Government review to recommend mandatory injectables qualification

A mandatory injectables qualification is set to launch, following an initial recommendation from the NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh’s cosmetic review.

It is expected that all practitioners, from beauty therapists to doctors, will have to pass a recognised qualification to legally carry out injectable treatments including dermal fillers and botox.

While the full recommendations of the review are now expected later in April, Sir Bruce Keogh said in a statement: "I am concerned that some practitioners who are giving non-surgical treatments may not have had any appropriate training whatsoever…My review will make a number of recommendations for making sure people who choose to undergo these procedures are in safe hands.”

The statement has been welcomed by many in the beauty industry, who had previously feared that the review may put a blanket ban on non-medics carrying out these procedures. 

Carolyne Cross, chair of industry association Babtac said: “We are delighted by this interim press statement which suggests that our recommendation of a cross-profession qualification will work to improve consumer safety, without creating a market monopoly. It is our belief that cosmetic interventions need to be delivered in a safe and standardised way by all providers to enable consumer choice without undermining safety.”

She added “Many have advocated that a blanket ban across certain professions, including beauty therapists will work to automatically deliver improved standards and protect the consumer. It is our belief that this is misguided and that a standardised qualification working on a recognised prior learning framework will be better for improving safety; medically trained providers will be able to focus on key skills such as aesthetic training, whilst non-healthcare providers including beauty therapists can train in all the disciplines.”

However, Babtac also emphasised its belief that not all beauty therapists should be allowed to conduct these procedures, but that highly-qualified therapists had the capabilities to learn these skills.

Meanwhile doctor-led associations have expressed disappointment that the review will not prevent therapists from carrying out injectable treatments, suggesting that even after training they will not be properly equipped to select suitable patients or to deal with any complications.

British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons president Rajiv Grover said: “Not only should those administering these procedures be capable of handling possible complications – which can range from bruising or swelling to necrosis, which is when the skin ‘dies’ – but, perhaps more importantly, be able to properly assess and select patients.”

He added: “People seeking aesthetic treatments may present with medical or even psychological issues, and experienced medical professionals are able to explore their histories and expectations to ensure the most satisfactory outcome.”

The cosmetic review was initially launched in August following the consumer scandal over faulty PIPs breast implants. The full results of the review are now expected to be announced later in April.