Personal Services Standards Review Section 2- Personal Services Workers’ Duties

Canadian spa industry standards

You are now at Section 2 of the Personal Services Standards and Regulations by Alberta Health. Section 2 deals with worker hygiene, hand hygiene and glove use, service assessment, cleansing service areas, and post care instructions.

The review of Section 2 could not come at a better time with the outbreak of the coronavirus. We are all responsible to prevent the spreading of disease.

Section 2- Personal Services Workers’ Duties

Personal Services Worker Skills and Knowledge

2.1 Personal services workers must be familiar with, and be able to demonstrate an understanding of:

2.1.1  the requirements of these Standards, as applicable to the personal services and activities the personal services worker performs;

2.1.2  injury and infection risks related to the personal services and activities they perform;

2.1.3  manufacturer’s instructions for safe use of the equipment, disinfectants, and cosmetic products that they use; and

2.1.4  facility- or business-specific written procedures applicable to the personal services and activities they perform.

*ESG NOTE: Service Providers should be aware of contraindications to all the services they offer to avoid injury or infection. Intake forms that ask the right questions can help to keep your eyes open for potential incidents.

Personal Services Worker Hygiene

2.2  Personal services workers must maintain good personal hygiene while performing personal services or reprocessing.

2.3  Clothing worn by the personal services worker must be visibly clean at the start of the service.

2.4  Personal services workers with communicable infectious conditions must either refrain from performing personal services, or take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of infectious conditions to clients.

Hand Hygiene and Glove Use

2.5 Hand hygiene must be performed by the personal services worker:

2.5.1 before and after every personal service;

2.5.2 before putting on gloves that will be worn while providing a personal service;

2.5.3 following the removal of gloves that are worn while providing a personal service; and

2.5.4 after reprocessing.

2.6 The use of alcohol-based hand rub for hand hygiene is only permitted when hands are visibly clean.

2.6.1  The alcohol content of alcohol-based hand rub must be 60% to 90%.

2.6.2  Alcohol-based hand rub must have an NPN or DIN issued by Health Canada.

2.6.3  The personal services worker must follow the following steps for the use of alcohol-based hand rub:

2.7 Handwashing with soap and warm running water is required when hands are not visibly clean and must be done in accordance with the following steps:

2.8  Handwashing must not occur in any sink that is used for equipment reprocessing, unless there is a written procedure that personal services workers follow to appropriately clean and disinfect the sink area between reprocessing and handwashing activities.

2.9  Gloves must be worn when personal services involve hand contact with mucous membrane or broken or punctured skin.

ESG TIP: If your gloves are uncomfortable, go down a size!

2.10  Gloves used while providing a personal service must never be reused and used gloves must be discarded.

Handwashing Supplies

2.11 Sinks used for handwashing must be equipped with soap, warm running water, and a sanitary option for drying hands.

Point of Service Risk Assessment

2.12  The personal services worker must assess the condition of the client’s skin, hair, nails, teeth, or body as applicable for signs of infection, infestation, or irritation prior to performing a personal service.

2.13  A personal services worker must not perform a personal service when a client has signs of a skin, hair, nail, tooth, or body condition that could compromise that client’s post- service healing.

2.14  Prior to performing a personal service, the personal service worker must ensure that the equipment to be used as part of the personal service is visibly clean and in good condition and repair.

Cleansing and Antisepsis of Skin and Mucous Membrane

2.15  Personal services workers must follow the written procedures for the cleansing of skin and mucous membrane and the application of antiseptic products.

2.16  Cleansing of the client’s bodily area where the personal service will occur must be performed prior to any service that may involve contact with mucous membrane, or that will puncture or may potentially break skin or mucous membrane.

2.17  When a personal service involves the puncture of the skin, an antiseptic product must also be applied after skin cleansing.

2.18  Antiseptic products must have either a DIN or an NPN issued by Health Canada.

2.19  Personal services workers must follow the instructions for use that accompany an antiseptic product.

Post-Service Care

2.20  Personal services workers must provide clients with verbal and written care instructions following any personal service that punctures the skin or mucous membrane.

2.21  Personal services workers must follow any post-service client care instructions that are specified by the manufacturer where energy-emitting equipment is used in a personal service.

2.22  Dressings used to cover broken or punctured skin must be new and clean.

2.23  Personal services workers must follow the facility-specific written procedures when a client’s skin is accidently cut or punctured during a personal service.

If you are new to the beauty industry and are operating a home business, we recommend our Canadian Spa Industry Standards course to ensure that your business meets regulatory requirements and obligations for the protection of public health and your growing business.


