetings can be incredibly constructive – both for sharing new ideas and airing any issues. So if you don’t already do this, find the time. Also, every member of your team should know the most important details about your practice – including the professional backgrounds of all practitioners, how many treatments they’ve performed to date, etc.

Create a crib sheet of the most important details prospective patients are likely to ask, and keep a copy by every phone. A phone call is likely to be your first point of contact with a new patient, so giving them reassuring answers to their questions will go a long way.

6. Make first impressions count

Obeying good phone etiquette will help leave prospective patients with a good first impression. A helpful, well-informed receptionist who answers the phone by the third ring with a friendly voice and warm personality can be the difference between a booking and none. This is where your crib sheet will come in handy. Your receptionist can go the extra mile and share important details about your credentials that may persuade a potential patient to choose you over your competitors.

7. How can you WOW?

What’s the difference between a good business and a super-successful business? The ‘WOW factor’. You want to be in a different league to your competitors so you’re the obvious choice. Always be thinking of ways you can stand out. Providing you’re taking care of all the other important things, it doesn’t really matter in which area you wow, just as long as you do! It could be your decor, letting your patients bring in their own music, free products to take home – anything to make you, and the experience you offer your patients, different from the rest.

8. Run a tight ship – and keep an eye on the numbers

Efficiency is important, so as well as revenue you need to keep a close eye on your expenses. Unnecessary spending can cancel out your hard work attracting and retaining patients. Better knowledge will help you make better decisions. So measure all the key metrics of your business as regularly as you can:

  • Total revenues
  • Revenue streams broken down by treatments
  • Number of new patients
  • Average number of patients per day
  • Most popular treatment
  • Most profitable treatment
  • Percentage of revenues to overhead costs
  • Average spend per patient
  • Return of investment (ROI) for any promotional campaign
  • Patient waiting times
  • Average cost to attract/retain each patient

Getting to grips with this data will help you determine where best to spend your time, money and resources. It’ll also give you useful targets for improvement that you can share with your team.

Cosmetic Courses have offered accredited training courses in aesthetic medicine since 2002. For more information on any of our courses, please contact the team on 01844 318317 or email [email protected].

At Cosmetic Courses we continue to strive to offer the best for our delegates, ensuring our courses and qualifications leave you feeling confident and qualified. We are pleased to announce that our new VTCT OFQUAL regulated Level 7 Diploma in Injectables for Aesthetic Medicine now has JCCP approval.

What is the Level 7 Diploma in Injectables for Aesthetic Medicine?

The Level 7 Diploma in Injectables for Clinical Aesthetic Treatments is an VTCT awarded qualification. This competence based diploma is aimed at doctors, dentists, nurses and midwives who hold a current professional registration. It has been created in line with the HEE and JCCP guidelines relevant to the administration of Botulinum Toxin and Dermal Fillers.

The diploma will provide you with the relevant knowledge and practical skills to safely perform the following procedures independently:

  • The use of Botulinum Toxin to treat glabellar, frontalis and crow’s feet
  • The use of Botulinum Toxin to create a brow lift
  • The use of Dermal Fillers to treat nasolabial folds, marionette lines, oral commissures, lip augmentation and basic cheek augmentation

This Diploma is an industry-recognised qualification for both medical professionals considering a career in aesthetic medicine as well as those who are already practicing but are looking to obtain formal recognition for their knowledge and skills.

Who are the JCCP?

The JCCP (Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners) was developed to address the ongoing issues with the lack of regulation within the aesthetic industry. Working to bring awareness of safety within the surgical and non surgical sector through accredited qualifications and by educating patients in their practitioner choices.

What does it mean for the Level 7 to be JCCP accredited?

“There are many high-quality training providers working in non-surgical aesthetics however there are many who are offering sub-standard and unrecognized qualifications, supported by questionable accreditation routes and who are using misleading marketing tools to attract trainees.” – JCCP website on training providers.

At Cosmetic Courses we are proud of our JCCP accreditation as it means we have passed and met all requirements ensuring we are offering exceptional training for our delegates.

Our team have worked hard in ensuring our centres, support teams, trainers and qualifications meet all requirements to maintain the highest standards of education within the medical aesthetic industry.

