MST Standard Conditions frequently asked questions

Do I have to do anything now to update my licence?

Your current premises licence will continue to run until its expiry date, this will be on your current licence.

You should read through this Q&A and take action before your special treatment licence renewal date to make sure you will be able to comply with the new revised standard conditions which will apply when the licence is renewed.

What is modern slavery?

There are many forms of exploitation into which people can be trafficked and held in slavery, where victims are trapped in their situations by lies, coercion, threats to themselves or their families, violence and debt.

These crimes are happening in every corner of the world and can happen to any person, regardless of age, socio-economic background or location. A person involved in any part of exploitation - holding a person, facilitating travel, or recruitment for the purpose of exploitation can be prosecuted under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Read more about tackling modern slavery.

What is a Stop the Traffic Poster and where should I display it?

Stop The Traffic is a charity that raises awareness about people trafficking and labour exploitation.

Raising awareness is essential in the disruption and prevention of human trafficking. It enables people to know what human trafficking is, be able to spot the signs in their communities and workplaces and to know how to respond appropriately. Workplaces that are a high risk of allowing human trafficking include massage parlours and nail salons.

Download a spot the signs poster and display it where all people working for you can see it. The poster is available for different businesses and in many languages. The poster need not be in a public area unless you want customers to see it too.

Person in charge

There must be a person in charge at the premises at all times - this may be the licence holder or another person nominated by the licence holder who can speak and write English to an acceptable standard in order to satisfactorily discuss all matters relating to the licence, treatments and aftercare advice with the Council and clients.

Keep a written record of the nomination of all responsible persons at the premises.

Why have the therapist training requirements changed?

The licence scheme is in place to protect the public from injury and infection.

Having professionally qualified trained therapists is key to delivering safe treatments. There are of good independent training schools available but also many training providers who offer sub-standard training and may use misleading marketing tools to attract students.

The council is unable to individually assess the content of every course that is on the market to see if a course has given a therapist theoretical and practical in-depth training and assessed the therapist can competently carry out treatments safely.

Training organisations that have gained recognition by one or more of the national regulators (Ofqual, in England) have shown that their qualifications are of a very high standard and are ‘fit for purpose’ - that the people who hold a certificate have all attained the same level of skills, knowledge and understanding for the same qualification.

If a qualification will no longer be accepted can a therapist continue working?

Therapists may continue working until their current period of registration expires.

What qualification do you accept?

All therapists must hold a regulated qualification from a recognised awarding body in the treatment they carry out.

Search the Ofqual register to find a course in England. The other regulators in UK are Qualifications Wales (Wales), CCEA (Northern Ireland) and SQA (Scotland). Qualifications from these brands are recognised worldwide.

My therapist trained abroad, is this acceptable?

A statement of comparability is required for qualifications studies abroad.

You must also supply an English translation of the certificate and list of subject units completed.

Will a therapist have to obtain a new qualification immediately?

Therapists may continue to work until the end of their registration but will be required to provide further evidence or complete further qualifications in order to meet the council standards when they renew registration.

Evidence of enrolment on an additional course or completion of a regulated qualification should be sent in with renewal applications.

Therapists undergoing training will be granted therapist registration valid for one year. When evidence is provided that the qualification has been awarded the registration will be reissued to expire on a date three years from their current renewal date or the issue date, whichever is earliest.

What is an acceptable qualification for microblading and micropigmentation permanent make up?

The therapist must hold a regulated Level 4 qualification and Level 3 beauty therapy qualification.

What is an acceptable qualification for laser and IPL treatments?

