Scottish Medical Aesthetic Professionals warned to register before October 1st or face £5k fine and 3 months prison

Medical Aesthetic Professionals are warned to ‘Register before October the 1st or stop trading and face up to 3 months in prison or a £5,000 fine” states a senior officer at Healthcare Improvement Scotland

Tracy Birch a Senior Programme Manager in Quality Assurance at Healthcare Improvement Scotland., published the stark reminder on a blog article 2 days ago, reminding cosmetic and aesthetic professionals of the looming deadline.

Independent clinics and professionals practicing in the sphere of aesthetic medicine have been legally required to register their service with Healthcare Improvement Scotland for over a year.

The register was implemented to safeguard and assure the public that the provider is fit for practice and provides clinics with the opportunity to demonstrate that they have met various stringent criteria.

The article explained that ‘Regulation also helps to improve safety for customers and ensures that independent clinics continually ‘raise the bar’ by striving to improve the services that they provide. To date, nearly 300 clinics throughout Scotland have complied with the new legal requirement to register their businesses’

Birch went on to state that ‘We have recently taken the step of writing to independent clinics to let them know that unregistered services who submit completed applications on or after 1 October 2018 must cease trading until the registration process is complete.’ And for those failing to comply to the request for registration Birch warned ‘If they continue to trade after this date, we will report the service to the Procurator Fiscal Service. If found guilty, the penalty for failing to comply with this legal requirement is up to three months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £5,000.

With a favourable stance towards consumer protection the article stated that  ‘Members of the public who are unhappy with the services they have received in a clinic can also make a complaint to us. When a clinic is registered with us, we also have the power to take enforcement action where we identify a significant risk to the safety and wellbeing of patients’.

The Safety in Beauty Campaign welcome the news, and feel that the tough stance adopted by Scotland, should be mirrored in the UK.

As such, no register has been implemented to date in the UK, that has bore any success, the latest offering is the recent emergence of The Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) and the Cosmetic Practice Standards Authority (CPSA) these are two organizations that are self-regulating and self appointed entities of the non-surgical aesthetic industry in the UK, however the initiative has had a rocky start, and has been met with hostility, from the medical aesthetic community who oppose the voluntary register, as it welcomes the participation of beauty therapists, to sit alongside medically qualified healthcare professionals.

As a result registration numbers have been minimal and the battle of division between medical healthcare professionals and beauty therapist continues.

On a final note, our campaign asks? what about the non-medics in Scotland? who will they be held accountable to? as a campaign and industry we welcome stricter laws to safeguard the public, but this must be a universal law and approach, to everyone practising with the scope of aesthetic interventions, for it is commonly those who are not accountable, that by statistic and documented evidence gathered over five years, we can robustly state are the ones who ‘get away with murder’….

If you would like to find out more about registration and regulation, in Scotland please call the Independent Healthcare Enquiry Line on 0131 623 4342 or email

Article Credit: Tracy Birch is Senior Programme Manager in Quality Assurance at Healthcare, blog published and quoted from 4thSeptember 2018

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