Name: Skin piercing registration
Description: Skin piercing registration

Skin piercing registration

Who needs to be registered?

Anyone carrying out the practice of:

  • Acupuncture
  • Cosmetic piercing (ear-piercing, nose-piercing and cosmetic body piercing)
  • Tattooing
  • Semi-permanent skin colouring (micro-pigmentation, semi-permanent make-up, microblading and temporary tattooing)
  • Electrolysis

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 Borough of Dartford. 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 or undertake the appropriate training, preferably with an accredited trainer.

It is an offence to carry out any of the above skin piercing activities if the registration process has not been completed.

In the Borough of Dartford all other beauty treatments do not require registration.  However, in some local authorities particularly the London Boroughs some treatments do require licensing so if you are operating outside the Borough of Dartford you should contact the relevant authority for advice.

You will also be required to demonstrate that the premises and your working practices comply with the Council's Byelaws PDF, 488.95 KB and The Code of Practice for Hygienic Skin Piercing PDF, 3269.12 KB which set out the standards that are expected and recommendations for best practice.  Tattooists and body piercers should also comply with 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 (ie: your clients/customers). You must ensure procedures, equipment and facilities are safe, hygienic and prevent the spread of infection. You can find information on health and safety on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.  The links at the bottom of the page are particularly useful.

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 Council. 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 the appropriate online application form

If you are a Council tenant you must apply to run a business from home first.

If you are planning to work from home, you should check with the Planning Department whether you need permission to change the use of your premises.

What happens next?

Once your application form has been submitted, an email will be sent advising you of the application fee and how to pay.  We will also request training certificates or other evidence that you are competent to carry out the procedure.  When the required information has been received and the fee paid, an officer will contact you to arrange to inspect your premises.

Please note that 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 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.

Further Information

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

Last Updated: 22nd September 2020