The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 Part VIII requires the following types of activities to be registered with the the City of Newcastle upon Tyne.

  • Acupuncture
  • Tattooing
  • Semi-permanent skin colouring
  • Cosmetic piercing (any form of skin piercing, including ear-piercing)
  • Electrolysis

The Act requires both the "person" carrying on the practice or business subject to registration and the premises in which that registerable practice or business is undertaken, to register with the Authority. There are no powers to refuse registration, but the activity is controlled through compliance with byelaws in each case. The registration is a one off process but will be subject to regulation under Health and Safety legislation.

If you employ any person you must have Employees Liability Insurance. You are strongly advised to take out Public Liability AND treatment insurance to cover risks from the premises and from any treatment carried out.

Any change of premises or applicant must be notified to the local authority and for amendments, fees may be charged.

Please note applications for registration will only be accepted if they are on the current application forms available only from this website, below. Registration forms with incorrect prices will not be accepted and will delay your application. The current fees are £170.00 for registration of a premises and £70.00 for personal registration.

How to apply

Apply online

If you wish to apply by post or by appointment with an officer please download, print and complete the appropriate application form(s) below. The completed application form(s) together with the fee and passport photograph can be returned to the address at the bottom of this page and given to the inspecting officer. Cheques should be made payable to Newcastle City Council. 

How much will it cost?

The registration fees are £174.00 for the registration of the premises and £72.00 for the person performing the activity. An amendment fee to an existing registration or to issue a replacement certificate is £20.00.

Other costs may be applicable in relation to officer hourly rates and any additional administrative charges.

What information do I need before I apply?

The applicant must 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 etc Act 1974. For further information on good practice in relation to health and safety for electrolysis, piercing, tattooing and micro-pigmentation please the guidance document SR12 COSHH essentials (pdf, 162 kb).

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

Registration requires the applicant to submit the following:

  • a completed application form(s) for either a "person" or a "premises" (or both if necessary);
  • the appropriate fee; and
  • A passport style photo of the person applying to conduct the registerable activity (the person in the photograph must not be wearing any hats, glasses or other obstructions to the face and be taken against a blank back ground).

Persons registered prior to the 14 July 2013 can surrender their original certificate of registration and submit an application for the appropriate treatment together with a passport photo at no additional cost, provided a like for like application is made e.g.. the new application does not request additional treatments. It is suggested that should this situation be relevant to the treatments that you conduct, you contact the Authority to discuss this directly with an Officer before applying for a new photo registration certificate. During routine visits to registered premises, if the old style certification is identified the inspecting Officer will advise the premises and persons conducting the treatments accordingly.

Once an application has been made, the fee has been paid and an appropriate passport photo submitted (if required) an officer will undertake an inspection of the premises. If an application is made for a person to work in a premises already registered that person may have to attend an informal interview to discuss the means of controlling the risk of infection. This interview may take place at Council offices or in the premises where the registerable activity is to be undertaken. If the Officer considers the applicant's procedures and the premises to be suitable, then the registration will be approved.

The Officer will also check compliance with the following byelaw requirements as well as ensuring the general health and safety requirements are being met. The Officer will be pleased to offer any advice or guidance if you are unsure as to how to meet these obligations.

Bye-laws requirements:


  • All surfaces in any part of the premises used by clients must be kept clean and in good repair
  • All furniture and fittings in the treatment area must be kept clean and in good repair
  • Tables, couches, seats etc used in the treatment area must have a smooth, impervious surface which is regularly wiped down with disinfectant and covered with a disposable sheet, changed after each client
  • A 'No Smoking' sign must be prominently displayed
  • A 'No Eating or Drinking on the Premises' sign must be prominently displayed in the treatment area

 Cleanliness of operatives

  • Any overall worn by the operative should be clean and in good repair (good practice recommends use of disposable plastic aprons changed between each client)
  • The operative's hands and nails must be kept clean
  • Any open cut, wound, sore or boil must be suitably covered by an impermeable dressing
  • The operative should not smoke nor drink in the treatment area
  • The operative should have sole use of hand washing facilities which are appropriately located and must be provided with hot and cold running water, soap (or similar cleanser) and hygienic hand drying facilities. Ideally, these facilities should be provided within the treatment area. At the time of the inspection advice can be given by the Inspector on the suitability of the location of the washing facilities.
  • Operatives should wear disposable examination gloves that have not previously been used with another client. (Although there is an exemption for acupuncture; please see the byelaws for more detail)


  • Any needle, metal instrument or other item of equipment used in the treatment must be in a sterile condition and kept sterile until it is used
  • If pre-sterilised items are not used then adequate facilities must be provided for the purpose of sterilisation. This is normally achieved through the autoclave which uses steam under pressure.  Autoclaves must have a valid written scheme for periodic through examination performed in line with the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000
  • If tattooing is being undertaken, then all dyes must be bacteriologically clean and inert. The containers used to hold dyes for each customer must be disposed of at the end of each treatment or sterilised before re-use


  • It is an offence to tattoo any person under the age of 18 years (the Tattooing of Minors Act 1969) regardless of parental consent. This is enforced by the Police.
  • There is no definitive age given with respect to cosmetic piercing. The Authority strongly recommends that if a person under the age of 18 years is to receive body piercing, this is done with the written permission from, or the treatment is performed in the presence of, the person's parent or guardian
  • Nipple and genital piercing is prohibited on minors, regardless of parental consent
  • The health of the client and the suitability of the treatment should be discussed prior to its administration of any treatment and should be documented. Any concern over the client medical capability in receiving treatment should be checked prior to administration with a competent medical professional
  • Suitable written information should be provided to the client with regard to aftercare of the piercing, tattoo or specified treatment in order to avoid infection

Newcastle City Byelaws on acupuncture, tattooing, semi-permanent skin-colouring, cosmetic piercing and electrolysis  (pdf, 2.13mb)

Further information

As indicated above a registered premises must also comply with the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the regulations made under this legislation. Appointed Officers from the Authority will also regulate this legislation and can be approached for advice. Further information is available on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website (

Will Tacit Consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the local authority within a reasonable period, please contact it using the contact details below.

The information on this page has no legal force and is not an authoritative interpretation of the law, which is a matter for the Courts. It is intended to help individuals and businesses in Newcastle, wishing to be registered under the legislative provisions to understand in general terms, the main features of the legislation. The information is not a substitute for the legislation and you should refer to the text of the Act for a full statement of legal requirements and obligations. Where appropriate, you should seek your own independent legal advice.

Contact details

For further information or clarification, please contact:

Health and Safety Service, Directorate of Operations and Regulatory Services, Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QH.
Phone: 0191 2116102 Fax: 0191 2777166 Email:

Page last updated: 
30 August 2018
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