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Personal Treatment Licences

Anyone in the district who wants to carry out the following personal treatments will need to be registered with us:

  • Acupuncture
  • Tattooing
  • Semi-permanent skin-colouring
  • Cosmetic piercing (including micro-needling)
  • Electrolysis

Both the person carrying out the practice and the premises used will need to be registered. We cannot refuse registration, but the practice is controlled through compliance with bye-laws in each case.

The applicant must ensure that the procedures, equipment and facilities used are safe, hygienic, prevent the spread of disease and comply fully with the general duty of care required by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

It is illegal to conduct piercing, tattooing, semi-permanent skin colouring acupuncture or electrolysis unless the registration has been formally approved.

The inspector will also check compliance with bye-law requirements as well as ensuring that general health and safety requirements are being met. The inspector will be pleased to offer any advice or give any help if you are unsure as to how to meet these obligations.


  • Check you comply with the byelaw requirements by reading the information below or downloading the byelaws for Personal Treatment Licences guide below
  • You will need to fill in the Personal treatment licence application (see below)
  • This will cost a single payment of £175 to register the premises and £105 for each personal registration
  • Once an application has been made and the fee paid an officer will inspect the premises. If the inspector considers the applicant's procedures and the premises to be suitable, then registration will be approved

Byelaw requirements

  • All surfaces in any part of the premises used by clients must be kept clean and in good repair
  • Waste material or other waste is handled and disposed of appropriately
  • All furniture and fittings in the treatment area must be kept clean and in good repair
  • Tables, couches, seats etc used in the treatment area must have a smooth, impervious surface which is regularly wiped down with disinfectant and covered by a disposable paper sheet, changed after each client
  • A 'No Smoking' and ‘No Eating and Drinking’ sign must be prominently displayed
Cleanliness of operatives
  • Any overall worn by the operative should be clean and in good repair
  • The operative's hands and nails must be kept clean
  • Any open cut, wound, sore or boil must be suitably covered by an impermeable dressing
  • The operative must wear clean, disposable examination gloves
  • The operative should not smoke nor drink in the treatment area
  • The operative should have sole use of the washing facilities (some exemptions do apply) which must provide hot and cold running water, soap (or a similar cleanser) and hygienic hand drying facilities
  • Any needle, metal instrument or another item of equipment used in the treatment must be in a sterile condition and kept sterile until it is used
  • If pre-sterilised items are not used then adequate facilities must be provided for the purpose of sterilisation
  • If tattooing is being undertaken, then all dyes used must be bacteriologically clean and inert. The containers used to hold dyes for each customer must be disposed of at the end of each treatment or sterilised before re-use
  • Any jewellery used for cosmetic piercing by means of a hygienic piercing instrument is sterile

Registered practitioners must adhere to the following:

  • It is an offence to tattoo any person under the age of 18 years (the Tattooing of Minors Act 1969) regardless of parental consent
  • A person under the age of 18 years may receive body piercing provided that written permission is produced from, or the treatment is performed in the presence of, the person's parent or guardian
  • Nipple and genital piercing is prohibited on minors, regardless of parental consent
  • The health of the client and the suitability of the treatment should be discussed prior to its administration
  • It is advisable to keep written records of the name and address of every client and also the date of the treatment. Accurate dates will be valuable if there is any question of an infection problem and can often help to protect the practitioner

Records should be retained for a minimum of one year.

Last updated 2 April 2024
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