Posted: 3 years ago
Category: Career Insider

Skills: The Online Spa Management Academy's 'Virtual Classrooms'

Spa Education Academy, launched by Kathryn Dowthwaite-Blay MA, set out to offer a solution to the spa management skills gap highlighted by the GWI back in 2012.

‘Frankly we still have a lot of work to do’ states Kathryn. ‘There are a lack of available and accessible spa management qualifications, not all spa professionals can study full time at university with time and monetary constraints, however many want a higher level qualification that is rigorous, academic, recognised and highly regarded - not just a training course’. The accredited qualifications by ITEC and CIBTAC are designed to be studied around work and lifestyle commitments online.

Kathryn says ‘People want higher level qualifications to back up their experience and assist them in their careers, with more job descriptions mentioning degree level qualifications as desirable or mandatory. Most of my students are already well established professionals, most are already spa managers but want the higher education underpinning and are just eager to learn more. Although, not all students aspire directly to spa management, many see the potential opportunities that a higher education management qualification can bring to many roles in the spa and wellness industry where the transferable skills can be applied.

I have spa managers, recruiters, training managers, recreation managers and business development managers in my current cohorts, my students are all over the world too, so they learn not only from the content which is basically a business/management qualification contextualised and applied to the spa and wellness industry, students also learn from one another. Presently we have students studying in St Kitts, Dubai, Maldives, Mauritius, Scotland, Ireland, England etc!’

How it works...

The online Spa Management qualification is delivered through virtual classroom sessions once per month, where students are part of a live team, sharing knowledge and experience utilising technology, which in itself is a valuable skill for any spa and wellness professional, After all we need to be technologically savvy in our competitive world. Spa management students carry out independent learning through a virtual learning platform and complete 7 sessions, over 7 months, completing 7 assignments, with virtual mentorship and regular live feedback and interaction with Kathryn.

‘When a spa manager finds themselves in the board room with the Finance Director, HR Director, GM and so on they all have degrees, this higher education Level 4 course is the equivalent level to the first year of university and allows the students to learn to academically communicate, research, write and talk the talk with their peers, using evidence to back up and justify their arguments and strategies and to feel confident whilst learning about phenomenon’s such as the wellness movement, students learn more than the curriculum with us, they have access to social media, networking, CV building, recruiters and get to know brands and important players such as the GWI’.

Businesses are now investing more in workplace wellbeing and are aware of the recruitment crisis we face as the spa industry grows Kathryn states ‘We have around a third of our students who are funded or part-funded by their employers. Spa operators want to invest in the future of their business by giving their staff a qualification, it assists with recruitment, retention, motivation and return on investment, employees are happy they are developing so their well-being and productivity are improved’.

Spa Education Academy was developed because of a gap in the market ‘I wanted to use my passion and experience teaching spa management and my Masters qualification, giving others the opportunity to gain spa management qualifications that are accessible is my mantra. Qualifications are accessible because they are competitively priced at £1,350 and payable in instalments and can be studied from anywhere as long as you have a laptop computer and the internet your learning!’

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