It’s about accountability …
Lack of regulations is not an excuse for having no ethics.
Vested interest groups, it is the term used for suppliers, insurance companies, individual practitioners, and training companies like ourselves that see it is in our own best interest to influence or soft regulate the aesthetics/beauty industry.
A direct result of this self-regulation is when you now try to gain insurance for laser & light services to be told you need a Level 4 qualification. While legislation does not exist to stop people who are not correctly trained to perform specific therapy, the ‘soft regulation’ method works reasonably well. Vested interest groups then run public awareness campaigns to educate the general public of what to look out for, to gain reputable, safe, treatment.
“Irish girl shows off horror results after botched lip fillers from popular clinic” (link)
You only need three components to form a perfect storm in the aesthetics sector that leads to losers, and the losers are always the general public. It is the general public that ends up burnt, disfigured, at worst or at best, just out of pocket for ineffective treatment. The perfect storm is money, popularity and lack of regulation. Many of us in the industry have for some time, been campaigning and recommending tighter controls of the sector. In the UK, this all came to head with the Keogh Report in 2013, then investigation continued by the HEE (The Department of Health and Health Education England) in 2014. Finally in 2016 new qualifications were unveiled to improve the safety of non-surgical cosmetic procedures.
“Model scarred for life after botched lip fillers left her with “distorted, painful and lumpy” mouth” (link)
As we have outlined before, the training and education sector is primarily centred by organisations in the UK. Due to this centralisation of awarding bodies, we have always followed that directive in care, education, and training.
Within the new recommendations for BTs “botulinum toxins” & DFs “dermal fillers” was a minimum qualification of Level 7. While this is not legislation, it has been broadly agreed within the vested interest groups that we will work towards this becoming a soft regulation. Level 7 and currently there are only two pathways to Level 7, one being a 3-year postgraduate degree in aesthetic medicine and the other an accredited, regulated, Level 7 qualification awarded by IQ in the UK.
“Beautician fined €6,000 over illegal Botox treatments” (link)
This qualification is suitable for all medically registered professionals including Doctors, Dentists, Independent Nurse or Midwife Prescribers, Nurse Practitioners or Midwives. It is a requirement to confirm the professional registration number, and that is a defining criterion for the administering of BTs and DFs.
“The Rise of Lip Fillers Gone Wrong” (link)
In Ireland, only Doctors and Dentists can administer BTs; however; DFs has no regulation and as such Beauty Therapists equipped with just an unregulated short course are able to be let loose on the general public. After two or three days training offered by establishments with euro in their eyes, and zero accountability.
“Beauty therapists to be banned from offering fillers unless qualified” (formal qualification) (link)
We have said before that we believe it is possible for beauty therapists to learn how to administer BTs & DFs, safely, and ethically, by compleating a Level 7 qualification, that is not the problem. The problem is beauty therapists are not regulated; they have no accountability. If they somehow managed to gain insurance, although; no reputable underwriter would insure a beauty therapist for performing unqualified cosmetic injections, but let’s say they gain insurance. If something goes wrong, and it does, as highlighted too often in the media, the only recourse the client has is a court case. The client (if the therapist is insured) might gain a monetary settlement, and also might be scarred for life. However, the unregulated beauty therapist can simply carry on. When a Doctor, Dentist, Nurse, a regulated practitioner does wrong, they can be struck off from practising. With accountability also brings ethics.
Our undercover investigation follows a shocking rise in cases of botched treatments, with far more than 1,000 complaints by clients and doctors – double the number last year. (link)
Level 7 was introduced as a need was recognised for better training for cosmetic injectables, for Doctors, Dentists, and Nurses. So what do you think will be the outcome of unregulated beauty therapists injecting after an unregulated short course? Caveat emptor, has never been more depressingly fitting, soft regulation always leaves room for the ‘cowboys’ where there is no legislation and money will always attract a sector lacking in a few principals and ethics. We are taking steps to elevate all sectors of the aesthetics industry. As a member of the general public, your job is to apply common sense, what is your qualification? Not some ‘certificate’ issued by an unregulated training provider, what is and where is your formal qualification, if they are not a Doctor, Dentist or Nurse, just don’t risk it, after all, what is your face worth?
Update: Hamilton Fraser one of the most recognised insurance companies in the UK and also service Ireland have clarified their position on insurance for beauty therapists performing injectables.
Our current position is that we do not provide indemnity insurance products to beauty therapists delivering dermal filler or botulinum toxin treatments to the public. Whilst it remains legal for non-medical practitioners to perform dermal filler injections in the UK, based on the current evidence of skillset and training for beauty therapists we continue to take the position that they should not be undertaking these procedures – whether previously insured elsewhere or not. You can read the entire statement here.