New Industry Standards
The Aesthetic treatment world is changing in the UK. New standards are being brought in to ensure that practitioners in aesthetic clinics and beauty salons offering advanced non-invasive treatments are properly insured, and their staff trained to the appropriate level. The UK lags behind other European countries in requiring training for operators of machinery performing non-invasive treatments. Until recently these machines were exclusively limited to highly trained medics, but they have now migrated into the aesthetics world. In light of these changes, the UK is quickly trying to bring itself in line with its European neighbours as the serious injury that can befall clients being treated by practitioners who are inadequately trained on such powerful machinery is becoming more and more common.
Much of the training in the UK aesthetic sector has traditionally been carried out by manufacturers and distributors of equipment. As the driving force behind this training is to sell the equipment, it is not surprising that standards vary between manufacturers. Both the Keogh report on cosmetic interventions (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-the-regulation-of-cosmetic-interventions) and HEE (Health Education England) reports (https://hee.nhs.uk/news-events/news/new-qualifications-unveiled-improve-safety-non-surgical-cosmetic-procedures) have recognised the problem of inadequate training and standards. In response to the recommendations that minimum levels of training and qualifications be introduced to carry out treatments safely, a Joint Council of Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) was set up consisting of industry stakeholders with the intention of “self-regulating” the non-surgical aesthetics sector and setting common standards across the industry.
The JCCP Interim Chair, Professor David Sines, has said: “It has been a huge task to get so many stakeholders in the non-surgical aesthetics sector together and to reach a consensus on the role of the JCCP and how it can achieve its primary aim of delivering safer treatments for the public. For the first time working with its sister body the Cosmetic Practice Standards Authority (CPSA) it will be able to identify to the public practitioners and education/training providers who will work to the newly agreed set of educational, clinical and practice standards and within the JCCP Code of Practice. This complex process has involved working with Government Departments, all the Statutory Regulatory Bodies, Professional Associations (Medical and Non-Medical), product and service suppliers, education and training bodies, industry sector bodies and many individual and leading practitioners. Over the coming months we will be announcing a series of decisions, actions and programmes that will lead to the formal opening of the JCCP registers in November 2017.”
With the desire to promote safe practice across the industry, the JCCP has set about creating registers through which the public will be able to identify safe practitioners offering non-surgical aesthetics treatments. These registers are set to come into action in November of 2017 and have the support of the biggest insurance companies in the industry. The JCCP is a very positive first step towards a safer industry, but it is worth noting that within such a dynamic market, with new treatments at the frontiers of cosmetic and medical innovation, it has proved difficult to always find “experts” with the experience and expertise to advise on safe procedures.
At the Academy of Advanced Aesthetics, we specialise in treatments that we fully understand. Barbara Freytag, the Principal of the Academy, herself a medically trained radiographer, has been developing her portfolio of courses concentrating on the treatment and the core knowledge required to fully understand the effects of the treatment on the client, potential dangers and contraindications, as well as what to do in the unlikely event that things go wrong.
Over the eight years that Barbara has been offering courses, her student base has consistently been populated by medical professionals and conscientious therapists, who both appreciate the importance of gaining high-quality training as they are aware that whilst the benefits of many of the new non-invasive treatments are indeed impressive, there are risks and dangers associated with any treatment. Our dedication to promoting safety in the aesthetics industry has been recognized by the “Safety in Beauty Campaign”, having been a finalist for the “Diamond Safety in Beauty Award” for two years running. We welcome all the efforts by our peers in the industry to make non-surgical aesthetic treatments safer, and will continue to campaign to raise the standards across the industry.