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Personal Services Standards Section 1- Operators’ Duties

protocols and procedures

The newly amended Personal Services Standards dictate:


Personal Services Worker Skills and Knowledge

1.1 The operator must ensure that personal services workers have the skills and knowledge to:

1.1.1  Follow labeled instructions for use of disinfectants and antiseptic products.

1.1.2  Classify equipment in accordance with Standard 3.6 of these Standards.

1.1.3  Follow the written procedures required under Standards 1.5, 1.6, and 1.7 of these Standards.

1.1.4  Where applicable, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, or alternate written procedures approved by an Executive Officer, for the safe use of energy-emitting equipment or cosmetic products.

1.1.5  Where applicable, follow manufacturer’s instructions for use of piercing guns, steam sterilizers, and instrument washer-disinfectors.

*ESG NOTE: It is up to the business owner to ensure that all staff have a functioning level of the English language and will be able to understand written instructions on all tools and equipment.

ESG TIP: Include a section in your interviews that allows you to assess a candidate’s English reading skills. For example, ask them to pair disinfectants with their intended use based on the instructions on the bottle. This may seem out of the ordinary but it may go a long way in protecting your business. A simple mistake can have reverberating consequences.

Notification to Regional Health Authority (RHA) 

1.2  The operator of an existing personal service business must notify the RHA of:

1.2.1  the name and contact information of the operator of the business;

1.2.2  the address and location information where personal services are/will be provided; and

1.2.3  all personal services and activities that the business currently offers.

1.3  Operators of all existing personal services businesses must complete the requirements under Standard 1.2 within three (3) months of these Standards coming into force.

1.4  The operator of a personal service business must notify the RHA prior to offering any new personal service, or performing a new activity as part of a personal service.

*ESG NOTE: The RHA in Alberta is Alberta Health Services. Remember, these amendments are coming into effect JULY 1, 2020.

Written Procedures

1.5 The operator must ensure that facility-specific written procedures are established that describe steps for:

1.5.1 when applicable, the cleansing of skin and mucous membrane and the application of antiseptic products;

Personal Services Standards 1.5.2  post-service care for personal services that involve puncturing skin or mucous membrane;

1.5.3  client care in the event of an accidental skin cut or puncture;

1.5.4  where applicable, decontamination of any sink that will be used for both handwashing and equipment reprocessing;

1.5.5  where applicable, operating and maintaining a mobile sink; and

1.5.6  if performing sterilization, actions to be taken following a failed sterility indicator or unexplained physical parameter change.

1.6  For the purpose of requesting approval from an Executive Officer, facility-specific written procedures are required when an operator intends to allow personal services workers to:

1.6.1  use energy-emitting equipment or cosmetic products in a manner that is inconsistent with the manufacturer’s instructions; and

1.6.2  perform immediate-use steam sterilization.

1.7  In addition to the requirements described in Standards 1.5 and 1.6, operators of mobile businesses must ensure that business-specific written procedures are established that describe steps for:

1.7.1  hand hygiene;

1.7.2  transportation that ensures the separation of clean from contaminated supplies and equipment;

1.7.3  handling of single-use, porous, and uncleanable equipment;

1.7.4  reprocessing of reusable equipment;

1.7.5  cleaning and disinfection of client service areas; and

1.7.6  storage at a base of operations.

1.8  Written procedures must be reviewed, and revised if necessary, by the operator:

1.8.1  before a new process, activity, or instrumentation related to a personal service is introduced;

1.8.2  if an injury or infection to a client occurs; and

1.8.3  if ordered to do so by an Executive Officer.

1.9  Written procedures must incorporate the applicable requirements set out in these Standards.

*ESG NOTE: Signage, signage, signage! Basically, the updated guidelines recommend that you have signs for your staff everywhere, and we couldn’t agree more. Written protocol for each service offered at your business  maintains consistency by ensuring all staff members are delivering the same level of service to all clients, at all times.  

ESG TIP: If you do not have protocols nd procedures already, create some! Sure, it’s a tedious process, but just think of it as a strong foundation for a business that will become your legacy. Once you have created your documents, call a team meeting to review the document and answer any questions.

ESG TIP #2: Review all protocols and procedures with your team once per year minimum, or as often as needed. Habits often form subconsciously and you or your team members may find that you have drifted from the official protocol. An annual meeting calibrates any deviations.

If you are new to the beauty industry and are operating a home business, we recommend our Canadian Spa Industry Standards course to ensure that your business meets regulatory requirements and obligations for the protection of public health and your growing business.


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Personal Service Standards 2020 Updates for Beauty Industry Workers

beauty industry resource centre
2020 is bringing many anticipated changes to government-regulated industry standards.

The year 2020 is bringing many anticipated changes to government-regulated industry standards.

While some occupations in the beauty industry are heavily regulated, others remain relatively unsupervised. This has led to numerous consumer complaints varying from spa and worker hygiene to severe injury resulting from negligence to Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services.

Through discussions with industry representatives, business owners, and provincial, territorial and federal health partners and stakeholders, the government of Alberta (Alberta Health) has updated previous Health Standards and Guidelines. For clarification purposes, the new updates apply to all types of personal services businesses including commercial, home-based, mobile, special-event, and vehicle-based businesses.

