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  • ISCC

    I am looking into the ISCC. I have been thinking about certification for a while & I know it is a great idea, but it just seems ridiculously expensive!!! The membership is $380 with all the educational materials. But then each written test is $50 and each practical test is $125? Then the masters meritus is $2500 for both parts! So here is what it comes down to:

    $1050 for written exams
    $500 for practicals
    $2500 for meritus practial & thesis

    That comes out to $4050 I don't have! On top of that it seems almost impossible to do as it is! It also seems like it would take years & years to finish all of this!

    it sure would be great to have the knowledge ( ( ( but it is very discouraging to see the cost of accomplishing this

  • #2
    Maybe the IPG testing,and certification would be more in your budget? It was only 75$ for membership,and 75$ for both the practical,and the written non-sporting when I did it about 10 years ago. Wouldn't hurt to check out their website. You can earn a CMG through them as well. I am going to try and get my next test done soon too. There is the non-sport,a long leg terrier,a short leg terrier,a sporting , all with practical and written,and then 1 more written test for CMG. I will have to check on current prices as well,and work out the travel,and costs into my budget.
    "Everyone needs something to beleive in..I beleive I need another Poodle"
    Quote:Cath

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    • #3
      Since my darling DIL is going to attend grooming school in the new year and she's filling my head full of her grooming dreams, I've become very familiar with ISCC. I must say this: Please note that you get what you pay for and there are organizations for everyone's skill level. DIL decided that she wanted to be the best so chose an ISCC affiliate school to attend and will join and certify with them when she's able. I'm excited for her since she's so enthusiastic!

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      • #4
        I believe IPG and NDGAA are substantially less expensive than ISCC for certifying. While I am sure the ISCC offers some very good information and teaching, it has never been clear to me why it should be almost TEN TIMES as expensive to complete as either IPG or NDGAA. JMHO.

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        • #5
          Also keep in mind that you don't have to do all the certifications for ISCC all at once. The tests are not a walk in the park, so even the written exams I would take at least a month or two studying since you probably work full time. The materials from the ISCC are completely worth it though, they are jampacked full of information.

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          • #6
            You get what you paid for.
            ISCC certification is for those groomers who want their certificate to represent their educational achievements. If you just want a "certificate" It would be easiest and cheapest to get it through IPG.
            I am NCMG with NDGAA and working on my ISCC. Gone thru NDGAA testing process I can tell that it is no where near as involved as ISCC. NDGAA only tests you on you current skills and only education they provide are workshops and breed profiles. You still have to pay for them extra.
            ISCC is so expensive because they provide educational materials and support during learning and testing. They want you to become the best and bring you skills to the top before you go to testing. ISCC educational materials are great and you will find yourself going back to you book all the time. However you don't need the full "package" to start with. Get your membership, study guide and addendum and start studying and testing.
            You don't have to take all of the tests at the same time, with the volume of information they want you to know it would be very hard to take them all at once, anyway. It usually takes people couple years to finish their certification with them.
            Also, unless you are very very ambitious and want to become ISCC certefier or want to start teaching you don't need to worry about getting Master Meritus it is kind of like A PhD in grooming. You choose a subject that you want to write a "theses" on and you get a year for research and writing.

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            • #7
              I am a member of ISCC, and I am working toward my certification. You get what you pay for. The standards are high, and that is what I like. While I am not YET certified, my grooming has improved 100 score in just the last couple of years, mainly from attending their Dallas show, the Pet Pro Classic. While their educational and their educational materials ARE more expensive, their show is NOT! $220 for OVER 20 HOURS in seminars.

              These seminars are not the typical, "How to make more money grooming hamsters" and **** like that---you learn HOW to groom a dog to its breed standard, how to correct faults, how to scissor properly so as not to damage your hand. They will literally do a hands-on class to show you how to properly fit shears to your hand to avoid musculoskeletal injuries to your hands and arms.

              They have teamed up with OSHA as well, it's the first and only grooming organization to do that.

              Here is how I do it:

              I save my tips! I take one test a month (or that is my goal), or even 2 tests per month, if I can. My problem is less the money, and more my attention span issues. I have a hard time concentrating and studying. I could take the easy way but I don't. I would rather learn, and learn well, and learn much. There is no need to hurry---you wont become a good groomer just because you certified in a month. That is not the point. The point is to slowly and methodically work your way into being the best you can become, and it just doesn't happen overnight regardless of how much or how little you pay---what matters is how much you LEARN.

              I don't get a tip and then go out and blow it on lunch, sodas, or cigarettes like my co-workers used to do. It goes into my savings account.

              Don't worry about the Meritus certification, you're going well beyond what you need to in order to be a good groomer. Meritus certification is if you want to become a certifier yourself, really.

              Hope this helps.

              Tammy in Utah
              Groomers Helper Affiliate

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              • #8
                You do get what you pay for!

                For IPG and NDGAA certification, you take 4 written exams and 3 practical exams. They are comparable to part of the ISCC Master Pet Stylist level exams. In addition, at the MPS level, ISCC has written exams covering the various techniques (scissoring, clipping and hand-stripping) as well clipper maintenance & repair and a test on "geometrics" (aka the art of pet styling).

