Licensing Q&A UPDATE
July 26, 2022

Back in April 2022 ACPB issued a Q&A document about the new changes in the law that are going to happen in the aesthetics industry. Now the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) has issued its own version – predominantly aimed at medics in the industry but it’s very relevant for all. It does highlight some new information that ACPB hasn’t previously spoken about – particularly the scope of what will be covered in the new law – what constitutes a “cosmetic procedure”.

The wording of the Health andCare Act law passed in April defines a non-surgical cosmetic (aesthetic)procedure under the term “cosmetic procedure” as a procedure, other than asurgical or dental procedure, that is carried out for cosmetic purposes; andincludes—

(a) the injection of asubstance;

(b) the application of asubstance that is capable of penetrating into or through the epidermis;

(c) the insertion of needlesinto the skin;

(d) the placing of threadsunder the skin;

(e) the application of light,electricity, cold or heat;

 

However, the exact procedureswithin this definition will be defined as the licensing law is drafted. TheGovernment intends to consult on exactly which procedures will be included inthe scope of the new licence.

 

While there is a great deal wedon’t know about the detail of the new law, the JCCP Q&A does highlightareas of best practice which are useful to note and implement and also someguidance for consumers.

Please read further forthe JCCP Q&A:

 

TheHealth & Care Act and the future licensing of aesthetic practitionerscompleting non-surgical cosmetic (aesthetic) procedures

 

WhatYOU need to know

Thenew Health and Care Act 2022 gives the Government powers to introduce alicensing scheme for practitioners who operate in England. Work is nowunderway to decide what the licensing scheme will look like. This will then beintroduced via secondary legislation. The timescale for this is yet to beoutlined.

Thereason for the legislation is to reduce the risk of harm associated with ineffectivelyperformed non-surgical cosmetic procedures, also known as aesthetic procedures,to the public.

Oncein force, this legislation will make it an offence to perform particularprocedures without a license.

Hereis a quick Q&A to answer some of the questions you may have about what’s tocome:

 

Q&A- Top consumer ‘must knows’

1.As a consumer, am I now protected from ‘botched’ non-surgical cosmetic (alsoknown as aesthetic) procedures in law?

 

No.The law passed in April 2022 simply gives the UK Government powers to introducea licensing scheme to regulate premises and practitioners who offer certainprocedures. The details relating to this new licencing scheme have not beenwritten or passed yet.

 

2.When will the new law come in regulating non-surgical cosmetic (aesthetic)procedures?

 

TheHealth and Care Act became law in England on the 1st July, 2022.The new Act places responsibility on the Secretary of State for Health andSocial Care to introduce Secondary Legislation to support the design andimplementation of the new non-surgical cosmetics licence. We do not know atthis time when the new secondary legislation will be enforced. From recentstatements that Ministers within the Department of Health and Social Care havegiven, we understand that the Government definitely intends to introducelegislation but the timeline for this has not yet been published. The specificregulations that will underpin the licensing scheme will be subject toextensive engagement with stakeholders and public consultation.

 

3.What will be considered a non-surgical cosmetic (aesthetic) procedure under thelaw?

 

Thewording of the Health and Care Act law passed in April defines a non-surgicalcosmetic (aesthetic) procedure under the term “cosmetic procedure” as a procedure,other than a surgical or dental procedure, that is carried out for cosmeticpurposes; and includes—

(a)the injection of a substance;

(b)the application of a substance that is capable of penetrating into or throughthe epidermis;

(c)the insertion of needles into the skin;

(d)the placing of threads under the skin;

(e)the application of light, electricity, cold or heat;

 

However,the exact procedures within this definition will be defined as the licensinglaw is drafted. The Government intends to consult on exactly which procedureswill be included in the scope of the new licence.

 

4. Areonly medical professionals (Doctors, Nurses, Dentists, etc.) allowed to offernon-surgical cosmetic (aesthetic) procedures?

 

No.Medically trained and non-medically trained professionals can currently offernon-surgical cosmetic (aesthetic) procedures. However, we consider that allpractitioners offering such procedures should be trained to an agreed nationalstandard. We know however, that this is sometimes not the case.