This article breaks down and interprets the updates into 5 sections of the Personal Services Standards guidelines.

If you are new to the beauty industry and are operating a home business, we recommend our Canadian Spa Industry Standards course to ensure that your business meets regulatory requirements and obligations for the protection of public health and your growing business.





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paying employment insurance fees for chair renters


Did you think Employment Insurance and Chair Renters would never come up in the same sentence?

CTV NEWS Saskatoon did a report on how salon owners that rent our chairs are impacted by Employment Insurance fees imposed by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

The report focuses on Stacey Zielinski , owner of The Beach Beauty Bar in Martensville, Saskatchewan. Like many others, Stacey was under the impression that chair renters are independent contractors and therefore are not governed under employment laws and regulations.

Luckily for Zielinski, her tab was not too high, as only 1/5 hairstylists was a chair renter. This got us thinking though, how does this impact the industry?

What does this mean for salon owners who only rent out chairs?

Renting out chairs to hairstylists has always been an attractive option for salon owners. Renting out chairs produces consistent income, removes employee-related issues, and was formerly believed to eliminate the cost of wages and MERCS.  

It is widely believed that the salon owner does not pay money to the renter; but they do however collect money from the renter. Typically, the hairstylist pays a monthly fee to offer services to their growing clientele from an already established salon.  In exchange for this fee, the salon owner allows use of the chair and fixtures during operating hours.

Contrary to popular belief, salon owners are liable to pay Employment Insurance fees to the CRA for chair renters. Normally, independent contractors from other industries are not eligible for EI, however, there is an exception for barbers and hairstylists.

Normally, EI is paid to employees based on the hours worked per pay period. Because chair renters dictate their own hours, the CRA calculates EI fees on the number of days the chair renter offered services in the establishment.

Why is there an exception for barbers and hairstylists?

As it was explained by a CRA representative, this exception was put into place to secure the income of a hairstylist in the event that the salon owner is no longer able to provide the chair renter with a space to work from. Examples are salon owners who are evicted from their rented space or go out of business.  

What is the difference between independent contractors in the beauty industry versus other industries?

Nothing really. We searched for answers but could not find a clear explanation for this exception.

The exception to the exception.

While a salon owner must pay the employer portion of EI fees for independent contractors, this fee is eliminated IF the chair renter is incorporated.

What is the difference between a sole proprietorship, a partnership, and a corporation?

All of the above are forms of entrepreneurship. They differ in a few ways including the annual costs and taxes payable to the CRA. The main difference is that in a sole proprietorship or partnership, the business is an extension of you (and your partners if applicable) whereas a corporation is viewed as an entity external to you.  It even has its own SIN, however, it’s called a BN (Business Number).

There are many benefits to registering your business as a corporation. Learn more.

Where does this legislation come from?

It is believed that this legislation was created to protect the income of women and single mothers based on the occupation’s demographic at the time the legislation was created.

Two conditions apply to this employment insurance regulation:

  1. The barber or hairstylist offers services out of the establishment.
  2. The barber or hairstylist is not the owner of the establishment.

What if the salon owner also owns the building?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter. Salon owners who own the building must also pay EI fees.

What if the hairstylist does not pay EI?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter. The onus is on the salon owner to pay the employer portion of a chair renter’s EI whether or not they pay their own premiums.

Does this legislation affect room rentals for esthetics services?

No, this legislation only applies to Hairstylists and Barbers at the time this article was published.


Beauty Industry Resource Centre

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Beauty Industry Mobility Across Canada

Beauty Industry Mobility Across Canada

Beauty Industry Mobility Across Canada

With the growing number of beauty professionals in this country, we thought we would take a look at employment mobility through Canada. While certification standards differ from province to province, here are some things you need to know if you are planning to move.

In Canada, all of the provinces and territories have regulation for hairstylists through the Red Seal Journeyman Certification. With this certificate, you are able to legally work from province to province. However, each province has different standards of training, so check out the National Employment Requirements to find out what you need to begin your trade. Barbering falls under the Hairstylist occupation as well, so certification will still be mandatory to practice this specialized craft.

As an Esthetician in Canada, however, you may find your mobility limited, as few provinces have regulation trade requirements:
  • New Brunswick regulates Estheticians.
  • Manitoba regulates their Electrologists and Estheticians through Apprenticeship Manitoba
  • Saskatchewan divides their esthetic regulations between Nail Technicians and Skin Care specialists, also through an apprenticeship and trade certification commission.

Training and on-the-job hours may transfer to a regulated province if you meet their individual criteria. If you are moving outside of a regulated province, your training and certification will be appealing to employers in a province that does not have these requirements.

While the country is looking to start standardizing esthetics, hairstyling is the only beauty industry career that has national standards. If you are considering moving, or you need more information about labour mobility in Canada, visit Worker’s Mobility.


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