We often get asked the question, ‘What certifications do I need to administer Botulinum Toxin in the UK?'. A whole host of professionals have asked this question, so we felt that we would try to offer a comprehensive answer and summary. Non-surgical treatments are gaining more impetus and the area is becoming a sub-speciality in its own right. Practitioners from a wide range of backgrounds are therefore seeking to make the jump into the world of facial aesthetics and injectable treatments.
In November 2015, Health Education England (HEE) just recently published a document entitled ‘Qualification Requirements for Delivery of Cosmetic Procedures'. This document is the first comprehensive guide which sets out the requirements for legal and competent delivery of beauty procedures. Therefore, it's worth being familiar with it.
In summary, HEE defined levels of learning which reflect the intricacy of various procedures, as well as the knowledge and skills needs to ensure patient security and high standards of care. There are 2 levels which you need to be aware of if you want to know what qualifications you need to practice Botulinum Toxin (sometimes known as Botox ®) in the UK.
A minimum of a Level 6 qualification is called for to carry out basic upper face Botulinum Toxin procedures only.
A Level 7 certification is needed for ‘comprehensive use'. This means that a practitioner should be able to ‘deal with complex issues, make sound judgements and act autonomously in implanting tasks at a professional level'.
A certified training and education programme will offer you with the credentials you need to practice Botulinum Toxin in the UK. This will allow you acquire formal evidence of your competency to deliver cosmetic procedures safely. The HEE guidelines state that the programme must cover:
Basic principles of aesthetic procedures.
Basic principles of the consultation process.
Modality specific training.
Practical skill-sets training is an essential part of any licensed training programme. You should have the ability to observe and practice the relevant skills under the supervision of an experienced aesthetic practitioner. Depending upon the rank of qualification, there are minimum requirements for the number of times that a skill-set should be monitored and practiced by each trainee. For Botulinum Toxin, these are:
Observation – 10 treatments to upper face for 10 different patients/clients.
Practise under supervision– 10 treatments to upper face for 10 different patients/clients.
Observation– 10 treatments for 10 different patients/clients.
Practise under supervision– 10 treatments for 10 different patients/clients, for each treatment type.
The student to supervisor ratio also forms portion of the guidelines for the qualifications you need to practice Botulinum Toxin in the UK. For Botulinum Toxin monitoring, the maximum ratio is 10:1 trainee to supervisor. For Botulinum Toxin practice, it must be 1:1. Students must also have an assigned manager who is entirely responsible for their learning experience. The manager must have an education qualification and a suitable level of expertise in the skill being taught.
When it comes to choosing a training provider who can provide you with the certifications you need to practice Botulinum Toxin in the UK, their education and training programmes must be assessed and certified. They should use variety of methods to evaluate whether a student has met the required studying outcomes, testing expertise, decision-making, and the application of theory to practice. These methods will be determined by the education provider, but should include:
A portfolio of documentation within which students can record their progress. This should include monitoring the acquisition of practical skills and theoretical knowledge and understanding, as well as values-based behaviours.
A summative evaluation of practical skills in a simulated learning environment or setting relevant to the trainee's area of practise. This should replicate the total patient experience. A ‘final sign off' of proficiency to meet the required standard of proficiency should also be given.
A satisfactory demonstration of proficiency in required skills. This must consider the trainee's value-based behaviours, empathy and compassion, respect for patients, and reflection on learning.
Written assessments and examinations.
In terms of the qualifications you need to practice Botulinum Toxin in the UK, there is an additional qualification required to achieve the Level 7 qualification for Botulinum Toxin. A practitioner must have a prescribing license to achieve this qualification. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) provides guidelines on the supply and administration of Botulinum Toxin for cosmetic purposes.
It is obviously vital that healthcare workers administering Botox are highly trained, bearing in mind the toxic nature of the product.
Many physicians also administer Botox injections and they are often trained via the IAPAM service which trains physicians in handling botox.
Training organisations for Botox also train personnel for using dermal fillers. It should be noted that in the UK for example, no formal qualifications are actually needed to perform cosmetic injections so it is vital that you make sure that the person treating you have been through a recognised training scheme. An unqualified practitioner might not be carrying the correct insurance in case something doesn't go according to plan.
If you are planning on getting fillers or Botox in a faraway land it is even more important that you are in safe hands and you are correctly covered by insurance.