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Government reiterates commitment on licensing of non-surgical aesthetics sector in England Published Date: 09/02/2023

The campaign to introduce a licensing regime for the non-surgical aesthetics sector was spearheaded by the Institute of Licensing (IoL) and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) to safeguard cosmetics industry.

The JCCP, British Beauty Council, and the Chartered Institute for Environmental Health (CIEH) have received assurance from the UK Government that it’s committed to the licensing of the non-surgical aesthetics sector in England.

After submitting a joint letter on behalf of the aesthetics industry to the Department of Health and Social Care, the industry bodies received a response outlining how the department is designing and implementing a new system of licensing for the non-surgical cosmetic industry.

This comes after the Government made its initial commitment in March 2022 to bring forward future regulation to protect patient safety by making it an offence for someone to perform these cosmetic procedures without a licence.

In a response last week, the Minister responsible for taking forward this issue, Maria Caulfield, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Mental Health and Women's Health Strategy, stated that “departmental officials will work as quickly as possible to introduce the licensing scheme and will consider all the important areas.”

This assurance comes as an investigation into the UK’s aesthetics industry, aired on ITV1’s ‘Tonight’ programme on January 26, uncovered the compelling impact of the industry and unpicked the challenges facing the sector.

In their correspondence, the supporting lobbying groups set out key priorities for the Government to action in its now-approaching licensing. These are:

  1. The design and implementation of a national licensing scheme for all premises where licenced procedures are conducted as well as practitioners of non-surgical cosmetic procedures to ensure that all those who practise invasive procedures are competent and safe for members of the public (as proposed in Paragraph/Clause 180 of the Health and Care Act, 2022).
  2. A requirement for all practitioners to hold adequate medical insurance in order to provide non-surgical cosmetic procedures.
  3. The development of official guidance on the training and qualification expectations for all practitioners, including knowledge and application of infection controls and first aid training.
  4. The development of a system for the effective recording of adverse incidents and public awareness raising to ensure that all cases that go wrong can be tracked and improvements to safety made as a result. Members of the public need better tools and knowledge in order to protect themselves.

Minister Caulfield set out the Government’s plans for ensuring standards for adequate training, insurance, first aid, and premises in her reply. She also affirmed the development of future licensing to suit the ever-developing industry, saying:

“We know this is a fast-moving sector, and officials will consider how best to future-proof the regulations so that new and emerging treatments are captured by the scheme.”

It is anticipated that the Government will outline its timetable for the implementation of the new licensing scheme in England within the coming weeks as part of its wider response to the Health and Social Care Committee’s Inquiry Report on body image.

Source: CIEH