Tattooing and Special Treatments

Anyone who wishes to carry on the practice of acupuncture, tattooing, semi-permanent skin-colouring, cosmetic piercing and electrolysis (special treatments) must be registered with Winchester City Council unless they are a registered medical practitioner or dentist. *Acupuncture and body art procedures MUST not be undertaken by anyone under the age of 18 years.

The purpose of registration is to protect members of the public from the transmission of blood borne viruses such as HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and other infections and to ensure that health and safety regulations are followed. The Council has approved byelaws that set out standards for the hygienic operation of special treatment businesses. The byelaws can be downloaded from the link at the bottom of this page.

It is compulsory to register both the premises and the operator under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

  • How do I comply?

    You must complete an application form and ensure that the procedures, equipment and facilities used are safe, hygienic, prevent the spread of disease and comply fully with the general duty of care required by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the byelaws.

    It is illegal to conduct acupuncture, tattooing, semi-permanent skin colouring, cosmetic piercing or electrolysis unless the registration has been formally approved.

  • How do I apply?

    You can complete an application form online. Alternatively you can download an application form by clicking the links at the side of the page. Completed application forms should be returned to:  

    Health Protection Team, Winchester City Council, City Offices, Colebrook Street, Winchester, SO23 9ZT

    You can also can call us on 01962 848097 and we will send you a form in the post.

  • How much does registration cost?

    There is a one-off fee of £125 for the premises and £40 for each practitioner. Payment must accompany your application.

    Cheques should be made payable to Winchester City Council. Alternatively you can all us on 01962 848097 and payment can be taken over the phone.

  • What happens next?

    Once your application has been processed an officer will undertake an inspection of the premises. If the officer considers the procedures and the premises are suitable then registration will be approved.

    The officer will check compliance with the byelaw requirements as well as ensuring that general health and safety requirements are being met.

    If the standards are not met initially a certificate of registration will not be issued until the premises and/or persons meet the required standard.

    The officer will also offer any advice or give any help if you are unsure as to how to meet these obligations.

    You are required to display your registration certificate at all times.

  • Failure to register?

    Failure to register is an offence and any person not registered with the City Council risks prosecution and a fine of up to £1000

  • What information/evidence will need to be provided?

    Training and competency: All persons carrying out special treatments must attend a relevant course on infection control and attend a refresher course at least every five years.

    Qualifications: Full records must be kept on the premises of all practitioners’ qualifications and registration of the relevant professional association; courses attended (with dates), and the titles of the courses, and venue; details of periods of supervision of all piercers/tattooists must also be kept. These details must be available for inspection at all times.

    Insurance: The business must have third party liability, to cover claims from damages or negligence, as well as employer’s liability insurance where appropriate.

    Waste: Waste transfer documents and details need to be available at all times for inspection.

  • How long does the registration last and what is the renewal procedure?

    There is a one-off premises registration fee for your premises and each individual practitioner.


Where can I get further information?

There are a number of specific guidance documents available which can be accessed by the links at the side of this page.