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As a salon owner and licensed manicurist, my perspective on the nail industry could not be more practical. While some may be offended by the opinions expressed, please understand that I want to share information and stimulate discussion. Whether you want your nails done or do nails professionally, I hope you find this blog both useful and interesting.

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Jaime Schrabeck, Ph.D.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Manicuring Curriculum: Change for the Better? Part 5

(This is the fifth and final part of an examination of proposed changes to California's manicuring curriculum.)

Business Education
The Board should know better than to merely recommend that "schools provide training in the area of communication skills that includes professional ethics, salesmanship, decorum, record keeping, client service record cards, basic tax responsibilities related to independent contractors, booth renters, employees, and employers." Unless the Board requires such subjects be taught AND includes these subjects in the licensing exam, the training will not happen.

The beauty industry is rife with unlicensed activity, tax fraud, false advertising and other violations of government regulations. Schools could alleviate these problems through business education. For example, schools could collaborate with the IRS and FTB to provide students with the most current information about tax law. Other government agencies could also be consulted: the EDD about employment law, OSHA about workplace safety, etc.

The Influence of the Licensing Exam

Proposing changes to the manicuring curriculum demands changes to the licensing exam also. The exam is just as inflexible, and probably even more responsible for "restricting students from being current on beauty trends and safety issues." The perception exists, and it's accurate, that there's the "school/state board way" to do nails, and that it has nothing to do with working in a salon. As long as schools and students perceive this disconnect, no one will take either the manicuring curriculum or the licensing exam seriously.
The existing curriculum does not restrict schools from being current; schools restrict themselves because they teach to an outdated exam, rather than prepare competent licensees.

Moreover, as long as "nail care" (300 hours) is considered distinct from "health and safety" (200 hours), students will dismiss the latter as unimportant when in fact it should inform everything they do. These are NOT separate subjects; schools should teach nail care procedures based on acceptable health and safety practices. To be very simplistic, "nail care" is what licensed manicurists do, and "health and safety" is how it must be done.

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