CIDESCO Nail Certification Debuts in the U.S.

CIDESCO education for nails has arrived in the U.S., and with it the opportunity to improve your knowledge and elevate your career.
CIDESCO education for nails has arrived in the U.S., and with it the opportunity to improve your knowledge and elevate your career.
Courtesy of Adobe Stock

Not many nail professionals in the United States may know about the CIDESCO diploma, but knowing this bit of information may lead to surprising news: CIDESCO education for nails has arrived in the U.S., and with it the opportunity to improve your knowledge and elevate your career.


The Comité International d’Esthétique et de Cosmétologie (CIDESCCO) is the most respected international beauty therapy education standards association. It was founded in 1946 in Switzerland, with a headquarters is in Zurich.

CIDESCO's focus is on higher education for beauty therapy professionals. The CIDESCO diploma signifies the examinee has passed all the courses offered in beauty therapy. This high-level diploma is recognized and respected in the beauty industry worldwide and is awarded in 150 countries. It is a prestigious designation for training programs, standards and qualifications in beauty and spa therapy programs containing skin care, massage therapy, manicuring, pedicuring, machines, makeup, electrology and epilation and more. Note that no hair training is included in beauty therapy because hair services are not offered alongside the other services in many locations around the world.

The beauty professionals who achieve this diploma are highly respected and sought after by exclusive spas, salons, resorts and cruise lines across the world for their training. Second-level certificates can be achieved in specialty courses, such as beauty & spa management, makeup, aromatherapy and epilation. Many high-end beauty facilities across the world, such as cruise ships and resorts, only hire CIDESCO diploma holders. Their expertise is solid, the owners believe, and they do not require advanced training beyond protocols when they are hired.

So, how do U.S. based beauty professionals acquire the CIDESCO diploma? They must take and pass the CIDESCO exam. However, the exam is difficult for US-trained professionals to pass unless they attend one of 12 approved CIDESCO schools in the United States.

Why is CIDESCO not more popular in the United States?

Many CIDESCO graduates will tell you it is not more popular in the United States because few beauty graduates in the U.S. qualify for taking the exam. This is because it requires skills in so many specialties that few attain. Those U.S. licensees that have these specialties are allowed to take the same exam as the CIDESCO graduates in other countries but are required to take a 5-day review prior to taking the exam as a suggestion of what they need to study for the exam. Most do not pass it the first time unless they take their training from one of the few approved CIDESCO schools in the United States. 

A New Certificate For Nails

By Rodica in Adobe StockWhen it comes to nail technology, the United States has always led the way across the world in developments beyond its core topics. Not only were the advanced technologies of this specialty first developed in the U.S., but the U.S. has also continued to excel above other countries in the development of individual products and services through the years. The U.S. is the major supplier of products, systems and protocols for nail professionals around the world. When CIDESCO first conceived the idea of adding a certificate for nails, of course, it made sense to pilot it with an initial launch in the United States.

Now, CIDESCO is seeking to offer an specialty certificate in Nail Technology in the United States that is to later be offered across the world. It is being written by US-based experts in the field.

Jan Arnold, co-founder of CND, was chosen by CIDESCO to chair the committee, and she asked several others to join her in the writing of the courses. Arnold chose these people for their expertise and their desire to upgrade the education of nail professionals far past current state requirements. All are volunteers to this project and believe passionately that nail professionals need more education to meet their highest potential for success in their profession.

Those authors are Doug Schoon (Schoon Scientific), Janet McCormick (Nailcare Academy) and Elaine Watson (Light Elegance). Several others graciously contributed and supported the writings, despite their heavy schedules, including Jim McConnell (Light Elegance) and Thong Vu (industry chemist).

This curriculum will first be offered in 2024 to licensed nail professionals as a post- graduate advanced program. Qualifications will be defined soon and will be published for currently licensed nail technicians. Qualifying nail schools can offer the program also as an elevated supplement after their state required curriculums to their students and graduates.

Certificate Subjects

The content of the course is advanced beyond the current textbooks, meeting the CIDESCO qualification to be relevant to the practice of the specialty in the field and beyond current education content. The CIDESCO Certificate Program focuses on fresh, updated and relevant information that today’s TRUE nail professional needs to become a highly successful nail technician.

“CIDESCO-certified nail professionals will have a higher level of information that will support a successful future for them,” says Watson.

Some chapters included are Careers in Professional Nails, The Business of Nails, All about Fingernails, All About Toes, Skin Care, Enhancements, Science and Chemistry of Nails and more, plus all the information needed within those topics.

The Future: CIDESCO Nail Professionals

The certification will be marketed to salons and spas to encourage preferential hiring for CIDESCO-trained nail professionals. This track to preferential hiring has been proven to be effective in the prior development of the CIDESCO Esthetics Certification for U.S. estheticians, and CIDESCO believes it will do the same for nail professionals. The esthetic certificate holders do not take an exam for the full CIDESCO Beauty Therapy Diploma but specialize in esthetics curricula and are awarded a CIDESCO Esthetics Certification after taking the exam. They enjoy preferential hiring status due to their passing of the CIDESCO skin care standards exam.

The CIDESCO nail professional certificate is focusing on the same benefit for its graduates. Then after this program is final, CIDESCO is going to add even higher-level courses to lift a certificate holders’ potential for success even higher. These courses will require the passing of the first-level certification course to prepare for the even more advanced training in the second-level courses. Each will offer a certificate in its topical specialty. The purchaser can choose to take none, one, two or all second-level courses as per their personal goals.

These two new advanced levels of education for our industry licensees fill in the blanks we all know are apparent in our training in the U.S. They also support us in gaining a higher level of respect for our profession from our employers and our clients. Information concerning this program will be available soon for those interested in this higher-level education.

About the Author: 

Janet McCormick is a 35-year beauty industry veteran as a licensed manicurist and a licensed esthetician. She earned a prestigious CIDESCO Diploma, and she is a sought-after trainer. She is the co-founder of Nailcare Academy and sits on the advisory board of Nailpro.

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