Licence information

Premises, where special treatments are provided for gain or reward, must be licensed. This includes residential or other premises where the provision of the special treatment is ancillary to the main use of the premises.

Special treatments fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • massage
  • manicure includes false nails
  • acupuncture
  • tattooing includes semi-permanent make-up
  • cosmetic piercing
  • chiropody includes pedicure
  • light, electric or other special treatment of a like-kind
  • vapour, sauna or other baths

The Council's guidance, the A to Z of special treatments (PDF)*, lists various special treatments that can only be provided at licensed premises. In addition, the Council will only accept the following acceptable qualifications.

* This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format

Acceptable qualifications

Any qualification must be regulated by Ofqual, you can check that qualifications are regulated by them on The Register of Regulated Qualifications.

Any qualifications from overseas will have to be submitted by the therapist/practitioner to UK NARIC. A compatibility certificate will indicate the qualification comparison of the international qualification and the UK qualification equivalent. 

Alternatively you may be able to do a conversion course with a training provider to upgrade your training to an Ofqual regulated qualification.

The information below sets out minimum acceptable qualifications for many special treatments. However, the Ofqual regulated courses can change and you are advised to check their website for any new courses and to check that courses have not been removed.

If the treatment you wish to offer is not listed please contact Jenny Seal with details of what you wish to offer so we can advise you on acceptable qualifications.

Acupuncture

  • CNM Diploma in Acupuncture
  • BSc (Hons) Acupuncture
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine BSc (Hons)
  • Acupuncture MSc
  • Professional Licentiate in Acupuncture (Lic. Ac.)

Advanced electrolysis

  • VTCT Level 4 Advanced Epilation Techniques
  • ITEC Level 4 Blemish Removal
  • VTCT (ITEC) Level 5 Certificate in Advanced Blemish Removal

Cosmetic piercing including beading, bio skin jetting, micro dermal anchors

No accredited qualifications available. You must be able to either:

  • provide evidence including references of two years experience or
  • provide evidence you are training with a cosmetic piercer that has had at least two years experience

Training must cover infection control.

The practitioner may be required to successfully complete an infection control course, specified by the Council, and/or to complete a questionnaire on infection control. Any practitioner failing to satisfactorily complete the questionnaire may be required to undertake further training to improve their knowledge, by successfully completing a course specified by the Council, before they can be included as a licensed practitioner on the premises licence.

Ear piercing

  • VTCT Level 2 Award in Ear Piercing (QCF)
  • Safe Pierce ear and nose piercing training on their own equipment

Cosmetic Piercers meeting standards set out for ‘Cosmetic Piercing’ (above) do not need to hold this qualification for ear piercing.

Electrolysis / electrical epilation (hair removal)

  • CIBTAC Level 3 Certificate In Electrical Epilation (QCF)
  • ITEC Level 3 Certificate in Epilation
  • VTCT Level 3 Certificate in Epilation
  • CIBTAC Level 3 Certificate in Epilation
  • ITEC Level 3 Diploma in Epilation (VRQ)
  • other accredited Level 3 beauty qualifications such as the ITEC Level 3 Diploma in Beauty Therapy where the ‘Provide Electrical Epilation’ unit has been completed as part of the course

Laser / IPL

  • ITEC Level 4 Diploma In Laser and Light Treatments
  • CIBTAC Level 4 Certificate In Laser and Light Skin Rejuvenation (QCF)
  • VTCT Level 4 Award in Laser and Light Treatments for Skin Rejuvenation (QCF)
  • ITEC Level 4 Diploma in Laser and Intense Pulsed Light Treatments
  • IAO Level 4 Certificate In Laser and Intense Pulsed Light Treatments (RQF)
  • City & Guilds Level 4 Award In Laser and Light Treatment for Skin Rejuvenation (QCF)
  • VTCT Level 4 Certificate in Laser and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Treatments
  • City & Guilds Level 4 Award In Laser and Light Treatment for Hair Removal (QCF)
  • ITEC Level 4 Certificate in Laser and Light Treatments for Skin Rejuvenation
  • City & Guilds Level 4 Award In Laser and Light Treatment for Hair Removal (QCF)
  • CIBTAC Level 4 Certificate In Laser and Light Hair Removal (QCF)

Specific treatments given must be within the level 4 training undertaken, otherwise higher levels of training are required.

N.B. Level 5 training is required for tattoo removal.

Plus Mandatory ‘Core of Knowledge’ training.

