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October 11, 2023

The journey to cosmetic regulations gathers pace

InsightRegulation

Will Marshall, Head of Legal & Risk Management

The journey to cosmetic regulations gathers pace

Last month saw the long-awaited publication of the Government’s opening public consultation on the proposed licensing scheme for non-surgical cosmetic procedures, The licensing of non-surgical cosmetic procedures in England. The consultation – the first of a series - runs until 28 October 2023. It will take views from industry professionals and individuals who have undergone non-surgical cosmetic procedures.

The consultation focuses on defining the scope of procedures, practitioner restrictions, and age limits. It invites feedback on a proposed traffic light system to categorise risk levels for different procedures.

  • A Green category to include low-risk procedures that all practitioners can do (regardless of whether they are healthcare professionals) provided they meet the new standards.
  • An Amber category for medium-risk procedures. Non-healthcare professionals will still be able to perform these procedures, but they will have to be licensed and overseen by a regulated healthcare professional with the right qualifications.
  • A Red category is for the highest-risk procedures. Only healthcare professionals can perform these procedures, which will be regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Under the proposals, providers will also be prohibited from performing procedures included within the scheme on most under 18s – in line with the current law on Botox injections, cosmetic fillers, tattoos, teeth whitening and sunbed use.

Key takeaways 

  •  The consultation reiterates the Government’s determination to introduce a comprehensive licensing regime to the non-surgical cosmetic sector.
  • This again underlines the importance of extensive stakeholder engagement in this hugely complex process – a proactive approach that has been warmly welcomed by patients and practitioners groups alike.
  • There is still a long way to go before the scheme becomes law. Further engagement and consultations will now follow on the specific elements that will underpin the scheme, including education and training standards, insurance, hygiene standards, and fees for the licensing scheme.
  • The fuse to reform has been well and truly lit. Watch this space for future developments

A full version of this article is available for Altea Policyholders. 

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