Media Kit for Image Consultants (Detailed)
This media kit is designed to help image consultants and the image industry understand the purpose of IITTI ("ET"), and the benefits to them of having international standards and guidelines in professional appearance, etiquette and communication skills.
What problems are we trying to solve?
A universal standard of professional soft skills simply does not exist in the image industry. Yet, studies have shown that soft skills are critical to career success and image consultants are well positioned to help. An image industry with one set of standards is long overdue.
As Chee Gay Lim, the regional vice president of human resources at Deutsche Telekom's T-Systems International said:
"We do have people who are good in economy, but they are not good in soft skills. And we have people who are good in the soft skills but not in the economy. So it would be good if they are actually good in both."
The market right now is quite confused. Bombarded on all sides by a mass of web information, fashion magazines and bloggers, each country, industry and corporation has implemented its own appearance, manners, netiquette and communication policies for business professionals.
Another perhaps more critical issue with home-spun certificate is credibility. With the trainer providing both the training and also the assessment, it presents a case of conflict of interest.
IITTI, the Institute of Image Training and Testing International, has the answer. IITTI has developed universal standards and guidelines in appearance, etiquette and communication skills for the professional world. These standards and guidelines can accommodate everyone and all business situations. Additionally, IITTI has created an online certification system, as well as establishing a network of testing centers in many countries worldwide so that proficiency in soft skills can be assessed and measured.
AICI Malaysia Chapter President and AICI 2015 Award of Excellence Recipient Josephine Lui said
"It surprised me when I conducted the Self-Test from IITTI to my many multi-national companies prior to my image and grooming classes that the highest score was only six out of ten. Hence, opportunities for improvement are vast and IITTI is a great platform to train and enhance the level of image skills of job seekers."
What is IITTI?
IITTI is a non-profit organization for the promotion of a global standard on corporate image and etiquette certification.
Kimberlee LoCicero, the former director of human resources in Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts - Canada Region is enthusiastic about the IITTI system saying it was "fantastic".
She also commented "This type of resource and measurement tool has been missing for a long time in Canada."
How Image Consultants Will Benefit
Speak with one voice. Image consultants seeking to expand into corporate image and etiquette training will have one consistent voice of authority in corporate etiquette and image subject matters. When your training can stand up to the test of a world standard, your clients pay attention.
Eliminate conflict of interest. Having an unbiased, independent, international body doing the assessment would eliminate this conflict of interest. An image training school would be seen to be more credible.
Without the need for a school to act as the judge or the jury, the school can boast about its students passing an independent testing process. The market would see the school to be more professional.
Offer pre-and post-training soft skills assessment and certification. IITTI will increase the consultant's visibility, value-added services, global credibility and confidence.
Plan an agenda. Based on an external set of standards and guidelines from IITTI, image consultants can plan their programs, courses and class agendas on professional appearance, communication and etiquette. This will both cut research time and give image consultants more authority in their field.
Develop Dress Codes. Since standards and guidelines of a company's dress code and soft skills are rarely clearly established, image consultants can use an externally validated set of standards and guidelines to help the organization create a workable and easily maintained dress code.
Legitimize the importance of soft skills. By offering a "before" and "after" training test, image training can help a Human Resource manager quickly assess candidate's proficiency in soft skills. Furthermore they can determine where the gaps are in their employees' appearance, etiquette, manners and communication skills and which ones need to be filled for their career advancement.
A universal approach makes things simple, efficient and easy to manage. It cuts down on having to discover multiple rules, policies and regulations.
Yvette Weekes, former general manager of human resources at the Postal Corporation in Trinidad and Tobago, gives high accolades for the program.
"I have continually been impressed by the certification system of IITTI. As a human resource practitioner of over twenty years, I recognize that IITTI's global certification system offers a solid foundation in corporate image and etiquette standard. This standard has been so relevant for me in recruitment, performance management and employee retention. Therefore, I encourage my fellow HR professionals to seriously consider using IITTI's certification system as a measure of verbal and non-verbal communication skills."
The image industry has long sought a credible, measurable way for image to be assessed, especially in the corporate world. IITTI makes the case for image consultants to seize this opportunity and validate the importance of image in the sector that most needs it.