There are so many aesthetics courses out there that it can sometimes be difficult to navigate your way through them. Whether you’re an aspiring aesthetic practitioner, or you’ve been doing aesthetics for a while, you’ve probably heard of the Level 7 in aesthetics. We have a cracking article on what a Level 7 course is here if you want some more details on that, but in this article, we chat with 3 brilliant aesthetic practitioners - Natalie Haswell, Dr Raquel Amado, and Charine Patel - to find out why they chose to do the Level 7, and what they feel it’s done for their careers.
Natalie Haswell, registered nurse and owner of Haswell Aesthetics
At what stage in your career did you decide to move into aesthetics?
It was around 2015 that I started thinking about an alternative career pathway in nursing. I’d always loved my roles within the NHS but never fully felt the job satisfaction I wanted, and had reached the highest clinical level I felt I could.
With my acute surgical, ENT, orthopaedic, community and primary care background, I thought it would be beneficial to try aesthetics and see what it was like, for education if nothing else. I felt I had sufficient experience and additional university training and qualifications to work as an independent prescribing, competent, clinician within aesthetic medicine. As they say, “if you don’t try, you never know.” I kept thinking about it on and off, and finally took the jump in 2016 and booked my foundation day at Harley Academy.
So, what made you choose the Level 7 aesthetics qualification?
I completed my foundation day with Harley Academy and was blown away by Dr Emily MacGregor’s passion, love for patient safety, competent practice and the motivation to train healthcare professionals to the highest standards. She was passionate about delivering not only excellent natural aesthetic results but also ensuring safe procedures with patient selection, especially with regards to mental health and psychological impacts.
Sounds like you were hooked from the start. What are some of the other reasons for choosing to do the Level 7 with Harley Academy above other training course providers?
Harley Academy made it clear that they treat patients holistically for their whole journey - from thorough consultation and assessment right through to review. Everything is scientifically based. On this day, I realised the complexities of aesthetic medicine were bigger than I had ever imagined, and if I was going to do it I wanted to do it right. From this day, a one-day course or weekend course here and there did not seem A) safe or B) appropriate. In nursing you would never work so isolated at this level of responsibility and accountability without being a band 7, 8 or above, so why, because it was private aesthetic medicine, should I try and take what felt like shortcuts? Patient safety and ethical practice should always come first. Specialist nurses in other areas of nursing do not do a one day course and this shouldn’t be any different. The lack of regulation also concerned me, so I wanted to ensure I received the best training at the highest level possible.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about doing a Level 7 qualification in aesthetics?
The Level 7 is expensive, but it’s worth it. If you do ten one-day courses over a few years, you may as well invest in a Level 7. With this qualification you get a supportive private aesthetics community that’s professional and helpful, continued learning opportunities, one-to-one training, and the chance to inject real patients. You also receive business support, invitations to events, networking opportunities and job opportunities.
What have you found the main benefits of studying to Level 7 in aesthetics to be?
The Level 7 in Injectables for Aesthetic Medicine is a regulated, accredited, government approved qualification, which is also equivalent to a masters degree. For me, the pros include confidence, competence, a supportive team and better job opportunities. Not only this, but I also think patients feel safer knowing that you’ve completed specialist training and invested in their safety to deliver safe and aesthetically pleasing results.
Dr Raquel Amado, owner of Skin and Medical Cosmetics
When did you decide you wanted to work in aesthetics?
I’ve always been the type of person that is always looking for a new challenge. After being a dentist for 10 years and doing a postgraduate course as well as other dentistry-related courses, I came across a weekend Botox and dermal fillers course. I’d always been interested in aesthetic medicine, so I decided to give it a go.
Interesting! And what were your main reasons for wanting to do a Level 7 in aesthetics?
After the weekend course in Botox and dermal fillers, I left knowing that I wanted to find out more but, at that point, I didn’t feel safe or ready to start a career in aesthetics. I wanted to learn how to treat the whole face as opposed to just the basics on lips and wrinkles. I wanted to become an expert in the field of aesthetics - someone patients could trust and get advice from instead of someone with a treatment menu. You can’t get that from a weekend course.
Why did you choose the Harley Academy Level 7 course?
On my search for a course to improve my dermal filler skills I found a midface master class at Harley Academy. I spent the day with Dr Tristan Mehta, learning about midface, and it was then that I discovered the Level 7. When I left that day I knew that I wanted to start my Level 7 with Harley Academy. Still today I remember the feeling I went home with. I was inspired and I knew I had found my passion.
I learnt in depth about anatomy, the ageing process, why we use certain techniques, and the safest way of doing so. I also felt the positive energy and amazing atmosphere between all the staff inside the academy. The one-to-one mentoring sessions are another thing that made me choose Harley Academy. These sessions are tailored specifically to your needs and you get to spend the day with one of the mentors and run a normal clinic setting. The fact that you can choose different mentors with different backgrounds makes the experience even more valuable because they all have different ways of working and you get practical tips from all of them.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about doing a Level 7 qualification?
I would highly recommend doing the Level 7. It's the only way of mastering this art and is the best way to make you competent, confident and safe to perform injectables.
What have been the main benefits of the Level 7 in aesthetics, for you?
The main advantage of doing the Level 7, for me, is becoming an expert and not just someone who does injectables. It allows you to build trust in your technique and learn from evidence-based medicine. It also allows you to be future-proof - the industry is making an effort to create awareness around making the level 7 mandatory so patients are treated safely.
Charine Patel, owner of Bisou Clinics
When did you decide a career in aesthetics was for you?
I decided 3 years into being a pharmacist that I wanted to further my degree and branch out into aesthetics. I have always been passionate about all things skincare and anti-aging, so aesthetics was a natural transition for me.
And what were your main reasons for doing the Level 7 aesthetics qualification?
When transitioning from a pharmacist into an aesthetician I wanted to ensure I had the maximum level of training I would need to be a confident and safe injector. Knowing that the Level 7 qualification in Injectables for Aesthetic Medicine is the only UK Government regulated qualification, the decision to complete this course was easy!
Which Level 7 course did you choose, and why?
I chose to complete the Level 7 course with PharmAesthetics UK. With it being only for pharmacists, I found their course specification would be tailored to the knowledge and understanding I already had. PharmAesthetics UK also hosts very useful webinars giving advice on all aspects of aesthetics, not solely on becoming a practitioner. They ensure you have the knowledge needed to open up a clinic. They give business advice as well as ensure you become a safe and confident aesthetician!
Having been there yourself, what advice would you give to anyone thinking about doing a Level 7 qualification in aesthetics?
If aesthetics is the route for you, I would highly recommend completing a Level 7 qualification as well as ensuring you are a prescriber. The Level 7 course will improve your anatomy knowledge and give you all the injecting practice you will need to feel more confident.
Make sure you take advantage of the hands-on injecting experience under the watchful eye of a doctor, as when the course is over it will only be you and the client.
Enjoy the process, don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions to ensure you have all the information you need to become a safe and successful aesthetic practitioner. Lastly, once the course has finished, make sure you still continue to develop your skills and knowledge by keeping up-to-date with aesthetics news and attending advanced courses. Remember, there is always development in the industry and it is continually changing!
What’s been the main advantage of doing the Level 7?
I definitely feel more confident when injecting, as I had plenty of hands-on experience throughout the course, under the supervision of a doctor. Prior to the course, my knowledge of facial anatomy and injecting were limited. Having had plenty of training on these aspects, I now feel super confident when in clinic. Having also been trained in the complications that can arise and how to overcome them, I feel more at ease.