Background To Achieving An Accredited Qualification In Non-Surgical Cosmetic Practice.

achieving an accredited qualification in non-surgical cosmetic practice

For more than a decade, the NSC industry has urged the government to enforce mandatory legislation to protect members of the public receiving NSC treatments. Concerns continue to include (1) the minimum qualification requirement for practitioners to evidence competence to perform NSC treatments in private practice; and (2) the minimum standards required to provide NSC education and training. The Keogh Review (2013) challenged the government to put an end to practitioners misleading the public as to competence and NSC qualifications following a one-day training course. Moreover, to stop ‘pop-up’ unvalidated training providers offering one-day courses that are do not meet or adhere to NSC standards or offer a validated process to assess learner competence (JCCPb, 2018).  Keogh (2013) concluded that ´a person having a non-surgical cosmetic intervention in the UK has no more protection or redress than someone buying a ballpoint pen or a toothbrush´.  This statement still rings true today, 10 years after the report was published.

In the absence of enforcing mandatory legislation, the government recommended industry self-regulation. The Department of Health mandated Health Education England (HEE) to develop education and training standards for the NSC sector (HEE, 2015). Following an extensive ‘call for evidence’ and a lengthy consultation process, in 2015, HEE published standards for the ‘Qualification requirements for delivery of cosmetic procedures: non-surgical cosmetic interventions and hair restoration surgery’ (HEEa, 2015) and recommended an accredited qualification in NSC practice positioned at academic level 7 as the minimum qualification to perform NSC treatments in independent practice.


Part two of the report recommended that all NSC education and training be delivered by training providers who have been approved by UK awarding organisations such as universities with self-awarding powers and or OFQUAL to ensure learner receive a regulated and accredited qualification. 


In February 2018, the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) was established with the function of overseeing voluntary regulation; thereafter, the HEE standards were formally transferred to the ownership of the JCCP.  Following a consultation process and update of the standards, in September 2018 the JCCP published updated standards namely; the ´JCCP Standards for Education and Training Providers´ and ‘ A Competency Framework for Cosmetic Practitioners‘ thus, rendering the HEE standards obsolete. 


Nearly nine years after the first publication and five years since the JCCP updated the education and training standards many practitioners continue to disregard voluntary regulation and carry on as usual; often believing that their professional title excludes them from having to formally evidence competence to practice in non-surgical cosmetic practice, even though we know that regulatory bodies inform registrants that they must be able to evidence competence before moving into a new field of practice. 


Practitioners are reminded that competence to practice in NSCs is not incorporated, nor assessed through any pre-registration curriculum. It is also important to understand the difference between an accredited qualification and continued professional development (CPD). CPD should only be delivered to those with prior demonstrable qualifications and experience in the applied area of practice for which they seek CPD training. CPD exists to enhance skills and keep a qualification updated and current. CPD courses do not and cannot assess a learners competence to practice in an applied area, therefore cannot provide learners with any award of competency. With this in mind CPD courses are unsuitable for those with no prior qualifications and experience in the field for which they seek CPD ie non-surgical cosmetic. The holding of a CPD Certificate is intended to enhance competence and keep a qualification updated and current, not to replace a qualification. 


Therefore, regardless of professional background, the JCCP education and training standards continue to support the original Keogh Report (2013) and advocate successful completion of an accredited qualification whereby competence to practice has been assessed through an independent UK awarding orgnaisation. There can be no comparison between a short CPD course and a regulated qualification. 


For years there has been a divide amongst numerous professional groups on education and training standards as to who should and shouldn’t be allowed administer non-surgical cosmetic procedures. In terms of patient safety and public protection we believe that regulated medical and healthcare professionals should not get caught up in the dispute of whom should or should not be performing NSC procedures, but to our reserve energy and focus on ‘raising standards’ within the sector by adhering to professional codes practice, voluntary regulation and best practice standards. This involves evidencing competence through an approved and accredited qualification. Henceforth, there can be no argument as to competence to perform applied NSC procedures in private practice.  ´Only the best in this disparate sector commit themselves to better training and practice, whilst the unscrupulous and unsafe carry on as before´ (Keogh, 2013).   

Amendments to Health and Care Bill (2022) will now give the Health Secretary powers to introduce a licence for non-surgical cosmetic procedures which will include education and training standards that all practitioners will have meet to continue to practice in non-surgical cosmetic practice.

If you are considering turning years learning and hands-on experience into an accredited and recognised qualification, MAP-IQ can help.

MAP-IQ now offers a fast track RPEL route to qualification for experienced practitioners to formally evidence competent in non-surgical cosmetic practice. Our accredited qualification is positioned at post graduate level 7 and is awarded by VTCT (an OFQUAL awarding organisation) and further approved by the JCCP as meeting best practice industry standards. 

Other Benefits include: 

60 master level credits and a lifetime qualification recognised nationally and internationally.

Completed completely online and accessible from anywhere in the world, so there is no need for travel.

One of the most cost-effective routes to achieve a UK accredited qualification in NSC practice.

Achieving this qualification will also put you in you in good stead when mandatory licensing is introduced in the UK.  

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