British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology Increases Training Standards


At the end of a year of scrutiny for the beauty industry, the British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology (BABTAC) has made moves to increase standards even higher than before. Established in 1977, BABTAC is the oldest membership organization dedicated to representing and insuring professional beauty therapists in the United Kingdom.

Working not-for-profit, they not only check, verify and insure therapists, but also play an instrumental role in shaping the industry and representing its needs.

This year, advisory status with the British Standards Institutions (BSI), submissions and debate with The Review on Cosmetic Interventions and their own corporate taskforces, have highlighted three core needs for the industry: increased standards of training; increased recognition from the public; and a drive towards an accountable and independent method of regulation.


As a single body in a large industry, it cannot presumed to dictate to the industry as a whole; however it can work to support and promote our members. New changes being implemented in January work to meet the three industry needs, which come at the end of a year when the industry has been thrust under greater Government and public scrutiny.

From January 1, 2014, the following will be introduced.

  • In response to public concerns over specific treatments, increased minimum training standards will be implemented across the board in order for members to gain insurance or extensions; this is not a new undertaking, but a revised benchmark. New members will be expected to meet these standards from January; existing members will also need to meet these standards, but will have 24 months to up-skill.
  • In response to demands from members, introduction of a new tier of recognized training, enabling therapists to choose more effectively and spend time and money more wisely on reputable, high-quality training courses.
  • In response to industry-wide insurance claims and feedback, additional checks for accredited training providers and introduction of some new pre-requisites for therapists to ensure public safety is not compromised at any time.
  • In response to demands from therapists, for the first time, recognition of some online training courses where appropriate, highlighting beneficial courses to undertake prior to practical learning; this should help give an introduction to treatments and prepare therapists more thoroughly, to help ensure they get the most out of training courses.

The changes, although diverse, are set to affect less than 1% of members or accredited training providers. The key benefit is that it will enable us to promote even higher benchmark standards in their campaign to educate the public on beauty treatment safety, and ultimately drive greater awareness for its members. The objective is to lead the way and ensure that these changes will support the move towards industry self-regulation, creating better accountability to, and safety of, the public.

Carolyne Cross, Chair, BABTAC & CIBTAC says; “We have spent a lot of time considering the proposed changes making sure increased standards help improve the industry, without being unobtainable. BABTAC has always been at the top of the industry, providing the highest possible standards for 36 years, but the time has come to push these higher again in response to feedback from the public, the Government and our members. We cannot and will not dictate industry standards, but we can set expectations for our members and help make sure they are the best in the industry; this is our objective and we’re delighted that feedback so far has been really positive!”

You can view the original announcement here.

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