 

Akey aim of the new licence will be to correct this public safety issue byrequiring all practitioners who perform the specified non-surgical cosmetic(aesthetic) procedures to provide evidence that they meet a new (and yet to bedefined) minimum standard of training, education and skill competence.

5.What qualifications will aesthetics practitioners need to do non-surgicalcosmetic (aesthetic) procedures?

 

Wedo not yet know what qualifications will be required. The Government intends toconsult on a new enforceable education and training standard.

 

6.What insurance will aesthetics practitioners need to have?

 

Allpractitioners will be legally required to hold indemnity insurance to protectmembers of the public if something goes wrong with their procedure. The levelof insurance for practitioners is still to be decided.

 

7.What should I do if I am unhappy with a procedure?

 

Ifyou have any concerns about a medical or aesthetic practice, salon, clinic orindividual practitioner you should contact your Environmental Health Departmentat your local Council. If your practitioner is a registered health careprofessional (such as a nurse, doctor or dentist) then you can also seek advicefrom their professional regulator (i.e., the General Medical Council etc).

 

8.What should I do if I have a bad reaction or negative side effects after aprocedure?

 

Contactthe practitioner who performed the procedure immediately and seek their advice.If this is unsatisfactory, contact your GP or in an emergency attend yourUrgent Care Centre at your local hospital.

 

9.Will all practitioners have to be inspected to get a licence?

 

Yes.The intention is that all practitioners and the premises from which they workwill have to be inspected and checked against certain standards prior toreceiving a licence. The requirements for a practitioner and a premise licencewill be set out in regulations.

 

10.Where can I find a qualified aesthetic practitioner now?

Currentlythere is no central place to find qualified aesthetic practitioners becausethere are many different types of qualification and training available, whichmany argue vary in quality and competency.

 

Thisis why a licensing scheme that ensures a minimum standard of practice toinclude premises and practitioner competence is needed.

 

11.How do I know if the product/equipment is safe and licenced for use in the UK?

 

Youshould always ask your practitioner about the products and equipment that theyuse as part of your procedure. If you are receiving an injectable product ormedicine then you should ask to see the container in which the substance issealed within and check that it has a UK quality ‘CE’ or ‘UKCA’ mark to checkthat it is safe and appropriately produced. If you have any queries regardingthe product, device or substance that is intended for use as part of yourprocedure then you can seek advice from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

 

12.What will be licensed?

 

Whatwill be included within the licence is still to be decided. However, it isintended that both practitioners and the premises from which they work will beexpected to show proof of certain qualifications and insurance and provideevidence that the premises where procedures take place meet hygiene and safetystandards.

 

Q&A- Top Practitioner ‘must knows’

1.When will the new law come in regulating non-surgical cosmetic (aesthetic)procedures?

 

Wedon’t know yet is the simple answer. Recent statements from Ministers withinthe Department of Health and Social Care show that the Government definitelyintends to introduce legislation. However, the timeline for this has not yetbeen published.

 

2.Are only medical professionals (Doctors, Nurses, Dentists, Allied Healthprofessionals etc.) allowed to offer non-surgical cosmetic (aesthetic)procedures?

 

No.Medically trained and non-medically trained professionals can currently offernon-surgical cosmetic (aesthetic) procedures. However, we consider that allpractitioners offering such procedures should be trained to an agreed nationalstandard. We know however, that this is sometimes not the case.

 

Akey aim of the new licence will be to correct this public safety issue byrequiring all practitioners who perform the specified non-surgical cosmetic(aesthetic) procedures to provide evidence that they meet a new (and yet to bedefined) minimum standard of training, education and skill competence.

 

3.Will practitioner insurance be mandatory?

 

Yes.Whilst the details of the licence are still to be decided, we understand thatthe Government’s intention is to make it mandatory for practitioners to havesome level of insurance and to provide members of the public with access to aformal complaints and redress scheme.

 

4.As a practitioner, what is going to change in terms of what I can and can’t do?

Weneed to wait for the drafting of the licence to learn exactly what will beincluded within the licence and what level of training that will be required.However, we expect that, from a date to be agreed:

-practitioners who perform procedures within the scope of the new license willhave to demonstrate that they possess a nationally determined standard of knowledgeand skill to perform those procedures safely and effectively.