Manicures

  • VTCT Level 2 Certificate in Nail Technology (QCF)
  • VTCT Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Nail Services (QCF) 
  • ITEC Level 2 Certificate in Nail Technology 
  • CIBTAC Level 2 Award in Providing Manicure Services 
  • City & Guilds Level 2 Technical Certificate in Beauty Therapy
  • Focus Awards Level 2 Certificate in Nail Treatments 
  • ITEC Level 2 Award in Provide Manicure Treatments 
  • ITEC Level 2 Certificate in Manicure 
  • VTCT Level 2 NVQ Award in Providing Manicure Services (QCF)
  • City & Guilds Level 2 Certificate in Manicure (QCF)

Massage

Only massages that are stated on a qualification will be permitted on a licence.

Where a general massage qualification is held, modules should be evidenced.

  • VTCT Level 3 Diploma in Massage Therapies
  • ITEC Level 3 Certificate in Body Massage
  • VTCT Level 3 Certificate in Stone Therapy Massage
  • ITEC Diploma in Beauty and Massage Therapy
  • TQUK Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Beauty Therapy - Massage (RQF)
  • ITEC Level 3 Diploma in Facial and Body Massage Treatments
  • CIBTAC Level 3 Certificate in Massage Techniques
  • VTCT Level 3 Certificate in Thai Massage
  • ITEC Level 3 Diploma in Massage Therapies
  • VTCT Level 3 Diploma in Massage Therapy
  • ITEC Level 3 Award in Body Massage
  • VTCT Level 3 Certificate in Swedish Massage
  • City & Guilds Level 3 Award in Indian Head Massage (QCF)
  • City & Guilds Level 3 Award in Body Massage (QCF)
  • VTCT Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Beauty Therapy Massage (QCF)
  • ITEC Level 3 Diploma in Stone Therapy Massage (VRQ)
  • ITEC Level 3 Award in Indian Head Massage
  • CIBTAC Level 3 Award in Indian Head Massage (QCF)
  • CIBTAC Level 3 Certificate in Stone Therapy Massage (QCF)
  • VTCT Level 3 Certificate in Beauty Therapy Studies (Massage)
  • VTCT Level 3 Extended Diploma in Massage Therapies
  • ITEC Level 3 Award in Stone Therapy Massage
  • ITEC Level 3 Diploma in Indian Head Massage (VRQ)
  • VTCT Level 3 Certificate in Indian Head Massage
  • VTCT Level 3 NVQ Award in Indian Head Massage (QCF)
  • CIBTAC Level 3 Award In Body Massage (QCF)
  • ITEC Level 3 Diploma in Massage and Electrotherapy Treatments
  • ITEC Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Beauty Therapy Massage
  • ITEC Level 3 Award in Massage using Pre-Blended Aromatherapy Oils
  • VTCT Level 3 Certificate in Massage Using Pre-Blended Aromatherapy Oils
  • CIBTAC Level 3 Diploma In Massage Techniques and Beauty Therapy Services
  • City & Guilds Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Beauty Therapy - Massage (QCF)

Microblading

  • VTCT Level 4 Certificate in Microblading Techniques
  • VTCT Level 4 Certificate in Enhancing Eyebrows with Microblading Techniques

Micro-pigmentation, semi-permanent make-up 

  • ITEC Level 4 Certificate in Micro-Pigmentation Treatment
  • ITEC Level 4 Award in Micro-Pigmentation Treatment
  • City & Guilds Level 4 Award in Enhance Appearance using Micro-Pigmentation Treatment (QCF)
  • VTCT Level 4 Certificate in Micropigmentation (QCF)

Nail extensions

  • VTCT Level 2 Certificate in Nail Technology (QCF)
  • VTCT Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Nail Services (QCF)
  • City & Guilds Level 2 Technical Certificate in Nail Treatments
  • Focus Awards Level 2 Certificate in Nail Technology
  • CIBTAC Level 3 Certificate in Nail Technologies
  • ITEC Level 2 Certificate in Nail Technology

Pedicures

  • ITEC Level 2 Certificate in Nail Technology
  • CIBTAC Level 2 Award in Providing Pedicure Services
  • City & Guilds Level 2 Technical Certificate in Beauty Therapy
  • Focus Awards Level 2 Certificate in Nail Treatments
  • VTCT Level 2 NVQ Award in Providing Pedicure Services (QCF)

Plasma Fibroblast

  • ProQual Level 4 Certificate in Skin Tightening & Rejuvenation using Plasma Technology

Steam rooms / spa pools / water baths / sauna

  • Sports management Sauna/Steam room training (ISRM)
  • ITEC Level 3 diploma in Spa Treatments
  • CIBTAC Spa Therapy Diploma

Documented specific manufacturer training for the facility offered in your premises. Must include evidence of understanding and implementation of Legionella controls.

Tattooing

No accredited qualifications available. You must be able to either:

  • provide evidence including references of two years experience or
  • provide evidence you are training with a tattooist that has had at least two years experience 

Training must cover infection control. The practitioner may be required to successfully complete an infection control course, specified by the Council, and/or to complete a questionnaire on infection control. Any practitioner failing to satisfactorily complete the questionnaire may be required to undertake further training to improve their knowledge, by successfully completing a course specified by the Council, before they can be included as a licensed practitioner on the premises licence.

