Certified Spa Supervisor (CSS)

You are a professional who has a deep understanding of the philosophy of spa and the knowledge and skills needed to manage a spa that meets the physical and emotional needs of your guests. The Certified Spa Supervisor was developed by the International SPA Association (ISPA) in partnership with AHLEI to provide education and resources for you.

The CSS designation is a hallmark within the spa industry and signifies that you have an understanding of basic supervisory skills and a deep commitment and belief in continuing education and professional growth.

The CSS certification can help you excel in your current position, move further toward your career goals, and show that you are among the best in your profession.


To earn the Certified Spa Supervisor designation, you must complete the Supervisory Skill Builders for the Spa Industry program.

You may pursue the CSS designation through one of two options:

Plan 1 Eligibility — Experience

  • Successfully complete the ISPA Supervisory Skill Builders for Spas series
  • Current full-time employment in a CSS qualifying position* with at least three months of full-time experience in one or more such positions.

Plan 2 Eligibility — Early Entry

  • Successfully complete the ISPA Supervisory Skill Builders for Spas series
  • Currently not employed in a CSS qualifying position*. However, if accepted in the CSS program, you will have six months from successfully passing the CSS exam to secure full-time employment as a qualified supervisor* in the spa industry and to hold one or more such positions for a minimum of three months.

*A qualifying supervisor is a person who supervises two or more individuals; has job duties that are at least 20 percent supervisory in nature and include such tasks as scheduling, training, interviewing, disciplining, inspecting, and conducting performance reviews; makes decisions and judgment calls while performing daily duties; and has input on hiring and firing decisions within a spa facility.

How to Apply

You must purchase the Supervisory Skill Builders for Spas to receive the application. Only the original application will be accepted.

Resource Materials

Supervisory Skill Builders for Spas is a nine-workbook series. It must be purchased before taking the exam.


When you are ready to take the exam online, contact AHLEI’s Certification Department to have the exam sent to your proctor.

A proctor may be a CSS, a hospitality educator, an AHLA member association executive, your immediate supervisor or a member of the clergy. Your designated proctor cannot be a relative.

The CSS exam has 116 multiple-choice questions that must be answered within two hours. The test questions test your mastery of competencies derived from nine key areas of knowledge. The key areas of testing are:

  • You as a Supervisor
  • Conducting Orientation and Training
  • Leadership
  • Handling Problems and Conflicts
  • Motivation and Team Building
  • Staffing and Scheduling
  • Improving Employee Performance
  • Effective Communication
  • Time Management
Training Information
  • Duration: 02 days – 16 hours
  • Attendees: 01 Participant / Price: $300.00
  • Location: Free Online

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