The newly issued NHS Health Education England ‘Qualification requirements for delivery of cosmetic interventions and hair restoration surgery’ standard sets out future minimum educational requirements for therapists and practitioners using laser, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and Light Emitting Diode (LED). Highlights to be aware of include:


  • CQF (formerly “NVQ”) Level 4 (Foundation Degree Year 1 level) is the minimum educational level for the use of lasers/IPL/LED for the purpose of hair removal and treatment of benign dyschromias i.e. pigmentation associated with skin ageing and sun damage e.g. age spots (benign lentigo), small red veins and broken capillaries.
  • Laser/IPL treatment of benign vascular lesions (cherry angioma, spider nevus, rosacea, actinic lentigo, port wine stains) and laser tattoo removal require educational Level 5 (Foundation Degree Level) and laser/IPL treatment of generalised and discreet pigmented lesions requires Level 6 (Degree Level).
  • In the Introduction to the standard it is pointed out that these requirements will not include regulating providers of cosmetic interventions as, in the Government’s view, many practitioners are already members of professional registers and are therefore subject to professional regulation.


It is expected that these new standards be implemented by 2018 (!).


It is worth noting that the Government is looking to the industry to enforce these new standards and there is already some indication that insurers are requiring educational evidence at these levels before offering cover.


At least two London boroughs (Camden and Enfield) are enforcing the need for Level 4 for any new therapists seeking to obtain a Special Treatments Licence to use laser/IPL for hair removal.