The benefits of belonging

01 Jan 2015

This month’s special feature takes a closer look at the professional bodies and organisations that together make up the UK aesthetic landscape, and asks, what do they have to o er practitioners in 2015?

BAAPS (British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons)

What is BAAPS? BAAPS is a professional body specifically for surgeons practicing aesthetic surgery. It is a registered charity dedicated to advancing education and the practice of aesthetic plastic surgery for public benefit.

What does it do? BAAPS offers training and support to members. All members need to be on the specialist register, sponsored by two other full members, and be able to demonstrate competence in aesthetic surgery. They must submit an annual audit of their figures and abide by a code of practice, reinforcing the BAAPS brand to the public. BAAPS has recently launched regional training meetings and hopes to assist the industry by promoting training, research, ethics, public education and safety. 

BAAPS has an average annual meeting attendance of 200 surgeons. 

Member benefits: Practitioners can attend a free annual meeting, receive a free subscription to the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, contribute to an annual national surgical audit, and support research into aesthetic surgery. BAAPS claims that patients can look for membership to the association as reassurance that their surgeon will act in an ethical and safe manner according to a specific code of practice.

The future: Paul Harris, BAAPS council member, says, “As a result [of the Keogh report], we should be able to establish a clear set of standards in training, audit and patient communication that will significantly reduce the chances of rogue practitioners causing damage to or profiteering from patients.” 

BACN (British Association of Cosmetic Nurses) 

What is BACN? The BACN is a professional membership organisation for fully qualified nurses or trainees, in cosmetic nursing. It aims to ensure cosmetic nurses are recognised and can access current legislation, education and peer support to ensure consumers receive safe, professional treatment.

What does it do? The BACN agreed a three-year strategic plan in 2014 meeting their member needs. It also saw publication of the RCN/BACN Accredited Competency Framework for Aesthetic Nurses. It aims to be an integral part of shaping the standards of non-surgical practice in both Europe and the UK, actively encouraging member participation.

Member benefits: In 2015, BACN hopes to offer a strong, revitalised regional network for nurses to meet, exchange best practise, attend workshops and obtain CPD points. Members can expect news, events and resources on practise, research, products and suppliers. They may also receive discounted insurance, events, and magazine subscriptions. 

The future: “There are some exciting new benefits for BACN members for 2015 including strategic sponsored Super meetings, in addition to regional meetings, and a new BACN App for easier website access to news, classifieds, guidelines and protocols,” says Sharon Bennett, chairperson of BACN. “We are also hoping to agree an associate membership for other professionals, giving access to meetings and education to GMC, GDC and overseas nurses, though retaining NMC registrants at board level. The BACN is working on the NMC pilot for revalidation, along with other healthcare organisations, to enable a smooth transition when the service is initiated in September 2015.” 

Since 2010 the BACN have grown to over 600+ members. 

BCAM (British College of Aesthetic Medicine)

What is BCAM? Founded in 2001, BCAM is a professional body that aims to encourage regulation within the industry and make aesthetic medicine safer for the public. It is a doctor-only organisation encompassing any medical specialty.

What does it do? BCAM has increasing input into standard setting across a range of institutions, such as Health Education England (HEE) and the General Medical Council
(GMC), various diplomas and the Department of Health. This allows the organisation to influence the aesthetic agenda and provide education to the public and the medical profession.

Member benefits: Any aesthetic doctor can apply for associate membership and after two years, following Board approval, full membership. It offers peer support through a website forum, advice on matters concerning practice, and appraisal with a Responsible Officer, leading to revalidation. It also hosts an annual conference and is involved in standard setting, on which members have a chance to present their views.

The future: Dr Paul Charlson, president of BCAM, says, “In the future we aim to become more involved in diploma development. We aim to create a new website with social media linkage to allow members to be easily identified by the public, and increase our media presence and membership in order to be seen as the ‘go to’ organisation for high quality advice and practitioners.” 

BCAM has a network of over 300 doctors. 

