If you want to start your own aesthetics business and become an aesthetic practitioner, nurse, or therapist in the UK, then you’ll need to understand exactly what kinds of skills and qualifications are necessary.
You’ll want to be certain you have all the knowledge, expertise, and confidence to administer the treatments your clients want. And your clients will want to know you’re fully trained and qualified to provide the treatments you’re advertising.
But what does that training look like?
What kind of qualifications do you need to practice aesthetics in the UK?
It all depends on the types of treatments you want to offer.
If you want to administer non-surgical, medical aesthetics treatments like Botox and dermal fillers, then you’ll need the relevant medical qualifications and – most likely – a Level 7 Diploma in Clinical Aesthetic Therapies.
If you want to work as a non-medical aesthetician or an advanced aesthetics therapist, you should have Level 2, 3 and ideally Level 4 beauty therapy qualifications. These would be in your treatment of choice, like laser & IPL or microneedling.
Do you need any special skills or qualifications to be an aesthetic therapist?
You’ll probably already have a wealth of transferable skills if you work in the beauty or medical sectors.
You’ll know how to talk to clients and how to make them feel safe and comfortable. You’ll understand how to manage a clean environment that meets health & safety standards. And you’ll have experience treating clients.
If you don’t want to work with injectables – like Botox and dermal fillers that are defined as medical aesthetics – you don’t need any additional skills or qualifications.
You may want to undertake Level 4 training in specific treatment types, to ensure your skills are up to scratch and you’re confident in offering those treatments, but there are no other legal requirements or additional qualifications you need.
But if you want to work as an aesthetic nurse or practitioner, you will need other qualifications.
So what qualifications do you need to be an aesthetic nurse or practitioner?
As it stands, there are no legal requirements to practice non-surgical cosmetic and aesthetic treatments in the UK. Anyone can legally perform dermal filler injection procedures, without any qualifications.
This, however, is set to change in the coming months (see below).
And there are a number of regulatory frameworks recommend by industry leading bodies like Health Education England (HEE), the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP), the British College of Aesthetic Medicine (BCAM), and the British Association of Cosmetic Nurses (BACN).
While each varies slightly, there is a general consensus as to the high standards, previous experience and medical qualifications required to be a safe and competent, non-surgical aesthetic practitioner.
The skills and requirements for every aesthetic practitioner
If you want to work as a safe, competent and insured aesthetic practitioner offering injectable treatments, you will need:
- A Level 6 qualification (typically a Bachelor’s degree in a healthcare field)
- A valid registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), General Dental Council (GDC) or General Medical Council (GMC)
- A recommended three years’ experience working in general healthcare
- A Level 7 Post-Graduate Diploma in Aesthetics medicine/treatments
If you want to prescribe Botox you’ll need to be a qualified doctor or nurse prescriber. You can complete a V300 Advanced Certificate to earn this qualification.
The Ultimate Guide to Starting an Aesthetics Business has more details on the specific skills and qualifications you’ll need to set up your own practice.
How and where can you get qualified
There are dozens of aesthetic training providers, each offering a variety of courses, certificates and qualifications.
To find out more about finding the right training provider and earning the right kind of aesthetics qualification, download The Ultimate Guide to Starting an Aesthetics Business.
It’s packed with all the essential skills you need to run your own clinic – not just those you need to administer treatments. And if you need extra help with all the business skills required to build a successful practice – like managing paperwork, booking in clients, following required procedures and organising treatments – visit the Pabau Aesthetic Business Library