The JCCP Education and Training Provider Register has been established to:

  • Enable Education and Training Providers in aesthetics to demonstrate ‘best practice’ in education and training provision.
  • Identify courses, programmes and qualifications that have been accredited by recognized awarding bodies.
  • Enable practitioners to clearly evaluate the value and status of education and training programmes on offer.
  • The JCCP has established strict entry requirements & premises standards for the Education and Training Provider Register

Talk to one of our dedicated Level 7 coordinators today to find out more about the diploma are available routes for you: 01844 390110 / [email protected]

This month the JCCP (Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners) released their 10 point plan for regulation within aesthetics. This plan details the steps we can make as an industry to ensure safety and regulation.

“Our ultimate aim is to create a safer environment for members of the public undergoing non-surgical treatments with mandated qualifications, premises criteria, insurance and many other steps relating to the sector and industry.” -JCCP Statement, March 2021

At Cosmetic Courses we support the JCCP in striving for a safer future within aesthetics, encouraging regulation and producing confident and qualified injectors.

JCCP 10-Point Plan:

1 Statutory Regulation

Seek and advise on statutory regulation for the non-surgical aesthetics and hair restoration sector.

2 Mandatory Education and Training Standards 

Government and education/training regulators in the UK to mandate specific qualifications, education and training requirements for specific modalities.

3 Clear, Transparent Information

Aesthetic service providers to clearly display simple, informative guides on all services provided including risks, benefits, costs, qualifications and insurance to members of the public.

4 Definition of Medical and Cosmetic Treatments

Work with Government agencies to clearly define in law what constitutes a ‘medical’, a ‘medically-related’ treatment and what is ‘cosmetic’ only.

5 Safe and Ethical Prescribing 

Implement robust standards and regulation for safe, ethical and professional prescribing within non-surgical aesthetics.

6 More Regulated Advertising and Social Media

Tighter controls and penalties on exaggerated, inaccurate and misleading advertising and social media posts in relation to aesthetic treatments, hair restoration and training.

7 National Complications Reporting

Introduce enhanced and co-ordinated processes for the reporting and analysis of adverse incidents at a national level.

8 Adequate Insurance Cover

Legislate all cosmetic non-surgical aesthetics and hair restoration surgical practitioners to hold robust and adequate indemnity insurance covering each service provided.

9 Licensing of Premises, Treatments and Practitioners

Set nationally agreed standards for licensing and regulating premises, treatments procedures and individuals.

10 Raising Consumer Awareness

Raise public awareness of the risks and benefits associated with non-surgical treatments and hair restoration surgery.

You can read the full document released by the JCCP by clicking here.

Adrian Richards, Medical Director of Cosmetic Courses, shares his advice on the importance of obtaining consent from patients when using images of them, and what it should include.

With the end of lockdown looming and plans to reopen hopefully fast approaching it’s time to make sure your aesthetic practice is prepared and ready for a successful 2021!

With 20 years of aesthetic experience our team wanted to share with you some top tips to help you thrive in this challenging time.

Cosmetic Courses Business Newsletter. We are planning to share our business insights into how to start and grow a clinic. We are looking to bring you a wealth of knowledge from our business partners including from Allergan, manufacturer of Botox, to Pabau and Consentz who are our partners for clinic systems.

What are the advantages of online learning online for you?  Whatever your level of expertise now is a brilliant time to up your skill level.  When the pandemic is over there will be an inevitable upsurge in people seeking treatment.  It is a great time to start your career in aesthetics or widen your treatment portfolio to help fulfil the forthcoming surge in demand.

Clinical Director Mr Adrian Richards and NIP Alison Telfer, Glass House Clinics, chat with Professor David Sines, chair of the JCCP. They delve deeper into what we should be expecting with our clinics reopening and what you can do to make sure you are putting yours and your patients safety at the forefront.

Clinical Director Mr Adrian Richards was joined by Ewan Colville of Sunstone Digital to discuss working with influencers. You can watch the video below and also see some of the mentioned highlights.

