Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About CIDESCO

The Comité International d'Esthétique et de Cosmétologie (International Committee of Aesthetics and Cosmetology), more commonly referred to as CIDESCO, is the world's most prestigious spa and beauty certification authority. Its mission is to create and defend high standards for beauty and spa therapy worldwide, advocate for esthetics, build a network of professionals, and create training locations that qualify students for earning CIDESCO diplomas. A committee of internationally recognized experts develops coursework for training centers.

Why Should I Earn a CIDESCO Diploma or Certificate?

Professionals with CIDESCO certificates and diplomas stand out from the crowd. Not only does obtaining one show that you have world-renowned training, but it allows you to gain employment in many different countries without having to re-learn and re-certify from the ground up. CIDESCO qualifications are recognized on five continents.

CIDESCO qualifications may allow you to work on cruise ships as well as in other countries, giving you the ability to move from place to place with greater ease. Additionally, spas, salons, and medical facilities are often more willing to employ people with these certifications. Finally, it is not uncommon for cosmetics companies and manufacturers to seek out CIDESCO diploma earners because of the quality of the training they've received—which can help you advance your career if you are not interested in working directly with clients.

Types of CIDESCO Qualifications and Their Requirements

There are two types of CIDESCO qualifications you can achieve: diplomas and certificates. Diplomas are full programs, while certificates are more specialized.

CIDESCO Diplomas

CIDESCO offers nine different diplomas. Earning one requires completing extensive coursework, passing examinations, and, for some of them, researching and writing in-depth case study projects.

The Beauty Therapy and Beauty Therapy (Post Graduate) diplomas involve all areas of esthetics. The Beauty Therapy diploma has no prerequisites. To earn the diploma, you must complete at least 1,200 hours of training at a CIDESCO-certified school, take a facial examination, body examination, and written test, and research and write a case history. Post graduate candidates must have worked for three years before attempting to earn the diploma. To obtain the diploma, you must complete coursework of at least 60 hours at an approved location, take a multiple-choice test, and research and write a case history.

The Spa Therapy and Spa Therapy (Post Graduate) diplomas result in you gaining a thorough knowledge of all, or nearly all, areas of work in a spa setting. The Spa Therapy diploma does not require any previous knowledge of the area. You will complete at least 600 hours of coursework at an approved institution, take a multiple-choice test and practical exam, and then complete at least 200 hours of work experience in a spa. To enter the post graduate program, you need to have earned either of the CIDESCO Beauty Therapy diplomas. Getting this diploma requires at least 180 hours of coursework, passing a test, completing a paper on Water Supply and Management, and writing three case histories of four treatments each.

For a Diploma in Aromatherapy (Post Graduate), you must have already earned either diploma in Beauty Therapy and passed the required case histories with at least a 70%. This diploma program trains you in using essential oils when working with clients. It consists of 100 hours of training, 90 hours of home study, a multiple-choice test, a practical exam, and a presentation of 24 course histories on six different clients, with four treatments per client.

The final diploma that requires either type of Beauty Therapy diploma before beginning coursework is the CIDESCO Diploma in Electrical Epilation (Post Graduate). This program teaches you to perform permanent removal of unwanted hair, destroying the roots of the hair through a heat-creating current. You need to complete at least 200 hours of training at a CIDESCO-accredited school, pass a multiple-choice test, and undergo a practical exam.

The Beauty & Spa Management diploma is for those who want to run a salon or spa. No prior training is required, including any work in the beauty field. Earning the diploma requires completing 300 hours of approved training, passing a multiple-choice test, giving a relevant PowerPoint Presentation, and creating a business plan.

If you hope to work in television, fashion, theatre, or other areas of media, the CIDESCO Diploma in Media Make-Up may be right for you. Coursework exclusively relates to make-up artistry for in artistic fields—it does not deal with general make-up careers, such as doing make-up for weddings. You do not need any previous experience in the area to begin your course. To earn the diploma, you will need to complete at least 310 hours of coursework and pass two practical exams and pass two theoretical exams. One of these examinations involves the creation of a portfolio, which you can then use to showcase your skills to potential employers.

The Make-up Artistry Diploma is the next step if you want to further your career in make-up. To get into the diploma program, you must have already taken the Media Make-Up course and have passed the test or be in the process of doing so. Earning this diploma requires you need to undergo at least 380 hours at a CIDESCO make-up school and complete two practical and two theoretical examinations, including a portfolio. You also need to finish 100 hours of work experience.

CIDESCO Certificates

Certificates are a new addition to the CIDESCO family, introduced in 2018. Certificate programs are offered in more than 30 countries and are more focused than the diploma programs.

The Certificate in Skin Care is, in essence, an esthetician certificate. You will learn to work with skin in all possible ways, including waxing, facials, and make-up application. To earn this certificate, you need to complete 730 hours at a CIDESCO school and take two practical and two theoretical examinations.

A Certificate in Aesthetics covers the same topics as the Certificate in Skin Care but also trains you to do manicures, pedicures, and the like. You take two practical and two theoretical tests plus complete 800 hours of coursework.

Certificates in Body Therapy allow you to work with the whole body, including massage and electrical treatments. You take at least 565 hours of classwork and two practical and two theoretical examinations.

Cost of CIDESCO Certificates and Diplomas

The cost of your CIDESCO certificate or diploma will vary by individual school. In addition to tuition, you will need to pay any state- or country-required licensing fees. Another cost to consider if you live in the U.S. is that of membership in CIDESCO USA, which is $130. This group provides resources, hosts conferences, and provides networking opportunities. Joining the group could prove invaluable in helping you succeed in your career.

Do I Need to Renew My Diploma or Certificate?

CIDESCO diplomas and certificates do not expire, but your state or country may require you to also have a local license. Make sure you know your location's laws and follow them to the letter—this can include schooling not required by CIDESCO and continuing education courses plus renewal fees, among other things. To determine your state's requirements, contact your state board.

Where Can I Get a CIDESCO Diploma or Certificate?

CIDESCO programs exist in 29 countries. Their diploma and certificate granters are National Sections and schools. National Sections recognize individual countries' training centers and offer memberships to CIDESCO graduates—think of them as a department of education. They have the most up-to-date information available in your area. Individual CIDESCO schools are also recognized by the organization. Though there are not currently schools in all 50 states in the U.S., new ones are recognized from time to time. You may also be able to work with your national section to achieve your diploma or certificate, even if a school is not officially a member of CIDESCO.