Skin piercing registration
Who needs to be registered?
Anyone carrying out the practice of:
- Cosmetic piercing (ear-piercing and cosmetic body piercing);
- Semi-permanent skin colouring (micro-pigmentation, semi-permanent make-up and temporary tattooing); and
The premises where the activity is carried out and each person who provides the treatment must be registered with Dartford Borough Council if the business is located within the Council's area. The therapist/practitioner will be required to demonstrate that they are competent, and evidence of this is required on application. If you have not had training and cannot demonstrate competence, you will need to find work as an apprentice with an existing practitioner.
It is an offence to carry out any of these skin piercing activities if the registration process has not been completed.
You will also be required to demonstrate that the premises and your working practices comply with the Council's Byelaws PDF, 530.45 KB and The Code of Practice for Hygienic Skin Piercing PDF, 2000.06 KB which set out the standards that are expected and recommendations for best practice. You should also have regard to the Tattooing and Body Piercing Guidance Toolkit.
Under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, you have a general duty of care to any employees and to persons not in your employment i.e. members of the public. You must therefore ensure procedures, equipment and facilities that are used are safe, hygienic and prevent the spread of infection. The Health and Safety Executives (HSE) website has a host of health and safety information and the links at the bottom of the page are particularly useful.
Once registered, tattooists and semi-permanent make up practitioners can take part in the Tattoo Hygiene Rating Scheme which awards high standards of hygiene and practice, click here for further details.
We do not encourage mobile working, as it can be difficult to maintain minimum standards of hygiene. However if you are considering operating from a mobile unit, or carrying out home visits to undertake a skin piercing procedure, you must still be registered with the Dartford and Sevenoaks Environmental Health Partnership. You will still be expected to comply with the byelaws and other associated regulations and guidance without compromising client safety, and there are occasions where this might not be considered possible.
How can I register?
By completing an application form and returning it to the Commercial Team in Environmental Health with the appropriate fee. There are two application forms, please select the most appropriate one
- Application for ear and nose piercing with a hygienic piercing instrument (piercing gun) PDF, 331.63 KB
- Application for cosmetic piercing, tattooing, semi-permanent skin colouring, electrolysis and acupuncture PDF, 285.71 KB
If you are a Council tenant and planning on running a business from home, you must obtain permission by completing a 'Home Enterprise Application Form' PDF, 246.4 KB.
What are the fees?
Click here for details of the current fees PDF, 206.13 KB.
Cash payments – can be paid through the Automated Cash Machine in the Council Offices, selecting Environmental Health and Skin Piercing to correctly allocate the payment. Access to the machine is available in the reception foyer (Mon – Thur 8.45am-5.15pm, Friday 8.45am-4.45pm).
Cheque payments - cheques are made payable to Dartford Borough Council and should be sent with the application form.
Credit or debit card - payments can be made by phoning Dartford Borough Council customer services 01322 343434 during office hours (Mon – Thurs 9am to 5.15pm, Friday 9am to 4.45pm).
What happens next?
Once your application form and the appropriate fee have been received, an officer will contact you to arrange to inspect your premises. Once registered, you will be issued with a certificate of registration.
Please note that if not all the information is provided on the application form, it may take longer to process. Fees are not refundable, therefore you should refer to the 'Code of Practice for Hygienic Skin Piercing' and if necessary seek advice before registering, particularly with regard to the proposed layout, the number and location of wash hand basins, the wall and floor finishes and, where appropriate, decontamination facilities.
What will the Inspector look for?
The Inspector will check compliance with the Byelaws and Code of Practice as well as ensuring that general health and safety requirements are being met. During the visit, the layout of the premises will be inspected and you will be expected to answer questions about your procedures relating to hygiene, waste, customer care, record-keeping etc. This may also include asking each individual operator to explain their procedures. The inspector will be pleased to offer any advice or guidance to help you meet these obligations.
What happens once I am registered?
Unlike licenses that need to be reviewed every year, registrations only need to be granted once.
However your premises will then be regularly monitored to ensure that you are complying with the byelaws and health and safety legislation.
What happens if my registration details change?
If you move premises, you will need to reapply for a new skin piercing registration.
If the practitioners change, you must let us know. Each new practitioner will need to register by completing an application form and paying the appropriate fee.
If a practitioner leaves let us know and we will amend your certificate of registration free of charge.
If you wish to offer additional skin piercing activities a new application form must also be submitted.
Do other beauty treatments require registration?
In the Borough of Dartford the following treatments do not require registration.
Wraps and detox treatments
Eyebrow and lash treatments
Laser hair removal
In some local authorities particularly the London Boroughs some of these treatments do require licensing so if you are operating outside the Borough of Dartford you advised to contact the relevant authority for advice.
Tattooing and Body Piecing Guidance Toolkit
Risk Management – to help you understand how to assess and control risks in your workplace, including interactive tools to help you complete risk assessments
Health and Safety Made Simple – the basics for your business
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)
COSHH SR12 – Electrolysis, Piercing, Tattooing and Micropigmentation
Infection at Work – Controlling the Risks
Blood-borne viruses in the workplace