CIEH campaign to safeguard cosmetics industry successful as Government commits to new licensing scheme for practitioners

01 March 2022, Ross Matthewman

CIEH has strongly welcomed the UK Government’s support for its flagship campaign to make the cosmetics industry in England safer. Having vocally campaigned for better regulation and a licensing scheme for practitioners to be introduced, CIEH is delighted that the UK Government will now support this course of action within the Health and Care Bill. 

Earlier today, the Government confirmed that people providing non-surgical cosmetic procedures would need a licence under new plans to protect patients from botched cosmetic procedures.

Research carried out in 2020 by CIEH and the Institute of Licensing (IoL) found that current legislation is not able to guarantee consumer safety when undertaking a cosmetic treatment on the high street or in their home. A survey of regulators found overwhelming support for the introduction of a licensing scheme, with 90% of the respondents agreeing that this could improve the regulatory system and protect the public from harm.

Since these reports, CIEH has been working in coalition with the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), the Institute of Licensing (IoL), the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP), the UK Public Health Network (UKPHN), the Faculty of Public Health (FPH), and Save Face, in calling for better regulation of all cosmetic treatments.

These treatments include common beauty treatments offered on the high street which can cause serious harm to clients if not carried out correctly and in a safe environment. Critically, there is currently no consistent system of regulation in England and no nationally-set training and qualification requirements for practitioners offering these treatments.

Working with public health partners, CIEH drafted and supported a key amendment to the Health and Care Bill, aimed at making the cosmetics industry safer in England, and worked closely with peers from across the political spectrum to ensure it received cross-party support in the House of Lords.

The amendment enabled the Secretary of State for Health to introduce a licensing scheme for all non-surgical cosmetic procedures and was sponsored by:

  • Baroness Merron (Labour)
  • Lord Lansley (Conservative)
  • Baroness Brinton (Liberal Democrat)
  • Baroness Finlay (Crossbench)

The amendment mirrored the one also drafted by the Chartered institute of Environmental Health and tabled by Caroline Nokes MP in the House of Commons, which went on to be signed by 20 MPs from political parties across the House.

The Government has now indicated that they will table their own amendment to the Health and Care Bill taking forward the details from the CIEH-sponsored amendment.

Baroness Ilora Finlay, Vice President of CIEH, said:

“We are delighted that the Government has now committed to introducing a licensing scheme for non-surgical cosmetics procedures. This has been a long campaign and we are incredibly grateful to all those people and organisations who have been involved.

The Government’s announcement that they will be tabling their own amendment to the Health and Care Bill, encompassing our key campaign calls, follows many months of discussions with Ministers and officials in the Department of Health and Social Care. It is very rewarding that we have now got to this stage.

We look forward to working closely and positively with the Government going forward to design the scope and details of the new scheme.” 

Baroness Gillian Merron, Shadow Health and Care Minister, said:

“Having explored how best to make the cosmetic industry safer for consumers, Labour welcomes the government’s decision. The introduction of a licensing scheme will be a much needed, positive step forward in tackling malpractice”

Lord Andrew Lansley said:

“Since the PiP scandal and the Keogh Review which followed, we have sought to make cosmetic procedures safer and provided by those trained and competent. The Government have listened. This is a good day for protecting those seeking cosmetic services.”

Julie Barratt, CIEH President, said:

“This is a campaign that CIEH has been at the forefront of, and we are very pleased that it has achieved success.

Introducing safeguards and better regulation to the cosmetics industry in England has been a key goal for CIEH. We strongly welcome the positive engagement we have had with the Government on this issue culminating in today’s announcement.

We will continue to work with our partners to help the Government build this much needed regulation of the cosmetics industry.”

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