The council will only accept qualifications which meet nationally recognised standards:

  • Successful completion of training at Level 4 enables practitioners to use lasers and IPL for hair removal/reduction (excluding treatments within periorbital rim); use non-ablative lasers, IPL and LED for photo rejuvenation including sun-induced benign dyschromia (excluding treatments within periorbital rim); use LED for clinically diagnosed acne vulgaris.
  • Successful completion of training at Level 5 enables practitioners to use laser treatments for tattoo removal (excluding treatments within periorbital rim); use lasers and IPL treatments for benign vascular lesions (excluding treatments within periorbital rim)
  • Successful completion of training at Level 6 enables practitioners to deliver ablative fractional laser treatments (excluding treatments within periorbital rim); use laser and IPL treatments for generalised and discrete pigmented lesions (excluding treatments within periorbital rim);

Additionally therapists must attend site specific and equipment specific operator training, hold Core of Knowledge (delivered by a certified Laser Protection Advisor and taken no longer than five years ago) and undertake ongoing Continued Professional Development to demonstrate knowledge and skills relevant to the treatments carried out.

What are National Occupational Standards?

National Occupational Standards (NOS) are statements of the standards of performance individuals must achieve when carrying out functions in the workplace, together with specifications of the underpinning knowledge and understanding.

A full list of therapies can be found on the National Occupational Standards website.

Can the council suggest a course or training school?

The council is unable to make any recommendations but you can look at the Ofqual register which shows the NVQ qualifications and awarding organisations that are regulated by Ofqual, and accepted by the council. This includes VTCT, CIBTAC, City and Guilds and many others.

Qualifications Wales (Wales) and the Scottish Qualification Authority also list regulated courses.

Can we use local anaesthetic cream on clients?

No Prescription Only Medicines are to be administered by any therapists, other than by medically qualified and registered practitioners.

Medicines and topical anaesthetics are not to be obtained or used, other than in accordance with regulatory requirements and official guidelines.

It is recommended that only therapists who have successfully completed an appropriate course on the use of topical anaesthetics use them.

We have a sauna, steam room, infra-red sauna, spa pool, do all staff have to be registered therapists?

There must be at least one member of staff who is registered with the council on the premises at all times.

The registered therapist will act as a supervisor for all other staff who admit clients to the sauna, steam room, infra-red sauna, spa pool or monitor the area.

The therapist must be able to demonstrate an understanding of the safe operation and use of the equipment and know how to respond to any emergencies. Written evidence of training must be provided. Training may be from the equipment manufacturer or supplier or included as a unit within a regulated Level 3 qualification.

We have a UV tanning sunbed, do all staff have to be registered therapists?

There must be at least one member of staff who is registered with the council to carry out UV tanning treatments on the premises at all times. The registered therapist will carry out the initial client consultation, complete records and supervise all tanning transactions.

Only a registered therapist can carry out client consultation, complete records and supervise tanning transactions. Training may be from the equipment manufacturer or supplier or included within a regulated qualification.

There isn’t a regulated course for tattooing or piercing, what evidence does the council want?

Only suitably qualified persons can carry out tattooing or piercing.

Until such time as an externally verified regulated tattooing or body piercing qualification is offered, all tattooists and piercers will continue to be required to demonstrate knowledge of infection prevention and control during an interview with a council officer. Where the council officer is concerned that a piercer does not have adequate infection prevention and control knowledge the piercer may be required to complete a questionnaire on infection control.

Any piercer failing to satisfactorily explain their knowledge or complete the questionnaire will be required to undertake further training to improve knowledge before they can be registered as a therapist.

What else should I do?

The following list of requirements has not changed from the current licence conditions, and is here as a reminder:

  • display the special treatments licence and all therapist registrations where customers can read them
  • display public liability, employers liability and professional indemnity insurance certificates where customers can read them
  • renew the licence before the expiry date. If fee and application form are not received before expiry then the licence will lapse. You will have to stop carrying out licensable treatments and apply for a new Licence
  • ensure your licence includes all the special treatments which you offer
  • ensure there is someone available on site who can discuss all matters relating to the licence, treatments and aftercare advice with the Council and clients in English
  • therapist must not carry out any special treatments until they have been registered with the council
  • ensure you have all the relevant documents available for inspection at all times which are on the checklist at the end of the standard conditions (gas safety, equipment maintenance, electrical installation, PAT test, client records etc).

Another question?

Send an email to to ask for more information.

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