                ISCC's DermaTech level includes material that no one else even touches. You have to show that you understand skin and coat and can develop a topical conditioning program for any type of skin & coat condition that may walk into your salon. I personally know someone that, using that information, developed enough vet referrals that she had to drop her yellow page listing! (Not to mention, her clients had dogs with healthy skin and coat so she wasn't limited on what she could do styling them). You need to know about parasites and how to control them safely (that means your safety as well as the pet's). As for the first aid test, currently you have the option of taking the ISCC written test or sending in proof that you have completed (and passed) a Red Cross Pet First Aid & CPR class. And zoonotic diseases is something that everyone that deals with animals should know. You also have to show that you have an understanding of animal behavior, and how to manage the behaviors of the pet's you groom. Basic terminology, anatomy and breed ID round out the Dermatech certification.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by alina1686 View Post
                  I am looking into the ISCC. I have been thinking about certification for a while & I know it is a great idea, but it just seems ridiculously expensive!!! ... the knowledge ( ( ( but it is very discouraging to see the cost of accomplishing this
                  It does take years to finish it all (or at least several months!). People that attend the symposium in Dallas are usually able to complete several of the written tests on-site, (while the information is still fresh in their mind) but in most cases, that might be 5 or 6 written tests and maybe the dermatech practical over a four day period. Students at the ISCC approved schools are able to complete all their written exams and their dermatech practical while they are in school (about 4 months), but they ARE IN SCHOOL, so they have more time for studying than someone working full time with a life outside of grooming.

                  As far as cost, you are not REQUIRED to buy all the study materials when you join. Membership is $125 (annual renewal is $100). The only study materials you HAVE to have is the study guide. I also highly recommend the study guide addendum, as that will help you sort out the information in the study guide and give you a means of reviewing for the written tests. Those are included in the basic membership package, along with one of the videos giving you a $50 savings over buying those items individually. (The deluxe membership gives you a savings of $15 over buying all the items individually, so personally, I would go with the basic package and add the other videos as you can.)

                  The cost for the tests is a pay as you go, so that breaks it down to maybe $50 per month. There is no time limit to complete the testing. Also, you can complete the tests in any order. You could do all the MPS tests first, you just wouldn't get the MPS certificate until you also complete the dermatech level. If you feel really confident about anatomy, you could start there. Whatever works for you. And ISCC does have a support system to help you work through the whole process.
                  Last edited by kputman; 11-26-09, 06:28 PM.

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                  • #10
                    I am working on mine through the ISCC. I only have 5 written test and my practical to finish my stylist certification. It is worth every cent, and like everything else you get what you pay for. I have learned so much through my journey towards my certification. I do not think the price is unreasonable at all.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by elizo View Post
                      I believe IPG and NDGAA are substantially less expensive than ISCC for certifying. While I am sure the ISCC offers some very good information and teaching, it has never been clear to me why it should be almost TEN TIMES as expensive to complete as either IPG or NDGAA. JMHO.
                      You can either eat a burger or a t-bone steak.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by elizo View Post
                        I believe IPG and NDGAA are substantially less expensive than ISCC for certifying. While I am sure the ISCC offers some very good information and teaching, it has never been clear to me why it should be almost TEN TIMES as expensive to complete as either IPG or NDGAA. JMHO.
                        Study the material and you will see why. BTW, love that pink Bichon in your avatar.


                        Doesn't the chain store charge you four grand to go through the "Academy"/
                        "We are all ignorant--we merely have different areas of specialization."~Anonymous
                        People, PLEASE..It's ONLY a website!~Me

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                        • #13
                          Unfortunately for me the cost has kept me from being able to do it, as much as I want to. I have heard wonderful things about most of their educational material, and as much as I want to know everything I can about what I do, it's just not something I can afford right now. But I do think it's worth the cost. It's frustrating for me knowing that there is so much I could be learning but at this point I just simply can't put that much money into it. Not with two small children, paying for a new mobile, building up my business, and basically just trying to get by right now. But I am hoping in the future it will not be outside of my financial possibilities. I'm hoping once the mobile business is booming for both myself and my groomer, both kids are in school and I can work a few more days, etc it will be within my reach.
                          What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

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                          • #14
                            Glad you like my 'pink bichon'...but he's not pink, he's just photoshoped! He's my baby! I know so many people who are very loyal to ISCC and think that their education is the best. My hat's off to the organization for being able to build such avid followers. I still remain confused why, if the goal is education, the price is so very much higher than other organizations and thus out of reach of many people who would like to learn from them. I have attended several of their lectures at other trade shows and they were very informative....maybe if you want to learn from them, the most affordable way would be as Spikey suggests, to attend their Dallas show.....

                            Oh and I don't know about the chain store 'academy' someone mentioned.....I thought, though, that they sent you for free then you had to work for them for a certain period of time? Don't know....

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Smart-n-Pretty View Post
                              Doesn't the chain store charge you four grand to go through the "Academy"/
                              YES, they do...
                              Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt
                              www.ChrisSertzel.com

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