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Professional Standards Authority responds to Government consultation on non-surgical cosmetic procedures

The Professional Standards Authority has today published its response to the Government’s consultation on the licensing of non-surgical cosmetic procedures in England. We have previously expressed concern about the ongoing, unmanaged risks arising from treatments such as Botox and fillers.

We support the introduction of a licensing scheme to ensure that those who choose non-surgical cosmetic procedures can be confident that the treatment they receive is of a high standard.

We also support proposals to set a minimum age of 18 for access to all non-surgical cosmetic procedures; and to remove high-risk procedures from the scope of the licensing scheme and place them under additional regulatory oversight.

We recommend that further consideration is given to the following areas:

  • The licensing scheme needs to be simple and transparent – for example, if the tiered system (red, amber, green) proposed for procedures with different levels of risk is adopted, then clear communications will be needed so that the public know what to look for when accessing different kinds of treatments safely 
  • Existing safeguards that already provide some protection, e.g. the Accredited Registers programme, which acts to raise standards in the sector
  • A consistent approach across the four UK countries. Recent media reports describe customers crossing the border to Wales to avoid ‘over-18 only’ legislation in England for Botox and lip fillers.

We would like to see a scheme introduced as soon as possible. We remain concerned about patient safety in the meantime and recommend the following:

  • To anyone choosing treatments such as Botox and fillers, search to find a practitioner on an Accredited Register. We have checked that registers meet our standards and awarded them our Quality Mark
  • To all eligible non-surgical cosmetic practitioners – join an Accredited Register to demonstrate their competence and reduce risk to the public.

Alan Clamp, Chief Executive of the Professional Standards Authority, said:

‘We remain concerned that some people are still experiencing harm at the hands of poorly trained or unscrupulous practitioners. We are pleased that the Government is moving forward with the development of a licensing scheme but, in the meantime, would urge people who are accessing treatments to choose a practitioner on an Accredited Register.’


Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care


Notes to the Editor

  1. The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care oversees 10 statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK.
  2. We assess their performance and report to Parliament. We also conduct audits and investigations and can appeal fitness to practise cases to the courts if we consider that sanctions are insufficient to protect the public and it is in the public interest. 
  3. We also set standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredit those that meet them.
  4. We share good practice and knowledge, conduct research and introduce new ideas to our sector. We monitor policy developments in the UK and internationally and provide advice on issues relating to professional standards in health and social care.
  5. We do this to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of users of health and social care services and the public. We are an independent body, accountable to the UK Parliament.
  6. Our values are – integrity, transparency, respect, fairness and teamwork – and we strive to ensure that they are at the core of our work.
  7. More information about our work and the approach we take is available at