Licensing Regime for Non-Surgical Treatments by July 2023

The UK government have responded to the Department of Health and Social and Care Committee (HSCC) 2022 report on the impact of body image on mental and physical health. Alongside the report they have announced details of its aesthetics licensing plan including delivery will be released by July 2023.

In section 5 of the report, it starts to explore the use of non-surgical cosmetic procedures for those suffering with negative body image from mental and physical health. Sharing statistics such as:

  • 8% of adults (4% of men and 13% of women) had considered cosmetic procedures
  • 36% of young people agreed they would do ‘whatever it took’ to look good, with 10% saying they had considered cosmetic procedures
  • 5% and 15% of patients who present for cosmetic procedures meet the diagnostic criteria for BDD

These findings point towards the aesthetic industry and what we are doing to ensure patients are not taken advantage of and only treated when practitioners are happy they meet the suitable criteria to undergo such procedures, mentally and physically.

The JCCP shared their statistics, which highlights how important it is for proper procedures and guidelines to be put in place to ensure patient safety:

  • 22% did not have any pre-treatment consultation
  • 70% had a consultation that lasted less than 20 minutes
  • Almost one in four were not asked anything about their previous medical history during their consultation
  • Almost four out of five patients were not asked anything about body image orpsychological/emotional challenges

A future regulatory regime for non-surgical cosmetic procedures

The following statements were documented in response to future regulatory for the industry:

The dangers posed by non-surgical cosmetic procedures in vulnerable groups have been evident throughout the inquiry. The new licensing regime provides an opportunity to ensure that anyone planning to undertake a non-surgical cosmetic procedure has the time and space to consider their decision and weigh up the risks and benefits. It is clear this is not currently the case for everyone in that position.

We recommend that the new licensing regime for non-surgical cosmetic procedures includes a commitment to a two-part consent process for anyone considering having a non-surgical cosmetic procedure, including, at a minimum, a full medical and mental health history, as well as a mandatory 48-hour cooling off period between the consent process and undergoing the procedure. We further believe that information provided to patients or clients who are considering any treatments should always be provided with information in an accessible format to ensure they are able to make an informed choice about their proposed treatment.

Premises regulation 

The guidelines of regulations are looking at the premises which treatments are being carried out in alongside practitioner safety, the following was commented:

There should be specific premises standards for all beauty salons and non-CQC registered premises providing non-surgical cosmetic procedures. Local Authority Enforcement Officers should be given extended powers to enforce compliance with a nationally agreed set of premises standards.

Education and training for practitioners

In the UK there is no enforcement in place to ensure practitioners undergo adequate training of aesthetic treatments before injecting the public. This includes no training standards set. At present, anyone can administer non-surgical treatments, and anyone can train them, regardless of medical and educational background. It has been called upon for qualifications and training framework to be provided to ensure a high quality of training for those in the industry.

Professor Sines shared the belief that any future education and training framework must include mandatory mental health screening. He stated:
“With education and training being set as a new standard, which of course is the spirit of the licence, within that, the curriculum would require that any person who demonstrates the proficiency to achieve that education and training standard should and will be trained in psychological and emotional screening, pre-consultation.”

We are convinced that there is a need for a minimum standard to be met in regard to the education and training of practitioners who perform non-surgical cosmetic procedures. It is essential to ensure patient safety, and thus should be a central pillar of a future licensing regime. The Professional Standards Authority should be given the power to oversee a register of approved training providers. All training providers should have to meet an Ofqual-regulated standard.

Dermal Filler Remains Non-Prescription 

Botulinum toxin, more popularly known as Botox, is at least a prescription-only medicine, meaning it has to be prescribed before it can be used on a patient. Professor Sines explained that dermal fillers, on the other hand, are not prescription-only medicines and are treated as medical devices. He explained that if they were to be treated as prescription-only devices, then “there would be a requirement for oversight from prescribers, which would certainly provide greater protection for the public.”

We recommend that the Department review the licencing of dermal fillers to be prescription-only substances, in line with Botox, in order to provide more protection for people undertaking procedures involving dermal fillers.


As always, we are here to help and support you, we will continue to provide the latest updates regarding upcoming licensing. As a company we stand by the current proposal and are looking for a safer future within aesthetics. If you would like any support or information regarding our courses, please contact us on: 01844 390110 / [email protected].


You can find the latest updates in the Government Guidelines Knowledge Hub.