Ultra violet tanning (sunbeds)

  • The Sunbed Association training package
  • VCTC Level 2 Award in Skin Tanning Techniques
  • NVQ unit BT30 Provide UV Tanning Treatments
  • ITEC Level 2 Award in Apply Skin Tanning Techniques
  • ITEC Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Beauty Therapy with optional unit Provide UV Tanning Services
  • Focus Awards Level 3 Diploma in Beauty Therapy with optional ‘Provide UV Tanning’ unit

Electrical treatments

  • ITEC Level 3 Certificate in Body Electrical Treatments
  • ITEC Level 3 Diploma in Massage and Electrotherapy Treatments
  • ITEC NVQ Level 3 Apprenticeship in Spa Therapy
  • ITEC Level 3 Diploma in Beauty and Massage Therapy
  • ITEC Level 3 Diploma in Beauty and Spa Therapy
  • ITEC Level 3 Diploma in Facial and Body Massage Treatments
  • ITEC Level 3 Diploma in Advanced Beauty Therapy
  • VTCT Level 3 Extended Diploma in Beauty Therapy
  • VTCT Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Beauty Therapy General (QCF)
  • CIBTAC Level 3 Award in Facial Electrical Treatments
  • CIBTAC Level 3 Diploma in Beauty Therapy Treatments
  • CIBTAC Level 3 Diploma in Electrotherapy Treatments
  • Focus Awards Level 3 Diploma in Beauty Therapy Studies as long as the units ‘Provide facial electrotherapy treatments’ and ‘Provide body electrotherapy treatments’ have been completed

Some premises, such as hospitals and nursing homes are exempt from needing a licence; as are premises where the special treatment is provided by a person specified in the Act as being exempt, for example, a doctor, or by a member of an exempt body of health practitioners. 

Relevant Legislation

Part II of the London Local Authorities Act 1991 (as amended).

Application forms

* These files may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format

The Council's Standard conditions (PDF) will apply to all premises if a licence is granted.

Apply online

This service is not currently available. However, electronic applications can be made and fees paid over the phone using a credit or debit card.

Making representations/objections

It is open to any person to make representations/objections to an application and any person wishing to do so should refer to the Council's guidance, Making representations or objections.

Will tacit consent apply?

No. The governing legislation allows a 28 day consultation period. Furthermore, it is not in the public interest to allow special treatments to be provided at premises until the suitability of both the applicant and the premises have been determined. 

The exception to the above is in respect of applications seeking to renew an existing licence, with no change to its terms conditions and restrictions. Tacit consent will apply to such applications.

The Council will seek to determine applications where no representations/objections have been made within two months, and within three months if they are subject to representations/objections. However, at the request of an applicant, a delay in the determination of an application to allow the required works to be undertaken at premises may be allowed.

Concerns and complaints

If you want to complain about premises that are already licensed or one that is providing special treatments without the benefit of a licence, please contact the Licensing team.

