What is this ‘Level 4’, ‘Level 5’ in aesthetics stuff all about?



Like most people I was a bit confused about this new ‘Level 4’, 5, 6 and 7 malarkey! I hear conflicting information from various sources saying that everyone using lasers/IPLs “must” be educated to these levels; then other sources saying “not yet”!!

So, what’s the state of play?

I recently came across an excellent review of this situation on the ‘Safety in Beauty’ site written by Sally Durrant (click here). She clearly describes the new “Level” framework and how it should apply.


In summary:

The new framework of qualifications was set out by the Health Education England Report published by the Dept. of Health in January 2016. All medical aesthetic practitioners and “advanced” beauty therapists operating in the clinical skin care industry in the UK will be subject to these new Levels.


I have compiled the following quick summary….

  1. The new qualifications will cover a range of treatments including those delivered by lasers, IPLs and LED systems. They also include other treatments such as chemical peels, botox and dermal fillers and hair restoration procedures.
  2. Training courses supplied by manufacturers/suppliers of laser/IPL/LED equipment may also provide training but this will no longer be sufficient to comply with the new framework.
  3. The new Levels are supposed to indicate an increasing degree of knowledge and/or skills with regard to the above treatments, plus teaching and learning styles and the methods of assessment.
  4. These HEE prescribed Levels of qualifications will be available via accredited training providers, as recognised by an OFQUAL awarding body.
  5. The Levels are supposed to be equivalent to:
    1. Level 4 – 1st year foundation degree course
    2. Level 5 – 2nd year foundation degree course
    3. Level 6 – graduate/3rd year degree course
    4. Level 7 – Post graduate degree level
  6. Entry qualifications have been determined by HEE. As long as the trainee has 5 GCSEs at grade A to C (including maths, English and a science) PLUS one of a list of beauty or health-related course awards (see here for the full list).
  7. Previous training will be acknowledged.

Sally Durrant’s article goes into more depth in terms of which of the Levels relates to which laser/IPL treatments may be carried out.


When does it come into force?

Well, that’s the $64,000 question!!

According to Sally Durrant “We can only, at present, speculate as to when or if the HEE qualification framework will become law but it is clear that the government has provided us with a buffer zone in which to get our act together.”

In other words, these Levels are not legally required as yet. However, I am aware that a number of insurance companies are asking new clients if they have attained them. I am also aware that some training companies are claiming that everyone MUST train to these new Levels – which is not true!

The introduction of better education is, without doubt, an excellent idea. I fully commend it, but I feel that more work will need to be done before this system is properly designed and established.

Hope this helps!



To view the full HEE Reports Part One and Two


Many thanks to Sally Durrant and the Safety in Beauty web site for this information.



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