Leading Us Down the Aesthetic Pathway

Pete Richardson looks at the complex question of finding a pathway to qualifications in aesthetics and injectables for non-medics.

One of the most common buzz words of the moment in aesthetic is most definitely “pathway”.

Everyone is talking about “pathways into aesthetics”.

The Government is talking about it – with the new All-Party Parliamentary Group recently established focussing its discussions on pathways.

Training collages are talking about pathways.

Prospective practitioners want to know what pathways are available, what they mean, who recognises which ones, and WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN FOR THE FUTURE?

In a recent debate in The House of Commons, one politician seems to have talked a lot of sense.

Judith Cummins MP said: “On training and regulation for beauticians—non-medical people who constitute around 50,000 jobs in the UK economy—there is huge appetite and support within the industry for proper and appropriate regulation, and there is recognition of the urgent need for that.

“However, there are no regulated qualifications available for non-medical practitioners for injectables at the moment. Going forward, does the Minister think there will be some kind of progression route for beauticians to go into this kind of industry, so that we can guarantee proper standards for the consumer?”

Here is the heart of the matter: “there are no regulated qualifications available for non-medical practitioners for injectables at the moment.”

No matter what anyone says there is no nationally recognised qualification for non-medics in injectables.


Lots of organisations are working towards creating them – and a pathway into them.

But nothing official!!

So, any qualification in injectables for non-medics currently has to be in-house.

So, what about qualifications to get into aesthetics and injectables.

In theory, as there is no official qualification in injectables you don’t need any qualification to get into injectables.

But most reputable aesthetic training academies insist on at least a beauty qualification to Level 3 to begin training in aesthetics and injectables….this is the beginning of the mysterious “pathway”.

To get into aesthetics you should train in beauty to level three (With a nationally accredited awarding body like VTCT or NVQ etc).

That’s because PROPER Level 3 beauty courses will include anatomy and physiology of the face, first aid, treatment protocols, and many of the basics needed to enable you to prove that you are qualified and proficient enough to move onto other courses.


For example, the new IQ Verify Level 4 to 7 in Skin Rejuvenation requires an entry qualification of Level 3 beauty or equivalent.

The minimum qualification acceptable to begin training as a non-medic in aesthetics should be Level 3 beauty.

And this is the basis of recommendations going forward for a pathway to aesthetics and injectables.

Level 3 beauty to Level 4 in aesthetics and then on to Levels 5, 6 and 7.

But there is no Level 6 or 7 in injectables for non-medics.

However, Laurie Clarke of IQ Verify clarifies how one day this could be possible.

Over to the expert Laurie to explan….

He says: “Injectables was originally set by HEE as a Level 6-7 training modality. It has since been revised by the JCCP to that of Level 7 only. Skin Rejuvenation is a Level 4-7 progression framework that delivers microneedling and chemical peel training in accordance with all of the latest cosmetic guidelines. Much unlike injectables, Skin Rejuvenation treatments are accepted across the medical- non medical divide as appropriate for all practioners with suitable standards of training. It is for this reason that we have drawn upon these treatments to progress practitioners from Level 3 to Level 6/ 7- the route is not controversial and so doesn’t run the risk of being undermined by later legislation (should this arise).

“Our view is that through enabling academic progression at the front end, practioners taking our Skin Rejuvenation programme will be able to evidence their own level of achievement and adherence to current cosmetic guidelines, whichever way the injectables debate goes.

“Should a non-medical Level 7 injectables framework emerge, and it will need to be Level 7 to meet current aesthetic guidelines, practioners can use their achievement of Skin Rejuvenation Level 6 to evidence their appropriateness for enrolment. Should legislation prevent this occurring, practioners can use Skin Rejuvenation to springboard into other high level aesthetic qualifications that are not the subject of such debate (high level laser and light treatments etc.). Alternatively, a practitioner may decide that they wish to be top of their game in the field of Skin Rejuvenation only – in which case our framework is again appropriate.

“It is extremely difficult predicting what will happen to this sector as the need to regulate/standardise training becomes more established. But as I hope I have explained above, for those looking to get ahead of the curve, Skin Rejuvenation is a relatively safe bet – that affords all practioners with the flexibility to move with the times.”

Makes sense to me.