If you are an image consultant, you are expected to be responsible. That not only means responding to client calls, incoming emails, and being timely to appointments. It means you hold professional ethics in high regard. And while our current political state might make it seem that ethics can be put to the side, we heartily disagree.
As image consultants, we must always maintain our sense of integrity so that we protect the relationship between professionals, who are, after all, individuals.
Occasionally, we have observed image consultants using a questionable sense of integrity. This happens when someone uses a credential under false representation; it happens when someone lets a valid certification expire but does not acknowledge a change in her/his professional status.
In some cases, these consultants’ ethics have been compromised unknowingly, whereas in others there’s been a blatant disregard for what is right and wrong.
Using a credential under false representation is essentially unethical; you can’t say you’re a doctor if you’re not a doctor, and you can’t say you’re an AICI certified image consultant unless you’ve actually been certified. Being certified is a fact, and a fact is something that can be checked. It can be proven, and if you mislead about your credentials, your statement of false-fact may eventually be unproven and your integrity will be compromised.
Knowing that your certification has expired yet presenting that you are a professional with the credential anyway is an example of known disregard because you are lying about your professional status.
In AICI, we have 3 certification levels. There is the CIC, or Certified Image Consultant. There is the CIP, or Certified Image Professional. And then there is the CIM, or Certified Image Master (which is also the most advanced). If you haven’t been credentialed and would like to explore your options, talk to someone at AICI International Board or reach out to your mentor, but do not make use of certifications you don’t actually carry.
In case it’s helpful, the link for AICI’s Code of Conduct can be accessed here:
We look forward to your thoughts and comments on this matter!