As with any job it is of course vitally important that spa therapists receive professional and correct training, as well as regular assessment. Practical and theoretical education should focus on the solid basic skill-set in massage technical abilities, manual dexterity, knowledge of human anatomy, soft skills and customer service.
Unlike many Vietnamese spas, La Spa runs its own internal professional training program, developed over the past 5 years. Training uses education manuals, videos and, of course, practical work and operates according to strict guidelines. Each trainee goes through a full time six-month training period, much longer than other institutions, before they are qualified to treat customers. They must pass an exam after completing each module prior to continuing to the next unit:
The course units are:
• Body massage
• Foot massage
• Body Skin Care
• Academic study/anatomy
• English language classes focused on customer service and soft skills
The cornerstone of the La Spa service, and hence essential in training, is the standardization of each technique and procedure across the business. Therapists cannot deviate from, or adapt, any therapy. This ensures the customer experiences the same technique and service for a treatment regardless of therapist or branch. However, naturally there are differences in the subtleties of touch and pressure while sometimes a customer just simply clicks with a particular therapist. But the procedure is the same.
This is a key reason La Spa recruits trainees new to the industry. Therapists who have worked at other spas are not always open, or able, to change the way they practice or integrate into the La Spa team. And, there is never a shortage of new recruits, most apply to join the La Spa training course on personal recommendations.
Recruiting newcomers to La Spa is another reason for the long training period. During the six months, trainees practice on one another, La Spa therapists and supervisors. Before qualifying they must pass a final exam and be approved by the La Spa training team. Once eligible to practice each person is subject to a 2 to 3-year probationary period which illustrates the rigorous care taken by La Spa.
Spas and wellness centers in Vietnam have long been the domain of female therapists but lately male therapists are making a presence in spas. La Spa has recently recruited a team of male therapists and from now on customers will be informed of the availability of a male therapist.
Good training is just one part of the La Spa experience. Many people apply to be a therapist but those who lack the inherent skill of touch and the ability to care may not succeed. La Spa’s training program develops the raw skills within a person and helps them realize their dreams.