Licensing scheme for aesthetics to become Act of Parliament after Health and Care Bill granted Royal Assent

The Health and Care Bill has received Royal Assent by Her Majesty The Queen, enacting the most significant health legislation in a decade into law.

Included in the Bill was an amendment tabled by the Joint Council of Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) on September 21, 2021 that a mandated licensing regime be put in place for the more invasive cosmetic treatments and make it an offence for someone to practise without a licence and to practise from unlicensed premises. 

The passing of the bill means the Government will give the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care the power to introduce a national licensing regime, the scope and details of which will be determined after a public consultation. 

The licensing scheme will introduce consistent standards that individuals carrying out non-surgical cosmetic procedures will have to meet, as well as hygiene and safety standards for premises. The government has described the amendment as “the next step on the road to effective regulation of non-surgical cosmetic procedures (and hair restoration surgery) in England.”

The new licensing regime complements and fits well with the JCCP’s ten-point plan of action, which says we believe there should be:

 Statutory regulation to ensure that only practitioners who meet the required standards for safe and effective practice can practise legally.

Professor David Sines, executive chair and registrar of the JCCP, commented: “The UK government’s decision to introduce a licensing scheme to regulate the administration of the more invasive aesthetic treatments is a welcome contribution to enhancing public protection and patient safety. 

“The JCCP and the CPSA are prepared and mobilised to support and contribute to the development of standards for both practice and education and training in support of the new licensing scheme. 

“The system of regulation for the aesthetic sector is complex and multifarious. Our shared call to action remains at the heart of our strategy. In our opinion, nothing less than joined-up governance and the closure of loopholes within the current regulatory landscape will be acceptable if we are to truly seek to serve and protect members of the public from unwarranted variation with regard to the standards and quality of service and they should expect from aesthetic practitioners within the United Kingdom. The JCCP and the CPSA call on the sector to use this legislation and the forthcoming coming consultation to adopt high standards of practice and clinical excellence.”