Skin Piercing Treatments

Acupuncture, Ear Piercing, Electrolysis & Tattooing

Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 Part VIII requires types of activities to be registered with Hartlepool Borough Council.


· Acupuncture

· Tattooing

· Semi-permanent skin colouring (including microblading)

· 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 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.


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 and procedures for electrolysis, piercing, tattooing and micro-pigmentation please refer to the CIEH tattooing and body piercing toolkit

Please be aware that 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

· “Premises” application – a floor plan of the premises (including treatment room & wash hand basin)

· “Personal” application - 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 background).

Once an application has been made 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 will take place at the premises where the 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 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 how to meet these obligations.

Application Guidance Notes & Byelaws 'Premises' application form 'Personal' application form Fees & Charges

The Tattoo Hygiene Rating Scheme (THRS) is a voluntary scheme, launched in Hartlepool on 1 April 2014, aimed at improving standards of tattooists and allowing the public to choose a tattooist that meets high standards of hygiene.

Tattoo Hygiene Rating Scheme