What Qualifications Do I Need to Administer Botulinum Toxin?

We often get asked the question, ‘What qualifications do I need to administer Botulinum Toxin in the UK?’. A whole host of professionals have asked this question, so we thought that we would try to provide a comprehensive answer and summary. Non-surgical procedures are gaining more momentum and the area is becoming a sub-speciality in its own right. Professionals from a variety of backgrounds are therefore looking to make the jump into the world of facial aesthetics and injectable treatments.

In November 2015, Health Education England (HEE) recently published a document entitled Qualification Requirements for Delivery of Cosmetic Procedures'. This document is the first comprehensive guideline which details the requirements for legal and competent delivery of aesthetic procedures. Therefore, it’s worth being familiar with it.  

In summary, HEE defined levels of learning which reflect the complexity of different procedures, as well as the knowledge and skills requirements to ensure patient safety and high standards of care. There are two levels which you need to be aware of if you want to know what qualifications you need to practice Botulinum Toxin (sometimes known as Botox®) in the UK.

  • A minimum of a Level 6 qualification is required to perform basic upper face Botulinum Toxin procedures only.

  • A Level 7 qualification is required for ‘comprehensive use’. This means that a practitioner should be able to ‘deal with complex issues, make sound judgements and act autonomously in implanting tasks at a professional level’.

A certified training and education programme will provide you with the qualifications you need to practice Botulinum Toxin in the UK. This will allow you gain formal proof of your competency to deliver cosmetic procedures safely. The HEE guidelines state that the programme must cover:

  • Basic principles of aesthetic procedures.

  • Basic principles of the consultation process.

  • Modality specific training.

Practical skills training is an integral part of any certified training programme. You should be able to observe and practice the relevant skills under the supervision of an experienced aesthetic practitioner. Depending on the level of qualification, there are minimum requirements for the number of times that a skill should be observed and practiced by each trainee. For Botulinum Toxin, these are:

Level 6:

  • Observation - 10 treatments to upper face for 10 different patients/clients.

  • Practise under supervision – 10 treatments to upper face for 10 different patients/clients.

Level 7:

  • Observation – 10 treatments for 10 different patients/clients.

  • Practise under supervision – 10 treatments for 10 different patients/clients, for each treatment type.

The trainee to supervisor ratio also forms part of the guidelines for the qualifications you need to practice Botulinum Toxin in the UK. For Botulinum Toxin observation, the maximum ratio is 10:1 trainee to supervisor. For Botulinum Toxin practice, it must be 1:1. Trainees must also have a designated supervisor who is solely responsible for their learning experience. The supervisor must have a teaching qualification and an appropriate level of experience in the skill being taught.

When it comes to choosing a training provider who can provide you with the qualifications you need to practice Botulinum Toxin in the UK, their education and training programmes must be assessed and certified. They should use range of methods to assess whether a trainee has met the required learning outcomes, testing knowledge, decision-making, and the application of theory to practice. These methods will be determined by the education provider, but should include:

  • A portfolio of evidence within which trainees can record their progress. This should include monitoring the acquisition of practical skills and theoretical knowledge and understanding, as well as values-based behaviours.

  • A summative examination of practical skills in a simulated learning environment or setting relevant to the trainee’s area of practise. This should simulate the total patient experience. A ‘final sign off’ of proficiency to meet the requisite standard of proficiency should also be given.

  • A satisfactory demonstration of proficiency in required skills. This must consider the trainee’s value-based behaviours, empathy and compassion, respect for patients, and reflection on learning.

  • Written assessments and examinations.

In terms of the qualifications you need to practice Botulinum Toxin in the UK, there is an additional qualification required to achieve the Level 7 qualification for Botulinum Toxin. A practitioner must have a prescribing license to achieve this qualification. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) provides guidelines on the supply and administration of Botulinum Toxin for cosmetic purposes.

Although these do not place restrictions on the groups able to administer Botulinum Toxin, they do make it clear that the responsibility for administration lies with a qualified and designated prescriber. The prescriber is responsible for undertaking a physical examination of clients prior to their treatment. They also ensure that any practitioner to whom they delegate responsibility to administer is appropriately trained and proficient to deliver to prescribed treatment.

We hope that this has provides you with a summary of the qualifications you need to administer Botulinum Toxin in the UK. Acquisition Aesthetics is a reputable training provider that is CPD certified. Amongst many other courses, we offer the Level 7 diploma to delegates looking to achieve the gold standard of medical aesthetics training. View the Level 7 Course here.