The government recently announced that they will launch a consultation process into unregulated aesthetic/cosmetic procedures such as botox and fillers. The government is seeking input from individuals and businesses to improve the safety of non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as Botox, laser hair removal, and dermal fillers following numerous complaints from consumers about inferior treatments. The consultation marks the government’s first involvement in these aesthetic procedures and will influence the development of a future licensing system for aesthetic practitioners and cosmetic establishments in England. The proposed system will include age restrictions and safeguards for high-risk procedures to ensure a uniform standard that clients can expect—especially those involving the injection of fillers into intimate areas like the breasts and buttocks.

Implementing a new licensing framework aims to protect clients from potential harm following harmful and incorrect procedures, ensuring consistent, high-quality standards across all treatment providers. The UK beauty industry holds significant economic importance and will continue to increase, with clients always looking to try the newest popular treatment. These regulations will elevate industry standards and professionalism, benefiting aesthetic businesses by enhancing their reputation and overall sector standards.

At Ray Cochrane Beauty Aesthetic Academy, we are pleased with this announcement. In the past, we have written about the dangers of clients receiving treatments from unlicensed professionals who have not completed accredited training from the many horror stories we hear. Clients have experienced horrible side effects from these treatments, including bruising, filler migrating, infections, severe pain and lasting bleeding. 

Ray Cochrane Academy has always maintained the standpoint that most aesthetic treatments can’t be learned over just a few days, especially when the student is starting with no prior beauty or anatomy knowledge. Accredited aesthetic courses are a Level 4 qualification and require students to have a Level 3 beauty qualification or relevant medical/nursing training. This is because the health and safety pertinent to anatomy and physiology is taught in the Level 3 beauty training. You can’t deliver safe and correct aesthetic treatments without thoroughly knowing how the skin and body operate. 

There is a strong demand from clients for aesthetic treatments, so we understand why practitioners may turn to these quick courses. However, these unregulated aesthetic courses are never the way forward, as they can lead to more damage than good.

Currently, at Ray Cochrane, we offer the following aesthetic courses:

Additionally, we will launch four new courses in 2024 which are:

  • VTCT (ITEC) Level 4 Award in Plasma Pen Techniques
  • VTCT (ITEC) Level 5 Award in Skin Peeling Treatments
  • VTCT (ITEC) Level 5 Award in Radiofrequency Microneedling Treatments
  • VTCT (ITEC) Level 6 Award in Mesotherapy Treatments

If you want to read more information on these new courses, simply click here.

We do not have any courses on dermal fillers or botox at this moment and have no plans to introduce any soon. We are reluctant to launch these courses because there is currently no regulated/accredited injectable training for non-medical practitioners. Offering this type of training would be very lucrative for us as interested parties often reach out to us. Still, in good faith, we can only develop a training course once we know there is a safe pathway for non-medical aestheticians to deliver these treatments. We will keep a close eye on the results of this government consultation and make further decisions in due time. 

Overall, we welcome this consultation process and look forward to the positive changes it will bring to the aesthetic industry for practitioners, clients and training providers.


What to look for when searching for a regulated Aesthetic/Beauty course? 

For those looking to enrol on an aesthetic course but still determining if it is regulated and insurable, we have compiled a checklist of factors to look out for below.

  • Does the qualification belong to an awarding body? When choosing a regulated course, look for words like OFQUAL, City & Guilds. 
  • Is it a qualification or an accreditation? Qualifications are typically issued by Awarding Organisations like VTCT or CIBTAC and listed on the UK’s Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF). Approved by bodies like BABTAC, accredited courses are shorter and backed by quality-assured training manuals. They are CPD or introductions to specific techniques, not standalone qualifications. Short courses complement existing capabilities or pave the way to full certification. If it is neither, stay away!
  • Does the course promise to teach you a new skill in a day with no previous experience needed? If the answer is yes, then no, it’s not a regulated course. We have seen an increase in courses that promise to teach and qualify individuals as aesthetic practitioners within hours.
  • Is the course entirely online? This can be a tricky question as regulated courses like Level 3 Anatomy and Physiology can be taught online. However, it can’t be totally virtual when it comes to courses involving client treatment. While theory components can be covered online, practical lessons require hands-on experience under the direction of a trained tutor to ensure correct treatment execution.
  • How will you be assessed? Like any legitimate qualification, a test or examination must gauge your understanding and ability to apply what you’ve learned. If the course only requires participation without any testing, it doesn’t meet the standards of an accredited or regulated training program.

If you need guidance on choosing a certified beauty or aesthetic training program or wish to explore how we can assist you in reaching your goals in the field of aesthetics, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Ray Cochrane is dedicated to delivering safe and current training courses in aesthetics and beauty for individuals who are enthusiastic about the beauty industry. Contact us today at 0207 486 6291 or email us

Otherwise, please keep an eye out on our website and social media for further updates on the consultation and licensing process.