Regulation of non-surgical cosmetic procedures: consultation

We are seeking views on the regulation of non-medically trained providers of non-surgical cosmetic procedures.


The Scottish Cosmetic Interventions Expert Group (SCIEG) was set up in January 2014 to explore the need to regulate cosmetic procedures. This followed the publication of the UK-wide Keogh Review in April 2013 which, amongst other things, identified that little regulation already existed, and there was a call from all groups, professions and experts for a new legislative framework.

SCIEG's 2015 report recommended a phased approach to regulation. The first phase addressed the regulation of independent clinics run by certain healthcare professionals. Independent clinics where services are provided by a doctor, nurse, dentist, dental nurse, midwife or dental technician were brought within the regulation of Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) through a series of Scottish Statutory Instruments (SSIs) which came into force on 1 April 2016[1]. These SSIs amended the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 (the 1978 Act), which is the primary legislation from which Healthcare Improvement Scotland's statutory powers are taken. It also provides for the regulation of independent healthcare services.

The policy is to ensure that where healthcare professionals are working independently from the NHS, they do so in a clinic that is registered with HIS who will inspect the premises to ensure that they meet cleanliness and hygiene standards, that the business is viable and suitably indemnified, and that they have paid their registration fee.

The second phase, which the Scottish Government is currently taking forward, is to look at non-surgical cosmetic procedures that pierce/penetrate the skin (such as dermal, lip fillers, wrinkle smoothers) provided by people who are not qualified healthcare professionals and who work from non-regulated premises, for instance beauty or hairdressing salons. SCIEG recommended compulsory licensing by local authorities for all cosmetic practitioners delivering cosmetic procedures as indicated above, as well as an effective ban on these procedures being carried out by non healthcare professionals.



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