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Government review doesn't go far enough to help consumers, says BABTAC

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The British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (BABTAC) has said that the government’s review of regulations towards cosmetic interventions does not go far enough in terms of consumer protection.

BABTAC has stressed that it is in no way critical of the review, but believes that the industry will still continue to have a “buyers beware” focus, leaving the responsibility for safety with the client rather than the provider.

The government report laid out a number of key suggestions to help improve regulation, which include improved and formalised standards of qualifications and training, regulation of all providers in the form of a voluntary paid register and supervision of non-healthcare providers by regulated professionals.

BABTAC has raised concerns that regulation of non-healthcare providers could lead to an increase in administration costs, while also reducing competition because of heightened bureaucracy and governance.

There is also a concern that this could lead to an increase in consumer prices, without necessarily increasing safety for patients.

In light of the study, the association has presented the idea that trained, advanced therapists are entirely capable of delivering safe treatments. Therefore the hiring of often hard-to-find supervisors could drive prices higher, or prevent trained therapists from practicing.

A direct result of this could be that consumer choice becomes limited, leaving the market dominated by medical methods.

“Not only does the commitment to a voluntary register make a mockery of professionals who believe in high standards by continuing to enable ‘cowboy’ traders, increased bureaucracy may also drive up the prices of those who are properly qualified and professional, making guaranteed safety a luxury of the rich and famous,” said Carolyne Cross, Chair of BABTAC. “BABTAC has been involved in the Review process and whilst we appreciate the scope of the issues is huge, the recommendations by Keogh were right for the industry.

“This announcement today has left an element of disappointment, with a feeling that the Government is sitting on the fence due to budget concerns rather than grasping the full opportunity to make a difference.”

The association is hoping that the current review into qualifications being undertaken by Health Education England will help to better define practices and increase standards.

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The British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (BABTAC) has said that the government’s review of regulations towards cosmetic interventions does not go far enough in terms of consumer protection.
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