  • Assessing Influencers:
    • Use the free Uplfluence chrome extension to assess credibility of influencers you might want to work with. Quickly check their followers age & gender splits plus country of residency. Download Upluence Chrome Extension here
    • You can also assess influencers by simply eyeballing their profiles to check follower numbers, post quality and gauging typical follower engagement with their posts. And follow them with your brand and/or personal IG account to get a flavour of how they interact with followers.
    • Buzzstream is another tool you can use to discover and reach out to influencers. It’s possibly more suitable for brands than local clinics, but there is a free trial account you can sign up for and cancel down before you get charged
    • Nano-influencers have a following of 1-10K and they might be the best option for clinics with local catchments who want to engage local audiences. You might also find a nano-influencer can be persuaded to promote your clinic/treatments/products with in-kind benefits – like a free treatment
    • Beyond the harder-to-measure influencer KPIs like post reach and engagement stats, you can move your more trusted and proven influencers towards payment-by-results models that reward them per click (to your site from their IG posts) or per action on your site like enquiry (lead gen), attending an event or buying a product online with a discount code exclusive to the influencer.
  • More influencer marketing insights:
    • When your Instagram (or the IG profile of influencers you work with) hits 10K followers, this milestone unlocks extra privileges, the most significant being the swipe-up feature allowing you to embed a web link in an IG story/post.
    • Here’s a useful article on local influencer marketing
  • Your Business Instagram Account – some housekeeping:
    • As Adrian said, you want to verify your business Instagram account. This means IG recognises your profile as an authentic presence. Request IG’s verification badge (it’s a blue tick on your profile pic) by following these steps: https://help.instagram.com/369148866843923. If you’re using an individual Instagram profile to represent your business, then follow these steps instead (be prepared to upload proof of ID like driving licence or passport)
    • Use linktr.ee on your Instagram bio to neatly show multiple links to all your relevant platforms or landing pages. Linktr.ee occupies the link in your IG bio and opens up a modal with multiple links to your site, facebook, YouTube Channel, treatment landing pages etc. There’s a free version. Access here

View more live recordings like this here.

Are you a doctor, dentist or nurse considering a career in aesthetic medicine? Are you unsure of your options when it comes to training? In the ever-changing landscape of the thriving Aesthetics Industry and the advent of the Level 7 Qualification in Injectables for Aesthetic Medicine we understand that it’s not always easy to work out which training provider or route will best fit your requirements.

Therefore we have created this comprehensive guide on the Level 7 Qualifications which we hope will go some way to helping you decide how to approach your training needs. The guide covers the following:

  • What is a Level 7 Qualification in Injectables for Aesthetic Medicine?
  • What does the Level 7 Certificate consist of?
  • Is this Level 7 qualification a mandatory requirement to start practicing in aesthetics?
  • If it’s not mandatory can I just do a Foundation Course in Botox and Dermal Fillers and still practice?
  • How do I achieve a Level 7 Qualification?
  • Do Cosmetic Courses offer the Level 7 Certificate in Injectables for Aesthetic Medicine?
  • How does our Level 7 Certificate differ to those already on offer?
  • If you attend or have attended courses which aren’t Level 7 accredited will you have to start your training from scratch?
  • What’s next…?

If you have any other questions regarding the Level 7 Qualification please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

What is a Level 7 Qualification in Injectables for Aesthetic Medicine?

Firstly, what do we mean by ‘Level 7’? The ‘level’ of any qualification dictates the standard of knowledge, complexity and level of risk involved in performing a treatment.

Level 6 – Undergraduate degree in a medical discipline

Level 7 – Postgraduate degree                                                   

Following the PIP breast implant scandal in 2012 and the rapid growth of the non-surgical aesthetic industry, the Department of Health appointed Health Education England (HEE) to review and advise on the regulatory framework in the cosmetic industry. They worked closely with professional statutory regulators, Royal
Colleges and other stakeholders to conduct a review of the qualifications required for an individual to perform non-surgical cosmetic interventions. This included treatments of the 5 main modalities of aesthetic medicine including Botulinum Toxin Type A, Dermal Fillers, Chemical Peels, Microneedling amongst others. During this process they have also made recommendations on accreditation, qualifications and course delivery. These recommendations have been outlined in 2 reports that you can download here.

Up until this point, non-surgical cosmetic treatments have been highly unregulated. The introduction of a ‘Level 7 Qualification’ is a necessary movement towards a more standardised level of training for medical professionals considering a career in aesthetic medicine.

Health Education England has suggested that an appropriate level of training for Botox and Dermal Filler treatments is at a Level 7. Therefore if you have completed your undergraduate degree in a medical discipline and are currently registered with either the GMC, GDC or NMC you are able to attend a Level 7 postgraduate course in Botox and Dermal Filler treatments.

It is important to note that most established aesthetic training providers, including ourselves already follow these guidelines. Health Education England is simply supporting the standards that leading independent training providers have already set.

What does the Level 7 Certificate consist of?

