WA Laser Laws FAQ

WHO DO THE NEW LASER REGULATIONS APPLY TO:

The new regulations apply to enrolled or registered nurses, or holders of a Diploma or Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy or equivalent. This includes AACDS Graduates who hold an Advanced Diploma, Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma. Medical Doctors are still required to apply for laser registration and licence, however the new licence exemptions do NOT apply to them.

WHAT IS AN 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 new types of exemptions from licence issued for cosmetic use of lasers for practitioners who have the qualification mentioned in point 1.

  1. Hair Reduction
  2. Superficial cosmetic procedures, which covers:
    Redness
    Vascular (excluding varicose veins
    Pigmentation (excluding any raised lesions
  3. Tattoo removal
    If the candidate meets the criteria and has completed a specified number of hours in training, they may apply for an exemption licence (exempt from holding a medical licence).

HOW TO APPLY FOR THESE EXEMPTION LICENCES:

  1. Hair reduction:
    • Be an Enrolled or Registered Nurse or hold an Advanced Diploma of Cosmetic Dermal Science, Vocational Graduate Certificate in Dermal Therapies, Graduate Diploma of Dermal Therapies, Diploma of Beauty Therapy or Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy
    • Recognised laser safety certification (LSO)
    • 25 hours practical training under immediate personal supervision
  1. Vascular and pigmentation:
    • Be an Enrolled or Registered Nurse or hold an Advanced Diploma of Cosmetic Dermal Science, Vocational Graduate Certificate in Dermal Therapies, Graduate Diploma of Dermal Therapies, Diploma of Beauty Therapy or Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy
    • Recognised laser safety certification (LSO)
    • 50 hours practical training for each indication (that is 50 hours for redness, 50 hours for vascular and 50 hours for pigmentation)
    • There are no exemptions licences at this stage for skin tightening or ablative laser procedures
  1. Tattoo removal:
    • Must be a Division 1 Registered Nurse ONLY
    • Minimum of 5 years nursing experience
    • Tattoo removal course
    • 50 hours of Medical Doctor supervision

IS REDNESS AND VASCULAR LOGGED UNDER THE SAME PROCEDURE?

Yes, the Council are aware that redness and vascular are the same thing and should be logged under one procedure. For example: if you are treating vessels, you are also treating redness and are therefore logged under one category.

HOW DO I COMPLETE MY REQUIRED TRAINING HOURS?

For students currently working under the supervision of a cosmetic professional holding a WA Laser Licence in Superficial Cosmetic Procedures, you may be able to complete your supervised hours at your workplace, if the licence holder has the correct licence category and has the time to supervise you.

AACDS is pleased to announce that we will be offering Professional Certificates including supervised hours to help you gain your licence without inconveniencing your workplace and to help ensure you have all the correct documentation to make your application to the Radiological Council.

WILL I GET CREDIT INTO THE PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATES IF I HAVE ALREADY COMPLETED A COURSE WITH AACDS?

For graduates holding a qualification from AACDS, you will be exempt from the units completed within your AACDS course that map across to the Professional Certificate. However, we do recommend you complete a refresher on the unit 'Analyse the principles of light-based therapies in a cosmetic medical context'. You will be provided free access to this online unit to refresh prior to your practical training.

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 qualifiation and you will be able to demonstrate this to the Council if they decided to change the licence exemption criteria in 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 TO GET 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 them and ensure the policy identifies the use of lasers for cosmetic purposes and operated by whom.

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

DO THE NEW REGULATIONS ALSO AFFECT 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 these new regulations, ONLY level 1 Registered Nurses and Medical Doctors can use lasers for the laser tattoo removal. The exemptions licence information is covered in question three 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.

IF I DECIDE TO APPLY FOR MY LASER LICENCE, IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I NEED TO KNOW?

YES; you need to be aware that:

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

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

**Updated 7th August 2018