Skin penetration premises

The Public Health Act 2010 and Public Health Regulation 2012 regulate body decorating and grooming practices carried out by people who are not registered as health professionals.

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The Public Health Act 2010 and Public Health Regulation 2012 regulate body decorating and grooming practices carried out by people who are not registered as health professionals. The regulation specifies procedures to prevent disease transmission, requires operators to be registered with the local council and empowers environmental health officers to carry out inspections of their premises.

The regulated body decorating and grooming practices include:

  • Acupuncture
  • waxing
  • beauty treatments
  • body, nose and ear piercing
  • cosmetic enhancements
  • colonic lavage
  • tattooing; and
  • blood cholesterol and glucose measurement

Hairdressing and other body decorating and grooming practices which do not deliberately pierce the skin are not regulated unless by complaint.

Starting a New Skin Penetration Premises

If you wish to open and operate a skin penetration business from a location where it has not been previously used for skin penetration, you must contact Council’s Planning Officers to determine if it would be permitted in that location.  You may be required to submit a Development Application.  Contact Council’s Planning Section on 02 6643 0200 for more information.

Notification Form

Owners/Operators of Skin Penetration premises in the Clarence Valley Council are required to be registered on Council's Skin Penetration Premise Register.

Registration can be carried out by completing and submitting to Council the Skin Penetration Premise Registration Form.

The fees associated with registration and inspections of Skin Penetration Premise are listed in Council’s Fees and Charges section.  They are based on an initial registration fee (for new premises), the duration of the inspection and an administration fee of inspection results.

Preparing for your Inspection

During your Skin Penetration Premise inspection, an Environmental Health Officer will ask you about your practices and records.

If you reuse any of the following tools, you will be asked questions about your sterilization practices.  The following tools require sterilization in an autoclave before reuse:

  • Cuticle nippers/cutters
  • Microdermabrasion heads
  • Tattoo equipment
  • Piercing equipment
  • Derma-rollers
  • Razor Scrapers/Callus Shaver
  • Metal Nail Files (if they cause skin abrasions)

Sterilization can only be conducted using the steam, heat and pressure that occurs in an autoclave.  It must be carried out in accordance with AS/NZS 4815:2006 Office-based health care facilities - Reprocessing of reusable medical and surgical instruments and equipment, and maintenance of the associated environment.  The autoclave must also be maintained in accordance with AS 2182:1998 Sterilizers—Steam—Bench top and operated by an adequately trained individual present during its operation.  Be prepared to show documentation of your sterilising process, records of sterilisation and evidence that your autoclave has been annually performance requalified.

The premise will be assessed for cleaning and sanitising of surfaces and equipment, adequate personal protective equipment in use (gloves and aprons), adequate storage of clean and dirty articles, adequate construction and plumbing requirements and infection control procedures.

The NSW Health website contains a self audit tool to equip skin penetration premise operators for their inspection and help them to identify any issues in advance of an inspection.  Should skin penetration premises be found not compliant with the Public Health Act 2010 and/or the Public Health Regulation 2012, penalties may apply.

More Information

The NSW Health Skin Penetration web page contains a variety of resources for Skin Penetration Premise operation in New South Wales.

The Hunter Regional Health Education Committee has compiled a comprehensive guide that contains information relating to the Construction and Operation of Hairdressing/Beauty and Skin Penetration.

You may contact your Environmental Health Officer on (02) 6643 0200 or by email on for further information.

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