The Level 7 Certificate involves a combination of online learning modules, observation sessions, practical hands-on teaching, mentoring sessions and assessments to provide you with 277 hours of learning. During the qualification you will cover the following 8 units:

  • Principles of History, Ethics and Law in Aesthetic Medicine
  • Principles of Treatment in Aesthetic Medicine
  • Principles of Cosmetic Psychology in Aesthetic Medicine
  • Principles of Dermatology in Aesthetic Medicine
  • Principles of Botulinum Toxin Use in Aesthetic Medicine
  • Practice of Botulinum Toxin Use in Aesthetic Medicine
  • Principles of Dermal Filler Use in Aesthetic Medicine
  • Practice of Dermal Filler User in Aesthetic Medicine

These units have been recommended to provide you with the relevant knowledge and skills to practice the following procedures independently:

  • The use of Botulinum Toxin to treat glabellar, frontalis and crow’s feet
  • The use of Botulinum Toxin to treat bunny lines
  • The use of Dermal Fillers to treat nasolabial folds, marionette lines, oral commissures, vermillion border, lip body and basic cheek augmentation

Is this Level 7 qualification a mandatory requirement to start practicing in aesthetics?

No. The Department of Health strongly support the recommendations that have been provided by HEE but are not in a position to make this a mandatory requirement nor are they looking to do this in the imminent future.

However, independent organisations such as the Joint Council of Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) are working towards achieving an industry standard whereby obtaining a Level 7 qualification is seen as the ‘norm’ for any medical professional considering an aesthetic career. To get to this point all key stakeholders, insurance providers as well as the general public will need to see holding a Level 7 qualification as a minimum requirement for providing these non-surgical treatments. How successful these independent organisations will be at reaching these industry standards remains unknown.

We go into this in more detail in our recent blog; Do I need to have a Level 7 Qualification in Injectables by 2018?

If it’s not mandatory can I just do a Foundation Course in Botox and Dermal Fillers and still practice?

Yes. If you are looking to start offering Botox and Dermal Fillers an introductory foundation course in Botox and Dermal Fillers remain an appropriate course to undertake to get you started. In fact the Foundation Course in Botox and Dermal Fillers makes up part of the Level 7 Qualification that we offer here at Cosmetic Courses.

Each of our training courses provides you with the fundamental knowledge, practical skills and business acumen to become a successful aesthetic practitioner.

Over the past 15 years we have trained 5000 delegates in a range of non-surgical aesthetic treatments, many of whom have gone on to build highly profitable practices. This is a testament to the quality of the training we provide.

Therefore, if you are considering a career in aesthetic medicine you have 2 options:

  • Complete individual courses which can later be combined to achieve credits towards your qualification in the future, should you feel the need to obtain one
  • Book the entire Level 7 Certificate in Injectables for Aesthetic Medicine and receive a discount for booking all courses together

We discuss later in this guide the options for aesthetic practitioners already working in the industry.

How do I achieve a Level 7 Qualification?

If you have decided the Level 7 Qualification is the appropriate choice for you then there are two routes to achieve the qualification, both of which have been recommended by HEE:

  1. Through a University offering a 3 year Postgraduate Degree in Aesthetic Medicine (approximately £9000)
  2. Through an Ofqual regulated qualification, developed by the regulated Awarding Body IQ , Level 7 Certificate in Injectables for Aesthetic Medicine via an independent training provider

Do Cosmetic Courses offer the Level 7 Certificate in Injectables for Aesthetic Medicine?

Yes. We have spent a long time working with key stakeholders in the industry to create and deliver a high quality training programme in order to ensure our delegates continue to receive the highest quality of teaching.

We have carefully considered our Level 7 Qualification, creating our own unique Ofqual regulated qualification, developed by the regulated Awarding Body IQ programme of learning that meets HEE requirements and has a strong focus on your hands-on practical learning.

Total amount of learning: 277 hours

Total amount of guided learning/practical experience: 59 hours (7 days of practical learning)

Our level 7 Qualification in Aesthetic Medicine will comprise of the following:

  • 6 x online modules
  • 1 x Foundation Botox and Dermal Filler Course               
  • 2 x 121 bespoke sessions
  • 2 x clinical observation days
  • Assessment

We have also used our 15 years of experience of setting up and developing a successful aesthetic skin clinic to add additional topics to the learning framework unique to Cosmetic Courses, which will enhance your learning experience and give you a greater chance of building a successful aesthetic practice.

How does our Level 7 Certificate differ to those already on offer?

Our Level 7 qualification stands out for a number of important reasons:

Practical learning on live models provided by us

Over the past 15 years our aim has always been to produce safe and competent aesthetic practitioners.

