Overview: Advanced Cosmetic Certification & General Criteria
Advanced Level Cosmetic Certification is the second level of certification. Advanced Level examinations are only given when the member has successfully passed the Basic Certified Cosmetic Maker examination.
At the Advanced Cosmetic level, cosmetic makers are expected to have:
- A higher level of knowledge of the chemistry and terms used in cosmetic making by showing competency in formulating, testing and evaluating their product
- The ability to not only diagnose, but fix typical problems in cosmetic formulations
- A general knowledge of the common additives/colorants/fragrances and their safe usage
The Advanced Cosmetic Certification exam question database contains over 100 questions, which are broken down into 20 topics. Some questions concerning regulations are country-specific (US, Canada, Europe and International other than Canada/Europe). The actual examination consists of 20 questions which are a combination of multiple choice, true/false and numeric (requiring a number for an answer). One question is randomly selected from each core topic. As a result, every test is slightly different, and will have at least the minimum number of questions from each subject.
A minimum score of 85% (17 of 20 questions correct) is required to pass the exam. Results will be given as "Pass" or "Fail".
Members may take any Certification Exam as many times as necessary to achieve a passing score, however, the exam fee must be paid each time the exam is taken.
Cosmetic Product Evaluation
In addition to completing and passing the examination, the examinee is required to formulate, make and submit the following four products based on the specific guidelines:
- Lip gloss OR lip scrub
- Dispersing bath oil OR emulsified makeup remover
- Bath fizzy
- Whipped body butter (capitalize and italicize ‘or’)
The criteria and scoring are based on various aspects of the cosmetic, labeling and documentation. Technical aspects (including scent, weight, appearance, texture and feel) account for 60% of the score. Documentation and meeting all the labeling requirements each account for 20% of the score. A final score of 85% or better is required to pass the cosmetic evaluation.
See the Advanced Cosmetic Product Sample Criteria for details on the sample requirements.
If the exam is being taken at the Annual Conference, the products can be submitted at that time and will be evaluated by the end of the Conference. If the exam is a proctored or group exam, the products may be submitted up to 10 days before the examination, or within 10 days after the examination.
Timeline for Exams Requiring Samples
There are a lot of steps necessary to make all the arrangements for a Zoom Certification exam. The following timeline shows the details of the expected timeline before and after the examination.
- Up to 20 days before Exam: HSCG sends eNews with Zoom dates
- Up to 10 days before Exam: Member pays the registration fee and sends in Registration form for the Certification Test
- Up to 10 days before Exam: HSCG sends Zoom Certification Information email
- Up to 10 days before Exam: Samples can be post marked and submitted
- Up to 10 days before Exam: HSCG mails exam packet to examinee
- Up to 3 days before Exam: HSCG emails Zoom link to examinee
- Date of Exam: Member logs on to Zoom and takes exam
- Up to 1 day after Exam: Examinee mails exam and samples to HSCG
- Up to 7 days after Receipt of Exam and Samples: HSCG notifies examinee of receipt of exam/samples via email
- Up to 10 days after Receipt of Exam and Samples: HSCG notifies examinee of results via email
- Up to 14 days after Receipt of Exam and Samples: HSCG mails certificate to examinee
In order to assist members in preparing for the Advanced Soapmaker Certification Exam, the Certification Committee compiled a list of the Advanced Cosmetic Terms & Definitions the member should be familiar with. Also available is a list of Advanced Cosmetic References & Resources which may be studied to learn the necessary knowledge for the level.
On-line practice tests have been created for the Cosmetic Advanced Level exam. These tests use the actual test questions and give immediate feedback on the results. They are an excellent way to prepare for the exams and get a feel for how the exam process works.