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Tattooist, skin piercing

Registration - tattooists, cosmetic piercing, acupuncture, and electrolysis

The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 Part VIII (as amended by the Local Government Act 2003) requires the following types of skin piercing to be registered with the Council:

  • Acupuncture
  • Tattooing
  • Cosmetic piercing
  • Electrolysis

The Act requires registration to cover both the person carrying on the practice and the premises used for that purpose. There are no powers to refuse registration, but the practice is controlled through compliance with byelaws in each case.

The applicant must ensure that the procedures, equipment and facilities used are safe, hygienic, prevent the spread of disease and comply fully with the general duty of care required by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

It is illegal to conduct ear piercing, tattooing, acupuncture or electrolysis unless the registration has been formally approved.

Once an application has been made and a fee has been paid, an inspector will undertake an inspection of the premises. If the inspector considers the applicant's procedures and the premises to be suitable, then registration will be approved.

The Inspector will also check compliance with the following bye-law requirements as well as ensuring that general health and safety requirements are being met. The inspector will be pleased to offer any advice or give any help if you are unsure as to how to meet these obligations.

Premises

  • All surfaces in any part of the premises used by clients must be kept clean and in good repair
  • All furniture and fittings in the treatment area must be kept clean and in good repair
  • Tables, couches, seats etc used in the treatment area must have a smooth , impervious surface which is regularly wiped down with disinfectant and covered by a disposable paper sheet, changed after each client.
  • A 'No Smoking' sign must be prominently displayed. Cleanliness of operatives
  • Any overall worn by the operative should be clean and in good repair
  • The operative's hands and nails must be kept clean
  • Any open cut, wound, sore or boil must be suitably covered by an impermeable dressing
  • The operative should not smoke nor drink in the treatment area
  • The operative should have sole use of the washing facilities which must provide hot and cold running water, soap (or a similar cleanser) and a nail brush

Equipment

  • Any needle, metal instrument or other item of equipment used in the treatment must be in a sterile condition and kept sterile until it is used
  • If pre-sterilised items are not used then adequate facilities must be provided for the purpose of sterilisation
  • If tattooing is being undertaken, then all dyes used must be bacteriologically clean and inert. The containers used to hold dyes for each customer must be disposed of at the end of each treatment or sterilised before re-use

General

  • It is an offence to tattoo any person under the age of 18 years (the Tattooing of Minors Act 1969) regardless of parental consent
  • A person under the age of 18 years may receive body piercing provided that you have received written permission from, or the treatment is performed in the presence of, the person's parent or guardian
  • Nipple and genital piercing is prohibited on minors, regardless of parental consent
  • The health of the client and the suitability of the treatment should be discussed prior to its administration

Application form premises

Application form person

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