Many people assume that all image consultants who claim to be ‘certified’ in the image consulting profession, have basically the same credentials and the same level of expertise. Although it may seem like the term Certified Image Consultant and the term Certified Image Professional are interchangeable, this is not the case.
The term Certified Image Consultant generally means that the image consultant has taken an image consulting train the trainer course or a training program offered by a school and has received a certificate indicating that they have achieved the learning outcomes. Although many image consulting training schools have high educational standards, this is only one step in becoming a high level image industry professional.
The term Certified Image Professional (CIP) is a certification designation that may be applied for through the Association of Image Consultant International (AICI). It identifies a high level of experience and quality of services rendered by Image Consultants who have met the education and professional experience qualifications and maintain high standards of professional conduct required to apply for and be accepted for this certification designation. Those consultants with an AICI Certified Image Professional ‘AICI CIP’ certification are committed to a strict code of ethics and are the only image consultants who have the right to call themselves AICI Certified Image Professionals (AICI CIP). In order to maintain their certification status they must show proof of ongoing continuing education in the AICI core competencies and renew their certification every three years.
There are many great reasons for hiring a high level professional image consultant. Some of the success my clients have benefited from include: getting a more satisfying job; feeling more confident in their interactions; loving the way they look and one client even told me that her husband was more amorous now then ever before. Inother words, as personal image professionals, we can help you look your best; act you’re best; and feel more confident – in business and in life.
However, since there are no formal industry standards or international governing regulations it is up to you to educate yourself about the qualifications and expectations of the consultant you hire. When shopping for your image consultant do your due dilligence. Before choosing you image consultant take a close look at their education, their experience and their credentials.