Consultation on the Regulation of Non-Surgical Cosmetic Procedures in Scotland

Closed 30 Jun 2020

Opened 17 Jan 2020

Feedback updated 7 Jul 2022

We asked

We asked you whether non-surgical cosmetic procedures (that pierce or penetrate the skin) should be further regulated and for your views on proposals to introduce a licensing scheme.  We also asked whether pharmacists who provide services outside of NHS contracts should be brought under the regulation of Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) by adding them to the list of service providers in the definition of an independent clinic, as set out in Section 10F of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978.

You said

After the removal or reconciliation of duplicate responses, we received a total of 437 responses to the consultation.  382 responses were from individuals and 55 from organisations.  The responses showed strong public support for further regulation of non-surgical cosmetic procedures that pierce or penetrate the skin as well as for pharmacists who provide independent services to be regulated by HIS in the same way as other health professionals.  The independent analysis of the the consultation responses can be found here.

We did

We have published all non-confidential responses to our consultation.  We have also published our response to, and proposals following, the consultation.  Our response can be found here.

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


The number of non-surgical cosmetic treatments carried out across Scotland and the UK has risen considerably over the years and continues to do so.  

In Scotland, independent clinics run by a doctor, nurse, dentist, dental nurse, midwife or dental care professional and who provide these procedures are now regulated by Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS).  

However non-surgical cosmetic procedures that pierce/penetrate the skin, such as lip enhancement or dermal fillers, are not currently regulated and anyone is currently able to carry out such procedures.  There is also a growing potential risk posed by an increase in unregulated premises carrying out such procedures.

In addition, a number of pharmacists have now entered the cosmetics procedure field and are providing injectable procedures within premises that are currently not regulated by, and do not need to be registered with, HIS. 

The Scottish Government want to ensure that anyone providing non-surgical cosmetic procedures that pierce/penetrate the skin is competent and appropriately trained to do so, from hygienic premises that are fit for purpose.  We are therefore seeking views on the need for further statutory regulation to ensure the safety of people considering or undergoing these procedures.

Read the consultation paper

Please note that the consultation closing date has been extended to 30 June.


  • Health and Social Care