from Marian Newman, BEM
 
The nail industry is unregulated. Indeed the beauty industry, in general, is unregulated! It is largely unlicensed too.
 
Many individuals, brands and industry bodies have called for regulation. The Government will not provide regulation as it believes industry sectors need to be self regulating first. Those sectors that do a good job at self regulation get a lot more support from the Government than those that aren’t!
 
My personal stance is that, it has always been clear that some level of regulation is needed and never more than now after the challenges we have had to face in 2020! However, I also believe in ‘be careful what you wish for!’ Any form of regulation or licensing needs to represent the nail sector, be sustainable, accessible, supportable and sensible.
 

So where is the sector right now?
 

Globally, it is in ‘disarray’. The UK is a good example of this ‘disarray’!
 
  • Allergies are on the increase
  • Cheap imports have been proved to be one of the main causes, in particular, where the SDS (or the outdated MSDS provided) are not truthful in their information
  • Allergy testing for specific ingredients has a massive wait time
  • Some brands are not taking responsibility for what they are selling, if they even understand what they are selling!
  • ‘Professional’ products are available to anyone via the internet
  • DIY learning is available on the internet
  • The ‘accreditation process’ is allowing ‘not fit for purpose’ training courses while giving the same stamp of approval to excellent courses so how can those new to the industry distinguish between the two?
  • Entry to, what should be, a professional industry has no clear path
  • The basic knowledge and understanding is, so often, missed out and, if it isn’t, students are not tested.
  • Courses that even require practical learning are not required to provide case studies bearing in mind that every individual client is different.
  • Maintenance in enhancements and UV GP is not covered so often. 5 hours ‘learning’ results in ‘fully qualified’
  • A huge percentage of nail professionals are individual ‘businesses’ but no teaching on running a business is provided in many instances

Need I go on? Many are aware of the ‘story’.

 

 

If we continue in this way will we have a nail industry in 10 years? Or even 5 years?

 

 
The higher levels of who governs our country are aware of the situation and so are the ‘enforcement agencies’. Several projects are underway to address this situation. We need to be recognised as a professional career and with a ‘higher skill level’. Not a sector of hobbyists and DIY’ers charging people money for sub standard services.  It has been noted during many meetings of the ‘task force’ dealing with this pandemic that the nail industry is under-represented. There are many great associations for hair and beauty but they put little or no focus on ‘us’.  These many issues ARE going to be addressed in 2021. Issues such as ‘regulation’, ‘licensing’, minimum education requirements. There is an Act of Parliament under review at the moment that will address a lot of these next year.
 

Here is where The Federation of Nail Professionals comes in. 
It has been incorporated (as a ‘not for profit’ organisation) that will have ‘front line’ access to these discussions and conversations.  Without us, the discussions and decisions WILL happen.  Do we want to be left out of this?? If we are then we will get diluted into ‘beauty’ and have NO say in what is right and appropriate for us!  As a sector, can we be happy with this? Surely, the answer is a resounding NO!!
 
The FNP has been created by a small group of passionate people. We have donated our time (and in several cases, finances) to get this initiative up and running before we have asked for Membership subscriptions. (Tough call!)

Before we launched (inviting Supporters only as a membership that is FOC but will have limited access to the website), we received the support and the start of amazing collaborative projects with Habia (the only ‘authority regulated by Government and THE standards setting body), the British Beauty Council (the innovative Council for the whole sector that is and continues to address ALL the major issues of the wider sector) and BABTAC (one of the most successful associations in the sector that is aligned with CIBTAC).
 

There is also a new affiliation to be announced shortly that will bring us into the essential ‘Act of Parliament’ discussions regarding regulations. It is now ‘hair, nails and beauty’ when it has NEVER been before! In so many areas the nail sector has not been recognised as separate from ‘beauty’! Amazing but true.
 
The full Membership for The FNP will be launched in early 2021 when we are confident we have got it RIGHT!!
 

We cannot survive without Membership subscriptions. (I will do another post to explain where subscriptions will be spent so you can see our Company ethos). 
We are not going to launch the full Membership with any major sponsorship from brands as this can change the ethos! ‘Deep pocket’ accusations, answerable to specific brands and losing our goals and mission are some of the reasons we have decided on this step.
 
 

It is YOUR voice that is needed! We need to hear from YOU! The Members. The essence of what this industry is. The ‘foundation’ of this industry i.e the Educators which is why we have created the Licence to Teach initiative. Ground breaking as we can’t fight the ‘not fit for purpose’ training courses but we CAN support, elevate and embrace the GREAT teachers that make this industry what it SHOULD be!
 

When we launch our Membership, please consider joining. We have kept the fees low but the criteria quite strict! We need to ‘elevate’ NOT dumb down.
 
Just remember, these decisions that will affect us all WILL happen. The FNP needs to be there with YOUR voice!
 

The Founding Board Members have give their all for the love of our industry. We will soon be inviting equally passionate people to our Advisory Board so we can fill up the gaps in our knowledge and skill set. 
We are in a position to change history for the ‘professional nail industry’ and make it a true career with clear pathways, routes and goals and provide the blueprint for the future so we do, actually, have a future!  We need your Membership and we will invite brands and suppliers to help support us with a minimal investment that will ensure our collective ‘voice’ is heard and major decisions will not made in our absence! 
 

Please support us. Keep an eye open for an article that explains where funds will be spent. Next year we will need more volunteers to help elevate this industry and promote its safety and degree of care to the consumer.

We have everything to gain and nothing to lose!
 
Marian Newman, BEM
Chair
 
#jointhefeds at www.the-fnp.com
Complete the nail industry census https://the-fnp.com/survey/