Scotland's aesthetic practitioners to be regulated from 2016

Practitioners carrying out non-surgical cosmetic interventions, such as Botox, dermal fillers and teeth whitening will be subject to checks by Government-approved body Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) from April 2016.

HIS already regulates private hospitals where cosmetic surgery takes place.

There is no such mandatory regulation for the non-surgical cosmetic industry in the rest of the UK, meaning Scotland will become the first with such checks, which will begin with aesthetic clinics.

The measures came as a result of recommendations made by the Scottish Cosmetic Interventions Expert Group (SCIEG), which was established up in January 2014 to investigate the need for regulation of the industry.

SCIEG also recommended that professionals must keep up to date with latest training, all providers must have sufficient insurance and a transparent complaints systems must be in place.

The announcement coincided with the release of new research, commissioned by the Scottish Government, which found that less than a quarter (23%) of Scots have a fair amount of confidence in the treatment provided by the non-surgical cosmetic procedures industry.

Just 4% of Scots said they have had a cosmetic procedure (including cosmetic dentistry) and 16% of those who have not said that they have considered it.

Scotland's Public Health Minister Maureen Watt said, "Cosmetic procedures, both surgical and non-surgical, have increased massively in popularity over the last few years. Many people are not aware that there is no regulation of independent clinics who provide non-surgical cosmetic procedures.

"There are many reputable practitioners in Scotland, but unfortunately there are others who do not live up to those high standards. That can lead to complications after procedures, sometimes leaving the customer with lasting injuries. By introducing a sound system of regulation and inspection we hope to reduce those instances."

HIS deputy chief executive Robbie Pearson added, "Through the registration and inspection of all independent clinics, including those that provide non-surgical cosmetic treatments, we will ensure that the industry performs to a high standard that continually improves. This will ensure that patients get the best possible care every time."