UKAAPS (UK Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons)

What is UKAAPS? UKAAPS was formed as a professional body by a group of like-minded plastic surgeons, with membership only available to those who are fully accredited and practice non-surgical aesthetics and aesthetic/cosmetic surgery. 

What does it do? It provides support for aesthetic plastic surgeons and aims to show the public that there is training available for aesthetic plastic surgeons. The training provided by UKAAPS is in the form of the MCh Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery Practice course, which allows practitioners to develop their knowledge and expertise as aesthetic plastic surgeons, and also works to assure the public of full specialist training.

Member benefits: UKAAPS offers members training and event days, which vary from live surgery events to industry meetings. They have regular council meetings to discuss developments and showcase live surgeries in the UK and abroad. Plastic surgeons on the MCh degree course must complete 14 competencies and are provided with VLE learning platforms, live surgery demonstrations and supervised practical surgery. All UKAAPS members are members of BAPRAS.

The future: Professor James Frame, president of UKAAPS, says, “UKAAPS has already set its house in order before the Keogh report and the GMC recommendations. It provides the world-first university validated training course in aesthetic surgery for plastic surgeons.” 

Over 185 surgeons internationally logged in to watch UKAAP’s July Surgery Masterclass online. 

BAPRAS (British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons)

What is BAPRAS? BAPRAS is a registered charity and the only statutory association for plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeons and trainees in the UK.

What does it do? The goal of the association is to drive professional standards, education and innovation across plastic surgery. BAPRAS works with its members to create best practice in the UK and internationally, and aims to deliver improved outcomes for patients. It also aims to differentiate itself by developing policy in a patient-focused manner from the perspective of plastic surgeons as a community.

Member benefits: BAPRAS offers a range of membership options to suit all levels of surgical expertise. The association facilitates the development of plastic surgery both by subspecialty and as a whole. Members are expected to contribute to the speciality and take part in an on-going exchange of information, knowledge and expertise. They receive reduced rates of registration for BAPRAS meetings and courses, as well as support from colleagues and special interest groups in dealing with challenging clinical cases and ethical issues.

The Future: “BAPRAS is collaborating with major independent providers and other mainstream surgical associations to represent surgery as a whole and to develop novel methods for the training of surgeons in procedures no longer available on the NHS,” says Mark Henley, chairman of the BAPRAS Independent Practice Committee. “This includes the use of surgical simulation and ‘Hands On’ training in the independent sector.”

BAPRAS has 800+ members to date 

BCDG (British Cosmetic Dermatology Group)

What is the BCDG? A section of the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD), the BCDG is a national body for dermatology trainees, consultant dermatologists who are GMC specialist registered and physicians with approved post-graduate dermatology training.

What does it do? The BCDG provides academic and clinical knowledge in cosmetic dermatology. It shares advice on cosmetic training, as well as advising post-graduate medical education students and the Government. The BCDG aims to facilitate communication between the BAD in a professional, evidence- based and unbiased manner for the benefit of the public and media.

Member benefits: Members will receive educational training to further their understanding and expertise in cosmetic dermatology and cosmetic procedures. The BCDG communicates with consultant and trainee dermatologists, providing them with information on ethical and clinical standards of practice within the cosmetic area. The BCDG also provides educational programmes, which are all CME/CPD approved. These include an annual clinical and scientific meeting, focused practical workshops and teaching sessions at the annual BAD meeting.

The future: “The BCDG is committed to continued education. This year, members can look forward to workshops on neurotoxins and fillers in April, discussions on dyspigmentation at the BAD meeting in July, and the annual BCDG Clinical Meeting in November”, says Nick Lowe, BCDG president. 

The BCDG has 56 full members, all on the GMC Specialist Register. 

IHAS (Independent Healthcare Advisory Services)

What is IHAS? IHAS is a division of the Association of Independent Healthcare Organisations (AIHO), the trade association for independent hospitals.