The most effective way of reaching this aim is through practical hands-on training on live models. Therefore our qualification framework has been adapted to ensure you receive a maximum amount of guided learning hours. You will see over 40 individual patient cases during your qualification, each one selected by our dedicated patient liaison team in order to provide you with cases covering a variety of gender, ages and skin types. This will provide you with an excellent understanding of the consultation, designing a treatment plan, managing your patients’ expectations, appropriate clinical technique and aftercare support.

15 years of top training experience

We have 15 years of experience in medical aesthetic teaching but what does that mean for you? It means we know exactly how to design and deliver a first class training programme and we understand what it takes to make you a successful aesthetic practitioner.

Tailored approach to your training

We were the first providers in the UK of bespoke aesthetic training in non-surgical techniques and we will bring this experience to our Level 7 Certificate in Injectables for Aesthetic Medicine. We have a team of dedicated training co-ordinators who will work with you to design a tailored practical training plan specific to your requirements in line with the HEE guidelines.

Our expert trainers with 113 years of experience

All training programmes are managed by our Clinical Director Consultant Plastic Surgeon Mr Adrian Richards. In 2014 Mr Richards was named as one of the world’s Top 100 Most Influential Cosmetic Doctors by international cosmetic surgery website RealSelf. He was also named ‘The Botox Expert’ in the Evening Standard‘s ‘Harley Street Heroes’ and is the author of best-selling textbook ‘Keynotes on Plastic Surgery’. This continued involvement in both the surgical and non-surgical cosmetic industry allows Mr Richards to produce up-to-date course programmes of the highest quality.

Mr Richards works with a handpicked team of expert aesthetic trainers including Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, ENT Surgeons, Aesthetic Doctors, Dentists and Nurses who have all excelled in their respective fields and have a combined experience of 113 years in the industry. Each of them are experts in their own discipline enabling us to bring you the highest quality of teaching that cannot be met by any other training provider in this field.

Award-winning provider

We have won multiple awards from My Face and Body to Best Independent Training Provider at The Aesthetics Awards – whilst also being highly commended for our work.

Partners with industry leaders

We understand that as medical professionals and those coming from the NHS you have a considerable amount of mandatory online training that you have to complete for your appraisals and re-validation. We don’t want you to have to sit through hours of mundane theory which in effect may not aid your success as an aesthetic practitioner.

Therefore we have created our own bespoke learning management system in partnership with the experts at Blank Canvas to deliver a truly unique learning experience. Gone are the days of endless papers, articles and words on the page, we have developed our system to meet a range of learning types with a combination of written, audio, visual and games to test your knowledge in a fun and inspiring way.

All of our courses are also recognised by the leading aesthetic insurance and pharmaceutical companies whilst also working with HEE.

Ongoing support and continuous feedback

Throughout your Level 7 Qualification you will receive continuous feedback on your learning as well as a direct contact to a member of our clinical and administrative team. This will provide you with business development, marketing and clinical support as you start building up your practice.

All inclusive and hassle-free

The cost of our qualification is all-inclusive which means there are no hidden costs along the way. From your online learning, practical hands-on, business support, clinical support, mentoring and assessment, everything is both organised and paid for in one go.

Dedicated clinical environment for training

All of our training courses are provided in either working hospitals or aesthetic clinics. This means you will train in fully functioning clinical rooms rather than artificial training environments.

Click here for our guide on what to look for in a Level 7 training provider.

If you attend or have attended courses which aren’t Level 7 accredited will you have to start your training from scratch?

No. Health Education England recognise that there are a significant number of highly experienced, qualified aesthetic practitioners already performing these treatments and understand that it would be unreasonable to suggest that you go back to basics and re-train.

If you are a delegate already practicing in the industry you will have the opportunity to be recognised for your prior learning. This means if you would like to be awarded with a Level 7 Certificate in Injectables for Aesthetic Medicine you can present a portfolio of patient cases and undertake any relevant online learning modules and assessments highlighting your level of knowledge and skills.

What’s next…?

Whichever route you go down whether it is individual training courses, the Level 7 Certificate, or a postgraduate degree via a University it is important to ask the following questions to your provider:

  • Who are your trainers – what is their background and experience in medical aesthetic teaching?
  • How much practical hands-on experience do you receive during your training and how much of this is on live patients?
  • Do they provide support for you during your aesthetic career – do they offer business support, clinical support or advanced level training?
  • Where are the courses held – is it a clinical environment?
  • How many practitioners have they trained to date? And where are they now?

By comparing the answers to these questions you will be able to make an informed decision on the right training provider for you.

If you would like to register your interest for our Level 7 Certificate in Injectables for Aesthetic Medicine, you can do so today by calling us on 01844 390110 or emailing us at [email protected].