By Gina Buccilli

I like to think of myself as the consummate professional, passionate, artistic and very experienced. I do believe that real experience is usually a wealth of mistakes, time invested in problem solving, and understanding the benefit derived from these tribulations. After spending some thirteen years in this industry in different work capacities, I think I qualify as very experienced, as over the years Iíve made some amazing errors. I would like to take this opportunity to say that I have been very blessed with education from some remarkable people, but if you leave me alone long enough, I can always find new dilemmas worthy of investigation.

I thought it might be valuable to share the brief backgrounds of students who have come to me recently and in the past to embrace NVQ and their reasons for seeking out this qualification. Maybe then despite some of the misconception and speculation surrounding NVQ some of its uncertainty might be dispelled. 

There was a time not so long ago, and I now laughingly refer to this as my ďdark periodí because I was unhappy and ignorant of the real responsibilities of an expert qualified nail technician. I attended a programme of courses aimed at the beginner, very little was required from me as a student apart from prompt payment and attendance. The courses were very brief and each time I left I ended up feeling like I just wasnít made of the right stuff and nearly gave up my career due to an overwhelming feeling of inadequacy. At one point things became so bad I actually pretended to be sick so I didnít have to face a couple of clients. Thatís all changed now, my NVQ tutor gave me the skills and confidence to go out there and be the best, now I feel personally and professionally elevated and I love my work.

Iíve actually been offering nails services now for fifteen years, the kids are nearly grown up, and I just thought it might be nice to do something for me. I have to admit although initially it seemed like a good idea, it was also quite daunting the thought of studying at my age, but once I started I loved it. Sometimes I was surprised how much I knew already and other times it was nice to be fed something fresh. My overall experience of NVQ made my clients look at me with renewed respect and me appreciate myself as a professional as a consequence of completion I instigated a much deserved price increase.     

Originally the courses I attended were expensive and numerous kits and product sales were required to complete them. However, although I bought all the products I mostly worked with a gel system, as I found this the easiest to use. I felt like I had invested heavily in my education, but was getting little return for my considered outlay, until I attended an NVQ workshop. I was only ever confident in one medium, now I can use all systems and because NVQ is non product biased I retrained using existing, previously purchased redundant kit. I am now offering a full service menu, this always sets me apart from local competition and ensures I am always fully booked.  

I guess I simply just had something to prove to myself, unlike some qualifications this one cannot be bought it has to be earned. I suppose you might say I have had a somewhat privileged career, as soon as I finished training my father bought me a salon. Galvanized by my parents great belief in me, and the general success of my business I could potentially see myself sitting back resting on my laurels, but even more frightening the possibility I might become technically stagnant and out of date. NVQ offers workshops in many exciting areas including 3D design sculpture, airbrushing and photographic work, plenty of new and stimulating things to get your teeth into. 

I already own the old NVQ level 3 qualification that I picked up at college however I still felt the need to remain current. Compared to the present portfolio a lot of the material in the old one is very passť especially regarding H&S also new questions have been added so it was never just a case of copying material. The performance criteria this time around means you have to be competent in all three systems. I really enjoyed stretching myself a little further as a student and know I am offering a truly professional service. On completion of the new NVQ I know this time I will genuinely feel a great sense of pride and authentic achievement.

The NVQ process engages each student in a very personal and professional journey, each one is always very unique, but all share the same common goal of self improvement through education. As an Assessor I am allowed this interior experience and I have never witnessed a workshop where value has not been added to the learning forum. Not only does this qualification enable you to be a more rounded and complete professional, through personal growth, and career development it will help you gather momentum and gain new energy and pride in your work. Every candidate is awarded the same level of dignity and support, and each SAC Centre avidly upholds a commitment to Equal Opportunities Rights. All enquiries are welcome and Induction is free of charge.
There are lots of shells on the beach but very few pearls!!!!!!

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