-practitioners will be required to work from premises that meet a nationalstandard in health protection and infection control which will be determined bylocal authority environmental health officers.

-Other standards are also expected to be included in the license around issuesof product supply, storage of products and medicines, prescribing practice,complaints procedures, insurance and the information given to clients bypractitioners.

5.How will practitioners be able to obtain a licence?

 

Practitionersand premises owners will be able to apply for a licence via their localauthority as soon as the licensing scheme is announced.

 

6.How much will a licence cost and will this be a one-off cost or annual?

 

Thecost and frequency of the licence has not yet been decided.

 

7.Will practitioners have to be inspected to obtain (and renew) a licence?

 

Yes.The intention is that practitioners and premises will have to be inspected andchecked against certain nationally agreed and enforceable standards prior toobtaining a licence.

 

8.Can I be prevented from working / operating if I fail a licence inspection?

 

Yes.As with existing licensing schemes, failure to meet the requirements of thelicence can lead to practitioners and premises being prevented from operating.The exact details of the sanctions that will be applied to those practitionerswho fail to meet the required standards set down for the new licence have yetto be legally determined.

 

9.Can I be prevented from practising if I do not possess the correctqualifications or training?

 

Yes- in the future when the new licence is enforced in England. Whilst the exactlevel and content of the national mandated standard is yet to be determined,the intention is that only practitioners who meet an agreed standard will beable to carry out those procedures that are defined as being within the scopeof the new licence.

 

10.What qualifications will practitioners need to possess to perform non-surgicalcosmetic procedures?

 

Seethe response to point 9. This will be determined following extensiveconsultation between the Government and stakeholders.

 

11.How do I know that the products and equipment I am buying is safe and licensedfor use in the UK?

 

Youshould always ensure that the medicines, products, devices and equipment thatyou are intending to use as part of your procedure are ethically sourced andcarry a ‘CE’ or ‘UKCA’ mark and/or meet MHRA quality approval standards. If youare using a prescription only medicine as part of your procedure, then youshould ensure that you follow nationally agreed guidelines on prescribingpractice and the legal requirements for the supply of medicines, and alwaysundertake to ensure that a face-to-face assessment has been undertaken by theprescriber and the person for whom the prescription is intended prior to theprescription being issued.

 

Ifyou have any queries regarding the product, device or substance that isintended for use as part of your procedure then you can seek advice from themanufacturer or pharmaceutical company that produces it, from your pharmacysupplier or from the Medicinesand Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

 

12.What procedures will be licensed?

 

Inthe wording of the Health and Care Act law passed in April 2022, a cosmeticprocedure is defined as a procedure, other than a surgical or dental procedure,that is carried out for cosmetic purposes; and includes—

(a)the injection of a substance;

(b)the application of a substance that is capable of penetrating into or throughthe epidermis;

(c)the insertion of needles into the skin;

(d)the placing of threads under the skin;

(e)the application of light, electricity, cold or heat;

 

However,the exact procedures within this definition will be defined as the licensinglaw is drafted. The Government intends to consult on exactly which procedureswill be included in the scope of the new licence.

 

13.What else will be included in the licence?

 

Again,details of what will be included within the licence is still to be decided.However, we expect that practitioners will be expected to show proof of certainqualifications and insurance, and that the premises where procedures take placemeets hygiene and safety standards.

 

14.Do I have to have this licence if I already have a special treatments or otherlicence?

 

Yes.All practitioners and premises wishing to offer procedures included within thescope of the future licence will have to have a specific licence to do so.

 

15.If I am CQC regulated, will I still have to be licensed?

 

Yes.The intention is that all practitioners, including registered health careprofessionals, will have to have a specific licence to carry out any of theprocedures included within the future legislation.

Whereverpossible we expect that the Government will seek to remove duplication ofinspection regimes. However, what is clear is that the new national licensingstandard for aesthetic practice will be applied to all providers andpractitioners, regardless of their professional background.

Inaddition, all registered healthcare professionals who perform procedures thatare defined for inclusion within the scope of the new licence will also need tocontinue to satisfy all requirements set down by their Professional StatutoryRegulator.

 

Information updated July 2022

Pete Richardson - Consultant to ACPB

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