Doctors call for specialist training and qualifications for all cosmetic procedures

Posted: 20/10/2014


There has been an overwhelming call by doctors and patients for the introduction of new specialist training for cosmetic surgeons to remove cowboy practices from the industry. The latest survey, published by the Daily Mail, found that approximately a third of doctors surveyed believed that a minimum of three months’ training is required before injecting cosmetic fillers and Botox and carrying out laser treatment for acne, skin rejuvenation and hair removal and that no-one should be allowed to inject patients until they are deemed competent. 

In addition, three quarters of women would feel more confident having cosmetic surgery if it was mandatory for doctors to take a special qualification. Doctors think that professional associations such as the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) and the British College of Aesthetic Medicine should be responsible for training. 

These results follow the release of the first part of the Health Education England (HEE) review into training for non-surgical cosmetic procedures. The HEE is working with regulators and royal colleges to conduct a review of the qualifications required for non-surgical cosmetic procedures. This is one of the outcomes of the review led by Sir Bruce Keogh. The proposals include undertaking minimum training hours, learning how to spot patients with mental health issues, and shadowing clinicians. A full copy of the report can be found here.

It is anticipated that many specialists will argue that the HEE’s proposals do not go far enough.  With this in mind, organisations such as SaveFace is compiling a voluntary register of non-surgical cosmetic practitioners who are thoroughly vetted by doctors before being accredited so that consumers can have confidence in selecting a clinic. 

Amy Milner, a solicitor in the cosmetic surgery team at Penningtons Manches, says: “We agree that, in light of the Keogh review, there is a clear need for stronger regulation and training within the industry. Unfortunately, we are seeing an increase in cases where people have been left with devastating complication following a cosmetic filler procedure that was not performed by a specialist. Many people do not appreciate the need to meet with either a qualified cosmetic surgeon or someone who has been appropriately trained and is specifically qualified to inject fillers/botox. Too often these procedures are deemed straightforward and not enough is made of what can happen if something goes wrong. 

“We therefore welcome the HEE’s proposals but agree that these may not go far enough.” 


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