The Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) has released a 10-point plan designed to create a more regulated, monitored and safer environment of practise for non-surgical aesthetics and hair restoration.
The plan considers mandated qualifications, premises criteria, insurance and many other steps relating to the sector and industry. The JCCP is calling for any responses to the plan by June 1, after which it will be shared with government and national bodies.
Professor David Sines, chair of the JCCP, commented, “Our 10 Point Plan sets out the key parameters that are required to address the multiple challenges that exist within the sector. It is our hope and aim that by adopting a concerted and unified approach to addressing the issues set out in our Plan it will result in the achievement of systemic and responsive change within the sector. The primary aims are improving service user safety and quality of experience, whilst in parallel promoting excellence and pride within the aesthetic profession itself.”
Point one: statutory regulation
The JCCP suggests there should be statutory regulation for the non-surgical aesthetics and hair restoration surgical sector. The council wishes to help create a primary and secondary legislation to set standards, which should include registration of premises, practitioners and ensure that only safe products are used. The JCCP also wants to implement powers for Environmental Health Practitioners/Enforcement Officers to enable them to immediately deal with non-complaint practitioners. They also propose restricting access to treatments to those over 18, except in certain medical circumstances.
Point two: mandatory education and training standards
Ensuring government and education/training regulators in the UK mandate specific qualifications, education and training requirements for specific modalities is also suggested. The JCCP proposes all cosmetic practitioners join a relevant Professional Standards Authority-accredited register prior to being enabled to practise. The JCCP will work with the UK Government to inform the design, production and implementation of primary and secondary legislation in order to set standards for education and training provision.
Point three: publication of clear, transparent information
Aesthetic service providers should clearly display simple and informative guides on all their services, including risks, benefits, costs, qualifications and proof of insurance to members of the public, according to the JCCP.
Point four: legal definition of medical and cosmetic treatments
The JCCP will work with government agencies to clearly define in law what constitutes a ‘medical’, a ‘medically-related’ treatment and what is ‘cosmetic.’ The plan proposes that the JCCP will work with representatives across the aesthetics industry to seek to better define this, as well as what determines whether treatments require evidence of a health-related benefit.
Point five: safe and ethical prescribing
The JCCP says it will implement robust standards and regulation for safe, ethical and professional prescribing within non-surgical aesthetics. The objective is to get the UK Government, the devolved National Parliaments/Assemblies and the professional regulatory bodies to enforce legislation that prevents the practice of unsafe prescribing. The JCCP will also campaign for the implementation of legislation to re-classify dermal fillers as prescription only devices.
Point six: more regulated advertising and social media
The JCCP suggests tighter controls and penalties on exaggerated, inaccurate and misleading advertising and social media posts in relation to aesthetic treatments. The JCCP aims to get the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to take stronger action against poor advertising practice and to get government agencies to work with social media companies to restrict the publication of misleading and harmful social media posts.
Point seven: national complications reporting
The JCCP will introduce enhanced and co-ordinated processes for the reporting and analysis of adverse incidents. The aim is to construct a single national database for adverse incidents/complications with regard to prevalence, intervention requirements and patient outcomes, as well as publicise and promote the use of the MHRA mobile App for complications reporting.
Point eight: adequate insurance cover
The JCCP proposes implementing legislation for all health and non-healthcare practitioners doing aesthetic and hair restoration practitioners to hold robust and adequate medical indemnity insurance covering each service they provide. To gain insurance, the JCCP believes there should be a requirement for all practitioners to demonstrate relevant knowledge and competence in the provision of treatments.
Point nine: licensing of premises, practitioners and treatments
The JCCP proposes nationally-agreed standards for licensing and regulating premises for procedures and individuals. This will help to create a system where there is adequate auditing for qualifications, the safe supply and use of products/medicines and safe ‘harm-free’ premises, the JCCP states.
Point 10: raising consumer awareness
Raising public awareness of the risks and benefits associated with non-surgical treatments and hair restoration surgery is the final action suggested by the JCCP. The objective is to ensure that the media profile around patient/consumer safety issues is raised through official communication channels, such as NHS websites, and that patients are being directed to a specific online area that contains relevant information and can educate them about aesthetic treatments.