WA Laser Laws FAQ

WHAT IS A WA LASER EXEMPTION LICENCE?

Prior to May 2018, only Medical Doctors could hold a licence to operate a class 3B or 4 laser. Non-medical practitioners can now apply to use a laser but be exempt from holding a medical qualification. There are three categories of exemptions from licence issued for cosmetic use of lasers for practitioners who have the qualifications mentioned in question one.

  1. Hair Reduction
  2. Superficial cosmetic procedures, which covers:
    Vascular (excluding varicose veins
    Pigmentation (excluding any raised lesions
  3. Tattoo removal

*for more information please see the following link http://www.radiologicalcouncil.wa.gov.au/PDF/FAQ/lasers_cosmetic_fact_sheet.pdf

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR EACH WA LASER EXEMPTION LICENCE CATEGORY?

Hair Reduction:

You must be an Enrolled or Registered Nurse or hold one of the following:

    • Advanced Diploma of Cosmetic Dermal Science
    • Vocational Graduate Certificate in Dermal Therapies
    • Graduate Diploma of Dermal Therapies/Science
    • Diploma of Beauty Therapy or Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy
    • Recognised laser safety certification (LSO)
    • 25 hours of supervised training under immediate personal supervision (Forms part of the Graduate Diploma of Dermal Science, Graduate Diploma of Cosmetic Nursing and Injectables and Advanced Diploma of Cosmetic Dermal Science)

Superficial Cosmetic Procedures (Vascular and Pigmentation):

You must be an Enrolled or Registered Nurse or hold one of the following:

      • Advanced Diploma of Cosmetic Dermal Science
      • Vocational Graduate Certificate in Dermal Therapies
      • Graduate Diploma of Dermal Therapies/Science
      • Diploma of Beauty Therapy or Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy
      • Recognised laser safety certification (LSO)
      • 100 hours of supervised training for each indication (50 hours for vascular and 50 hours for pigmentation) (Forms part of the Graduate Diploma of Dermal Science, Graduate Diploma of Cosmetic Nursing and Injectables and Advanced Diploma of Cosmetic Dermal Science)

Tattoo Removal:

        • Must be a Division 1 Registered Nurse ONLY
        • Minimum of 5 years nursing experience
        • Tattoo removal course

Additional requirements to be aware of:

          • A Medical Practitioner will be required to be involved with setting up the protocols and procedures relating to cosmetic laser treatments.
            (this is a condition of registration)
          • A skin check and a referral letter from a Medical Doctor is required before each new course of superficial cosmetic treatment (vascular and pigment) can be performed

ARE THERE CATEGORIES FOR SKIN TIGHTENING, ABLATIVE AND/OR NON-ABLATIVE FRACTIONATED LASER PROCEDURES?:

The Radiological Council of WA has not specified laser procedures other than hair reduction, vascular, pigment and tattoo removal. Some fractionated laser procedures (eg. Fraxel®) will simultaneously treat pigmentation and skin texture, so this may be logged under ‘Superficial Cosmetic Procedures’.

WILL MY QUALIFICATION FROM AACDS MEET THE EXEMPTION LICENCE CRITERIA?

The following AACDS qualifications are recognised by the Radiological Council of WA as meeting the criteria for laser licence exemption for superficial cosmetic procedures (vascular and pigment) and hair reduction categories.

Completing an AACDS qualification will allow you to apply to the Council for your laser licence exemptions.

AACDS Graduates Prior to 1st January 2019
If you completed your practical training (Dermal Science practical) in WA prior to January 2019, you will need to complete a Laser Bridging Course.

DO I NEED TO HOLD AN INFECTION CONTROL UNIT AS PER THE QLD LICENCE REQUIREMENTS?

At this stage the Radiological Council have not requested this. As an AACDS student, this is already included in your qualification and you will be able to demonstrate this to the Council if they decided to change the licence exemption criteria in the future.

WILL THERE BE ANY CHANGES TO THESE NEW REGULATIONS?

As these changes have only recently been introduced, there may be some changes to the licence exemption criteria that Radiological Council will need to review.

AACDS are working closely with the Council and will pass on any information or changes received as soon as possible, please check back for further updates/amendments.

DO I NEED ADDITIONAL INSURANCE IF I AM USING A LASER?

Employees are often covered under the Indemnity Insurance of their employer, but it is up to you to clarify this with your employer and ensure the policy identifies the type of laser and its purpose.

Clinic owners and managers must inform their insurance broker of the new laser equipment/procedure(s) prior to commencing laser procedures.

*please see the relevant legislation within your state on insurance requirements of your employer or yourself when using lasers.

DO THE NEW REGULATIONS ALSO INCLUDE IPL AND OTHER LIGHT-BASED THERAPIES?

The regulations for the use of IPL, Radio Frequency, Infra-Red or LEDs have NOT changed. There are no plans at this stage to review this.

CAN ONLY REGISTERED NURSES PERFORM TATTOO REMOVAL?

Following the introduction of new laser regulations in WA, ONLY level 1 Registered Nurses (with a minimum of 5-years-experience) and Medical Doctors can perform laser tattoo removal. Details of the laser tattoo removal exemption licence is covered in question two of these FAQs.

WHAT DOES DIRECT SUPERVISION MEAN

Direct supervision means that the person required to exercise such supervision must be present and directly observing the use of the laser. All hours must be registered in a logbook.

WHERE CAN I FIND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION?

If you would like to know more about completing your hours with AACDS, please contact us on:
(08) 9328 6760
enquiries@aacds.edu.au

Information about the changes can be found through the Radiological Council:
www.radiologicalcouncil.wa.gov.au/Pages/FAQ/Lasers.html

ARE THERE LASER LICENSING LAWS IN STATES OTHER THAN WA

Both Queensland and Tasmania regulate the use of class 3B and 4 lasers. In Tasmania, laser is regulated through the Department of Health. In QLD, laser is regulated through QLD Health. AACDS qualifications are recognised by QLD Health as meeting the requirements for Laser Fast Track Licensing.

All three authorities provide mutual recognition.

**Updated 23rd April 2020