What does it do? Within the last decade IHAS has had a significant role in the operational policy and regulation in the independent healthcare sector. AIHO/IHAS works in tandem with ISCAS, the Independent Sector Complaints Adjudication Service, which provides an independent review stage for third stage complaints from independent hospitals and clinics. Private patients treated in the UK do not have access to the Public Services Ombudsman for resolving complaints.

Member benefits: IHAS offers networking opportunities through its medical revalidation workstream for all the Responsible Officers in the sector, who meet on a regular basis with the GMC. It also assists with the development of the National Workforce minimum dataset, so workforce data can be captured from the independent sector in conjunction with the NHS.

The future: “IHAS has maintained its relationships with the system regulators in all four countries and with the professional regulators,” says director Sally Taber. “IHAS was asked by the previous government to set up a self- regulation scheme for cosmetic injectables. Treatments You Can Trust (TYCT) has been established since 2010 to ensure the quality assurance of those who undertake cosmetic injectables.” 

IHAS links with AIHO, representing over 200 hospitals nationally. 

PIAPA (Private Independent Practices Association)

What is PIAPA? PIAPA was founded by a group of aesthetic nurses in 2004 with the aim of offering support to independent practitioners.

What does it do? PIAPA aims to promote safety, integrity and clinical excellence within the industry. Board members regularly meet with Health Education England and the Nursing and Midwifery Council to discuss the implementation of new regulations and practise guidelines.

Member benefits: Members can expect to receive training opportunities, access to business coaching, certificate of membership, NMC and revalidation information, discretionary discounts and portfolio and APEL advice.

The future: Co-founder of PIAPA Yvonne Senior, said “PIAPA was created to support, reassure and improve practitioners, and as we face a pivotal time of change in medical aesthetics, we plan to do exactly the same in the future.”

PIAPA has more than 200 members. 

SOMUK (Society of Mesotherapy UK)

What is SOMUK? SOMUK is the only society specialising in Mesotherapy in the UK, with membership available to all interested medical professionals.

What does it do? SOMUK aims to establish and maintain standards of clinical excellence in the science of mesotherapy. It also acts as a resource for safe ethical practice and strives for the development of evidence-based medicine in support of the use of mesotherapy. It further aims to elevate mesotherapy as a recognised established therapy in aesthetics and pain management, and aims to work closely with authorities and insurance companies in order to ensure the safe practice of mesotherapy.

Member benefits: Members are updated with information on mesotherapy, are able to attend congresses at a reduced fee, and potentially receive free of charge training courses. Members are actively encouraged to engage in networking both nationally and internationally to share experiences, ideas and innovation in order to improve and maintain standards of safe ethical practice.

The future: “Within one year we are proud to have become official partners of well-known national and international congresses, which is a great benefit for members and the development of mesotherapy in the UK,” said Dr Philippe Hamida-Pisal, president of SOMUK. “One of our main goals for the future is to set up a post-graduate university diploma in Pain Management using mesotherapy.”

SOMUK has a current membership of 47 interested parties. 

Save Face

What is Save Face? Save Face is the largest voluntary register of accredited practitioners in the UK. The organisation provides consumers with information on non-surgical treatments so that they can be fully informed when deciding on aesthetic procedures. Save Face is not a substitute for membership with a professional body. 

What does it do? Save Face aims to educate and protect the consumer. Its support packages aim to add value to practitioners, whilst the organisation hopes to establish an objective set of standards, which both practitioners and clinics can be measured against in order to achieve accreditation.

Member benefits: Practitioners must pay to register with Save Face and will receive an independent inspection and verification of their standards in practise, and a means to gather and present their evidence when required for appraisal, revalidation, insurance, and job applications. Save Face offers a verification process, providing policies and forms of support to ensure safe running of clinics. Members can also receive discounted services.

The future: “We need to build consumer confidence in the safety of these treatments when delivered by safe hands in a safe environment using safe products,” said Emma Davies, clinical director of Save Face. “The consumer needs a credible register that provides more than just a register, whilst professionals need to recognise the place for – and value of – this model of self-regulation, and support it.”

Since August Save Face has accredited 110 practitioners across 200 UK locations. 

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