A to Z of special treatments - at a glance

A to Z of special treatments
Treatment Fee Licensable
Acupressure C Yes
Acupuncture B Yes
Alexander Technique   No
Anthroposphical Medicine E* No
Aromatherapy with massage C Yes
Auricular Acupuncture B Yes
Autogenic training   No
Ayurvedic medicine C Yes
Bach Flower remedies   No
Bates Method   No
Beading B Yes
Bi Aura therapy   No
Bio Resonance therapy   No
Bio skin jetting B Yes
Bleaching   No
Body massage C Yes
Body piercing B Yes
Body talk C Yes
Body wraps/envelopment   No
Botox E* No
Bowen technique C Yes
Branding   No
Be Set Free Fast (BSFF)   No
Buteyko   No
Cavitation   No
Champissage (See Indian Head Massage) C Yes
Chemical/fruit peels (see skin peels)   No
Chiropody and podiatry E** Yes/No
Chiropractic E** Yes/No
Cholesterol testing   No
Collagen implants (cosmetic fillers) E* No
Colonic irrigation   No
Colour therapy (Chromatherapy) C Yes
Craniosacral therapy   No
Cryotherapy (cryogenic chamber therapy)   No
Cryolipolosis   No
Cryosauna C Yes
Crystal/electro crystal healing   No
Cupping   No
Dermabrasion E* No
Dermal anchors ( see Microdermal Anchors) B Yes
Dermaplaning   No
Dermaroller   No
Detox Box (See infrared sauna) C Yes
Do in   No
Dracula therapy (Stimulated Self Serum Therapy) E* No
Dry needling B Yes
Electrocautery B Yes
Electrolysis (hair removal) B Yes
Electrolysis - advanced (moles, warts, skintags) B Yes
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) C Yes
Endermologie C Yes
Eyebrow treatments   No
Eyebrow embroidery B Yes
Eyelash treatments   No
Facial (without massage/facial steamer)   No
Facial (with massage) C Yes
Facial steamers C Yes
Fairbane method/tangent method C Yes
Faradism B Yes
Feldenkrais   No
Fire therapy (Huo Liao)   No
Fish therapy C Yes
Flotation tank C Yes
Foot detox C Yes
Freeway - CER C Yes
Frotox   No
Galvanism B Yes
Glucose testing   No
Grinberg method C Yes
Gyratory massage C Yes
Halotherapy/speliotherapy C Yes
Hellerwork   No
Henna tattoos   No
Herbal medicine   No
High frequency C Yes
Holistic massage C Yes
Homeopathy   No
Hopi ear candles (with massage) (see Thermo Auricular) C Yes
Hopi ear candles (without massage)   No
Hot air massage C Yes
Huo Liao (see fire therapy)   No
Hyaluronic acid (cosmetic fillers) E* No
Hydrafacial/hydradermabrasion   No
Hydrotherapy C Yes
Hypnotherapy   No
Indian head massage C Yes
Infrared C Yes
Infrared sauna (see Detox Box) C Yes
Intra-venous Nutritional Therapy (IVNT)   No
Inversion therapy   No
Iridology   No
Ken Eyerman technique C Yes
Kinesiology   No
Kirilian photography C Yes
Korean hand therapy B Yes
Laser/intense Pulse Light (IPL) A Yes
Laser lypolysis A Yes
Lumi lift/Lumi facials A Yes
Manicures C Yes
Manual lymphatic drainage C Yes
Marma therapy C Yes
Meridian therapies (see EFT, TAT and Freeway - CER) C Yes
Meridian therapies (see BSFF & TFT)   No
Mesotherapy B Yes
Meta aromatherapy C Yes
Metamorphic technique C Yes
Microblading (semi-permanent make-up) B Yes
Microcurrent therapy/non-surgical face lifts B Yes
Microdermabrasion (if use lasers/massage) A/C Yes
Microdermabrasion without lasers/massage   No
Microdermal anchors B Yes
Microneedling   No
Micropigmentation (semi-permanent make-up) B Yes
Moxibustion with acupuncture B Yes
Moxibustion without acupuncture   No
Myofascial release C Yes
Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Technique (N.A.E.T) B Yes
Nail extensions C Yes
Naturopathy   No
Neuroskeletal realignment C Yes
No hands massage C Yes
Norris technique   No
Osteomyology C Yes
Osteopathy E** Yes
Oxygen therapy (Oxygen Bars only) C Yes
Ozone sauna C Yes
Ozone therapy   No
Pedicure C Yes
Plasma/fibroblast A Yes
Physiotherapy E** Yes
Podiatry and chiropody E** Yes
Polarity therapy C Yes
Qi gong C Yes
Radio frequency C Yes
Radionics   No
Reiki (without massage)   No
Reiki (with massage) C Yes
Reflexology C Yes
Remedial massage C Yes
Rolfing C Yes
Roller shaper C Yes
Sauna C Yes
Scarification   No
Scenar therapy B Yes
Schmaizing   No
Sclerotherapy E* No
Semi-permanent make up (see micro-pigmentation) B Yes
Shiatsu C Yes
Skin peels   No
Spa C Yes
Sports/remedial massage C Yes
Spray tanning   No
Steam room/bath C Yes
Stone therapy C Yes
Sugaring   No
Tapas acupressure technique (TAT) C Yes
Tattoo removal (Laser/tattoo) A/B Yes
Tattooing B Yes
Teeth whitening   No
Temptooing B Yes
Thought field therapy (TFT)   No
Thai massage C Yes
Thalassatherapy C Yes
Therapeutic/holistic massage C Yes
Thermavein B Yes
Thermo auricular (Hopi Ear Candles) with massage C Yes
Thermo auricular therapy (Hopi ear candles) (without massage)   No
Threading   No
Tongue splitting   No
Toning beds   No
Trichology with massage C Yes
Trichology without massage   No
TUI-NA C Yes
Ultra sonic C Yes
Ultrasound   No
Ultraviolet tanning C Yes
Vacuum suction   No
Vitamin B injections (see IVNT)   No
Waxing   No

Guidance notes

This is not a definitive list of ‘special treatments’. It is provided by way of guidance only.

The fact that a treatment does not feature on the list does not automatically mean that it can be provided at a premises without the need for a licence. The first point of contact for advice on any treatment not listed is via the Council’s Health & Safety Team.

E* Treatment is exempt as it must be carried out by a Registered Medical Practitioner or a Registered General Nurse.

E** Treatment is exempt when carried out by a therapist who is a member of an exempt body.