Government consultation into aesthetic procedure licences now open
Beauty professionals are being urged to have their say as the long-awaited Government consultation is launched into a licensing scheme in England for aesthetic procedures including botox, fillers and laser treatments.
Beauty professionals can access the full consultation document here, which outlines a proposal to divide procedures into a red, amber and green "traffic light" system based on the risk of complication.
Many have already expressed concern that a lot of that treatments commonly performed by beauty therapists with advanced training - such as radiofrequency, HIFU, and all treatments using dual-technology devices – have been classified as "amber", meaning they would only be allowed to be performed with the oversight of a healthcare professional if the proposed classifications go ahead.
However, the online consultation document does ask for opinion on whether any of these treatments should be reclassified – which is why it is vital for beauty professoinals to make their voices heard.
Views from both industry professionals and consumers who have undergone procedures will be used to shape the new regulations.
Proposals include restrictions on who can perform certain high-risk procedures and age limits for those undergoing cosmetic procedures.
This is the Government’s first ever consultation on treatments and will be used to shape a new licensing scheme for practitioners and cosmetic businesses which operate in England.
“This could include age limits and restrictions for high-risk procedures, including those involving injecting fillers into intimate parts of the body – including the breasts and buttocks,” the DHSC statement said.
It continued, “The beauty industry is hugely important for the UK economy and is largely made up of female-owned small and medium sized businesses, with the non-surgical cosmetic industry previously being valued at an estimated £3.6 billion in the UK.”
The new regulations will aim to raise standards across the sector, improving the reputation and professionalism of the industry.
A recent study revealed a breakdown of who is currently administering botox and filler treatments in the UK.
Maria Caulfield, Minister for the Women’s Health Strategy, said: “There’s no doubt that the popularity of cosmetic procedures is increasing, so it’s our role to ensure consistent standards for consumers and a level playing field for businesses and practitioners.
Professor David Sines CBE, chair of the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners, said: “I would urge everybody to seize the opportunity provided by this consultation and support the move towards sensible and proportionate regulation in this important sector.”
Victoria Brownlie, chief policy officer at the British Beauty Council, added: “Those seeking treatments deserve to do so with confidence that their practitioner is properly qualified in the service they’re offering, to the appropriate level of Government-approved educational standards.
"The Council has worked closely with the Department of Health and Social Care to get to this point, so we look forward to seeing the outcome of the consultation and helping to shape the regulatory framework as it progresses.”
The opening of this new consultation follows the passing of the Health and Care Act in April 2022, which gave the Health and Social Care Secretary the power to introduce a licensing regime.
Under the proposed scheme, which will be operated by local authorities in England, practitioners will need to be licensed to perform specific procedures, and the premises from which they operate will also need to be licensed.
The Government has already made it illegal for under-18s to access Botox and filler treatments for cosmetic purposes and banned TV and social media adverts targeting under-18s with cosmetic procedures.