Do you currently run, or are planning to set up, a cosmetic clinic in Scotland? Then it’s important you know about the new clinic regulations coming into force next year.

Many in the industry have been crying out for a change in the law when it comes to non-surgical treatments. And now Scotland has become the first nation in the UK to take action.

The Scottish Government have announced plans to start regulating clinics offering healthcare services and non-surgical cosmetic treatments from April 2016.

The change will be managed by Healthcare Improvement Scotland, and will apply to all private clinics where services are provided by doctors, dentists, nurses and midwives.

As the law stands in the UK, there is currently no regulation for the non-surgical cosmetic industry (despite last year’s Health Education England review). So this represents a trailblazing move by Scotland’s devolved Government – and one we’d like to see rolled out nationwide.

The new clinic regulations – why now?

The clinic regulations are a response to recommendations made this month by the Scottish Cosmetic Interventions Expert Group (SCIEG).

The Group was set up in January 2014 by Scottish Government ministers who gave them a simple brief – find the best way to regulate the cosmetic industry and make non-surgical treatments safer for patients.

They commissioned research which found that less than a quarter (23%) of Scots have a fair amount of confidence in non-surgical cosmetic procedures.

With stats like that, it was clear the public were looking for reassurance.

What the Scottish clinic regulations will mean

SCIEP have proposed to roll out the clinic regulations in three phases. The first priority will be to introduce checks on independent cosmetic clinics, followed by healthcare clinics where medical professionals offer Botox and dermal fillers, and the third phase will concentrate on other aesthetic practitioners.

There are a raft of other recommendations too, including new requirements for practitioners to have adequate and up-to-date training and insurance, a transparent complaints procedure, and a duty to report breaches of advertising legislation to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Scotland’s Minister for Public Health, Maureen Watt, had this to say about the new clinic regulations:

“Cosmetic procedures, both surgical and non-surgical, have increased massively in popularity over the last few years.”

“There are many reputable practitioners in Scotland, but unfortunately there are others who do not live up to those high standards. That can lead to complications after procedures, sometimes leaving the customer with lasting injuries. By introducing a sound system of regulation and inspection we hope to reduce those instances.”

The move has been publicly supported by the GMC, so it will be very interesting to see whether England follows suit. We’ll be sure to keep you posted with any developments.

Cosmetic Courses offer accredited aesthetic courses, including Botox training, to medical professionals looking to enter the cosmetic industry. For information on our range of courses, or to book a place, please contact the team on 01844 318317 or email [email protected].