Aesthetic associations speak out against voluntary practitioner registers

The British Association of Cosmetic Nurses (BACN) and Private Independent Aesthetic Practices Association (PIAPA) have spoken out against voluntary registers for aesthetic practitioners.

In a joint statement, the two associations said that in order to reassure the public of his or her professional competence, no nurse, doctor or dentist should feel the need to join a fee-charging voluntary register, such as Save Face – which was set up last year by two former BACN board members.

The statement also said, “A number of voluntary registers are in operation in the aesthetics sector operated by private companies, the most recent example being Save Face. These bodies do not have the power to accredit any individual or company with regard to medical competence – this is the role of the governing councils such as the GMC, NMC and GDC.”

In response, Save Face issued a statement of its own, which said it was “surprised and disappointed” by the statement issued by BACN and PIAPA.

Save Face’s response said that the BACN and PIAPA statement “suggests – quite wrongly, that Save Face claims to accredit clinical competence” and added, “We are quite clear on what we do, and do not accredit competence and indeed only accept practitioners who are registered with the statutory bodies.”

Save Face specifically criticised the aspect of the joint statement that spoke of the need to work with Government, professional associations and councils on “new forms of accreditation that the public will see and that will give them reassurance.” Save Face stated that this was a direct description of the role that its own register plays, adding,

“As a register that has invested in excess of £500k in the last twelve months alone, and is far more than a website with a list of practitioners on it, we are of course, ‘fee-charging’. As are the BACN and PIAPPA and unlike those bodies, we do not seek or receive advertising or sponsorship revenue.

The Save Face statement concluded, “We respect and support the role of the statutory bodies, which even The BACN and PIAPA must acknowledge does not have a sufficient reach. Otherwise, what was the point of Keogh and HEE work – work that continues?”

Save Face is a voluntary register for aesthetic practitioners set up in the wake of the Government’s Keogh Review into the safety of aesthetic procedures. It was established by a panel including former BACN chairperson Emma Davies and former BACN board member Marie Dolan.