Changes to Who Can Practice Aesthetics in the UK

We’re approximately six months away from what’s expected to be the biggest wave of regulatory changes the UK aesthetic medicine sector has ever seen.

One of these is understood to centre on changes to who can practice aesthetics in the UK, with the introduction of mandatory qualifications. We expect it to be announced that a Level 7 Diploma or equivalent will be required for all injectors.

This is what we know and how you can start preparing now to meet these requirements…

Why new regulations are being introduced

APPG Aesthetics Inquiry recommendations Summer 2021 - Cosmetic Injectables Regulation - Harley Academy Aesthetic Medicine Training Courses Level 7 Qualification

The All-Party Political Group (APPG) review of non-surgical aesthetics in the UK started in 2019. Its findings were detailed in a report which was published in July 2021. 

This group’s key aim was to establish the current state of the industry and to set out recommendations that would improve patient safety.

These forthcoming regulations are the result of the APPG aesthetics inquiry recommendations; industry buzz suggests they should start being announced around Spring 2022.

Unlike most other countries, at present anyone can practice aesthetic medicine in the UK. You don’t have to demonstrate any level of medical training or hold a particular level of qualification to administer dermal fillers, as these are not prescription drugs. Non-medic injectors who are able to work with a prescriber are also able to administer botox treatments.  

Untrained – or under-trained – practitioners with no knowledge of preventing or managing complications is understood to be one of the drivers behind issues such as increasing complication rates. 

Unscrupulous, inadequate aesthetic medicine training course providers are also at fault and can mislead even medical professionals into thinking they are better qualified than they really are. We expect to see some “quality control” regulations to address this issue, too.

Whilst imposing a ban on non-healthcare professional injectors is unlikely, anticipated new measures may make it harder for non-medics to practice. 

What we know about the anticipated aesthetics regulations

Level 7 Diploma in Injectables - Dr Tristan Mehta treats a patient during an Observation Day

One of the forecast new legislative moves involves dermal fillers being made a prescription medication. This would make them more difficult to obtain without a valid prescribing qualification and license.

Another – the introduction of mandatory qualifications for injectors – is the main point of interest to us as educators heavily involved in establishing higher standards in aesthetic medicine training courses. 

The Level 7 Diploma in Botox and Dermal Fillers, or an equivalent, is currently the recommended education standard for injectables in the UK. Developed by our founder and executive chairman, Dr Tristan Mehta, the Level 7 became the first Ofqual-regulated qualification in Aesthetics in 2016. It also meets Health Education England’s (HEE) Qualification Requirements for Delivery of Cosmetic Procedures, which are expected to form the basis of these future licensing requirements for UK aesthetics practice.

Harley Academy became the first Joint Council of Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) approved training provider in 2018. 

We strive to improve not only the quality and standards of the industry as a whole, but also those of our own educational offerings. You will see that we have recently revamped our Level 7 training content to ensure it is as in-depth, up-to-date and easy to use as possible.

Our industry-leading aesthetics training course delivers a Master’s level education and is respected throughout the industry.

With both theory and practical, mentored elements, the Level 7 provides a comprehensive grounding that includes anatomy, facial ageing, injection techniques, product selection, patient care and ethics. 

As such, taking the next step to making the Level 7 Diploma mandatory is a natural progression and will be a welcome advancement for practitioner knowledge and patient safety.

We believe the Level 7, or equivalent, will be outlined as the mandatory aesthetic medicine qualification in the forthcoming legislation. However, this requirement is likely to be phased in, to allow time for people to train and qualify.

Obtaining a Level 7 Diploma in Botox and Dermal Fillers

Aesthetics mentor one-to-one trainingPreventing lumps from dermal filler advice from aesthetics experts Harley Academy aesthetic medicine training courses level 7 injectables

As we get closer to announcements about the new legislation we expect an increase in the number of queries about our Level 7 Diploma. Here we’ve answered three of the most frequently asked questions about how you can obtain a Level 7 Diploma with Harley Academy, including our Fast Track option for established practitioners…

Who can take the Level 7 course?

We train qualified and licensed doctors, dentists, nurses and midwives with valid registration numbers. 

Where English is not your first language, an English Language Testing System (IELTS) 7.0 in all components is needed.

How long does it take to get a Level 7 Diploma qualification?

Our flagship Diploma course (as opposed to our quicker Fast Track option outlined below) is self-paced, which means you can complete it at your own speed. You will then sit exams and, should you pass, your qualification will be awarded and a Diploma certificate provided to you. 

The shortest time our Level 7 training can be completed in is roughly 12 months. However, it can also be spread out over whatever period of time works, so it fits around you.

Many NHS workers who are making the transition into aesthetic medicine find this bite-sized approach to the initial eLearning works well with their schedules.

How can I get a Level 7 quickly?

If you’re a practicing injector and have three or more years’ experience, or if you’ve treated over 100 cases, you may be eligible for our Level 7 Diploma Fast Track.

By allowing for Recognition of Prior Learning, you can achieve your Level 7 Diploma by simply completing your Logbook and a remote-only assessment process.

This means successful students can gain a Level 7 Diploma within a minimum of 6 months.

Fast Track students receive the same access to our Level 7 eLearning, digital logbook and top-notch student services team, to support you throughout your expedited journey.

With big changes on the way, we encourage you to join the thousands of healthcare professionals who have already begun or completed their qualification in injectables. 

To find out more about our classic and Fast Track Level 7 options, book a call with Deneal Basi, head of student recruitment. He’ll talk you through the whole process and help you decide which is the best way to help future-proof your aesthetic medicine career.

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