Certification requirements for aesthetic practitioners in UK

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As the regulation is about to change in the UK in terms of certifications requirements for aesthetic practitioners, it is still uncertain what diplomas or training will become mandatory in a few months time.

However, based on the parliamentary report published in July 2021, we expect level 7 diplomas to become mandatory to perform injections.

Until now, non-medically trained injectors who had access to a prescriber could inject dermal filler, and this is the main thing that is about to change. To guide you through the existing diplomas and certifications that already exist in the UK and will most likely be required in a near future to become an aesthetic practitioner, we have looked at most schools and training programs available.

What changes we can expect from the new regulations coming up soon

  • A new framework will define the scope of aesthetic non-surgical treatments
  • The dermal fillers should all be considered prescription drugs and be a bit more difficult to obtain
  • We expect a level 7 qualification to become mandatory, as this is already broadly established as a quality and safety standard in the profession
  • The government should empower Ofqual to assess courses and training organization
  • Some new obligations to spot psychologic vulnerabilities and risk individuals before undergoing and aesthetic non-surgical treatment, with adequate training
  • New insurance requirements are to be expected
  • New limitation for the advertising, online advertising and social media to come
  • A new national licensing scheme for aesthetic practitioners should be developed.

What trainings to look at

It should be clear first that we cannot foresee what training will be approved under the new regulation, and this article is only valid at the date of its publication as the new regulation has not been voted yet.

However, based on the 2021 report and ongoing discussions, we would recommend looking at level 7 training options in priority to become a fully qualified aesthetic practitioner in the UK. Unfortunately, most of these level 7 training are opened in priority to medical practitioners like doctors, dentists, nurses or midwives, so you might need to graduate first in a more general medical subject to access these qualifications.

Another way if you already are a non-qualified practitioner is the RPL, or Recognition of Prior Learning, for which you will have to demonstrate what is your level of experience.

Harley Academy

is one of the leading postgraduate courses in aesthetic medicine in the UK. From a simple 15 hours introduction to a level 7 diploma on 36 months, this Academy is already Oqfal-regulated and is broadly recognized in the profession.

The level 7 diploma however is only accessible to Doctors, Dentists, Nurses and Midwives, but will allow you to meet the HEE (Health Education England) qualification requirements that most likely will soon be a requirement to perform aesthetic procedures.

The training takes place in one of the 6 Harley Academy clinics in the country.

Cosmetic training

is another safe choice when it comes to level 7 trainings. Again, it is opened in priority to medical or aesthetic professionals, so if you’re starting from scratch there are going to be some requirements. If you already are an aesthetic practitioner and want to get officially qualified, you can go through a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process.
This course is a mix of online theory (6 training modules), clinical observation days and 1 to 1 training sessions. The fee starts from £4200 + VAT.

Acquisition Aesthetic

offers similar packages with a mix of theory courses and supervised practical training sessions (mentoring) to achieve 40 procedures before you get qualified. The pricing ranges from £2495 + VAT for the RPL program to £8295 for a complete package that include all the optional courses like the lip augmentation or complication management masterclasses.

Derma Medical

offers 2 different packages accessible to the following professionals: doctors, dentists, midwives, pharmacists, dental hygienists, dental therapists, paramedics. Ranging from £5500 to £6250 + VAT, these trainings as the other cover all the theory + 2 days observation and 2 days active training, where the school provides the live models and the insurance.


If you don’t have any diploma or experience in the medical field yet, you probably will need an intermediate diploma or to practice for a couple of years before you can access the level 7 training.

In addition, as it will be more difficult to get derma-filling and other substances after the new regulations are approved, you will need someone able to prescribe it in your practice, which means a graduation in one of the medical fields allowing to become a prescriber before you take any specialized course.

However, if you have been working in this field and practicing injections officially for a while, you should be able to turn your professional experience into an official diploma through RPL in one of these academies, saving some time and money to adapt to the new regulations. 

Read more about legal requirements in the UK for operating aesthetic clinics in UK