Wales to introduce a mandatory licence for tattoo artists and piercers

The Welsh government is planning a national licensing scheme for tattoo artists. In doing so, Wales will become the first UK nation to introduce such a scheme.

The scheme, which aims to improve standards, will also cover other procedures.

Including those working in body piercing, semi-permanent make-up, acupuncture, and electrolysis.

There are 3,516 practitioners operating in Wales who will need a licence. Along with 1,868 premises that will need approval under the new scheme.

The Welsh government wants to reduce infections and remove poor working practices.

It also wants a central public register for licensed practitioners and approved business premises.

Chief medical officer Frank Atherton, said: “Good standards of hygiene and infection control by all special procedures practitioners and businesses is essential as these procedures are capable of causing harm if not carried out properly.

“This new compulsory licensing scheme will ensure that both clients and practitioners are adequately protected at all times. I am very pleased that these impending changes have been widely welcomed by practitioners in Wales, with many already volunteering to meet the new standards.”


The UK government asks practitioners for licences. You must provide details about yourself and your premises. Along with a one-off registration fee, which is set by local councils.

However, the new Welsh scheme will improve safety further as it will be mandatory and will include a public register.

In 2022 the UK government also announced plans to introduce a licence for non-surgical cosmetic procedures. Including Botox and fillers.

We welcome both decisions and call for more regulation. To improve safety for those using these procedures as there has been an increase in the number of people offering Botox and cosmetic fillers in recent years.


Your therapist should have public liability insurance but many don’t as it is not compulsory. If something goes wrong during your treatment, you may not be able to claim compensation.

Always check if your therapist has a licence and public liability insurance.

Don’t forget that is against the law for someone to administer Botox, cosmetic fillers, or ink to someone who is under 18.


If you have an injury because of a botched beauty treatment or tattoo contact us for free legal advice.

NV Legal has a specialist team of solicitors. Experienced in successful outcomes for clients with this type of injury.

If you or someone you know has questions about these issues, contact us for free legal advice.

Advice is from qualified solicitors, regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

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