Skin Penetration Businesses

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Skin Penetration Businesses

Any procedure that involves skin penetration or the penetration of a mucous membrane. This includes any procedure declared by the regulations to be a skin penetration procedure. 

Note: skin penetration procedures carried out by a health practitioner registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, or by a person acting under the direction or supervision of a registered health practitioner, in the course of providing a health service are not subject skin penetration procedures for the purpose of the Act or Regulation.

  • Body and ear piercing
  • Colonic lavage
  • Tattooing & cosmetic tattooing
  • Body modifications
  • Waxing & hair removal (not laser)
  • Microdermabrasion and derma rolling
  • Cuticle cutting & nail drilling and filling
  • Blood Cholesterol and glucose measurement

Hairdressers, barbers and other body decorating and grooming practices which do not deliberately pierce the skin are not regulated under the Public Health Act 2010 or Public Health Regulation 2012, however these businesses must comply with the construction standards and determine whether they require a development application for any structural work.

  • All businesses undertaking skin penetration procedures must notify Council prior to operating.
  • If you are an existing business and you change any contact details.
  • If you are the new owner of an existing business.
  • If you change locations of your business.

Starting a New Business

If a skin penetration business has not previously operated from the premises, you will need to obtain 'development consent' to operate a skin penetration business in this location. This also includes operating from your home.

If you are undertaking structural work to the premises you will need to check with our Duty Planner on 02 6648 4000 as to whether a development application is required to undertake works.

​Our development applications page provides useful information about the DA process.

​When submitting your development application you will be required to include the following as:

  • A scaled plan (e.g. 1:50) of the skin penetration premises, including the layout of the premises and equipment, the finish on all surfaces i.e. materials of walls, floors and ceilings, location of hand wash basins and equipment sinks
  • A list of the skin penetration procedures being undertaken
  • Plans should be professionally drawn however plans for small scale activities may be hand drawn as long as they include the above requirements

Construction of your premises must be in accordance with the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) and fixtures and fittings must also be in accordance with Public Health Regulation 2012 (NSW). Our Skin Penetration Premises Construction Guideline will help you determine minimum construction standards and requirements for fixtures and fittings for your premises.

Prior to obtaining final approval (Occupation Certificate) you will need to obtain a pre-opening inspection which is certification of the fit out, undertaken by an appropriately qualified professional.

Our Environmental Health Officers can provide this service. See our Fees and Charges for the current fee. 

 If you are purchasing an existing business and a development application is not required, you can request a pre-purchase inspection prior to purchase. The inspection will provide a report highlighting any physical issues, such as disrepair, pest access etc. that may result in non-compliance with Public Health Act requirements. 

To request a pre-opening or pre-purchase inspection, submit a Health Enquiry Form

*You may also use a private certifier to assist you in the development application process. The requirements and standards are the same, however the certifier will have the authority to sign off and issue an Occupation Certificate. Refer to our development application page for more detailed information.

Public Health Star Rating Program and Risk Based Inspection Frequency

​As of the 1 July 2019, we commenced implementation of the Public Health Star Rating Program where skin penetration businesses are given a score after being assessed on premises cleanliness, structural suitability, protective equipment, practices and procedures, sterilisation, record keeping & waste disposal during a routine inspection. If the score meets the required criteria, the business will be issued a certificate showing the star rating as follows:

  • 5 Stars - Excellent

    The highest expected level of hygiene and practices and procedures.

  • 4 Stars - Very good

    The business has in place very good hygiene and practices and procedures. Some minor areas will need to be addressed to get a higher result.
  • 3 Stars - Good

    The business has a good general standard of hygiene and practices and procedures. A number of non-critical areas were found which need attention to get a higher result.

Any business that has multiple minor non-compliances or any major non-compliances will not receive a rating and issues will be addressed under our normal enforcement processes.

​We have implemented a risk based inspection frequency framework. The framework is an evidence-based response to health risks, empowering high performance businesses to reduce their regulatory burden, but also allowing the targeting of resources to those that present a greater public health risk.

After your routine inspection you will be assessed against a risk matrix which takes into account the type of procedures you are undertaking, the size of business, compliance of inspection, confidence in management and any additional risk factors.

General Legal requirements and Educational Material

See the NSW Health Website for all current legal requirements and links to fact sheets and educational resources.

You can also subscribe to our Skin Penetration Newsletter to stay up to date with the latest industry news.

Organisers of Temporary Events 

​If you are the organiser of a skin penetration temporary event you must provide the following information to our Environmental Health Team while in the planning stage of your event. Information can be submitted to no later than 30 days prior to the event.

  1. A copy of your tattoo show permit, issued by NSW Fair Trading (Not applicable for other skin penetration events)

  2. The Record of Skin Penetration Operators form to be completed and returned.

  3. A completed Skin Penetration Notification Form to be completed and returned (just one to be completed for the event). However, to undertake skin penetration operators must also be registered/licensed with the local Council where they usually trade.

  4. A copy of a scale floor plan (e.g. 1:50) for the event detailing:

    • a. The location and size of each work area
    • b. Any screens/dividers that will be used to separate work areas and the materials they are made of
    • c. The location of hand wash basins that will be designated for the use by the operator. One hand wash basin is to be provided per 6 operators. Please note hand wash basins must be designated hand wash only and provided with warm water from a single spout, liquid soap/alcohol gel and single use towels
    • d. Location of equipment sinks
    • e. Material of flooring/floor covering
    • f. Location and description of fixtures and fittings
    • g. Location of waste disposal for each artist
  5. A written statement detailing what provisions have been made for the following infection control requirements:

    • a. Waste management (solid and liquid)
    • b. Sharps management/disposal
    • c. Sterilisation of equipment (or a declaration that all skin penetration equipment will be single use)
    • d. Cleaning of non-skin penetration equipment between clients
    • e. An adequate supply of aprons and gloves
    • f. An adequate supply of liquid soap and single use towels
    • g. Physical separation of procedures from the viewing public
    • h. Cleaning of floors, walls, fittings and fixtures in the treatment areas, before, during and after the event has finished
  6. A copy of the Artist Waiver Form (for Tattoo Shows) which is required to be signed by each artists and kept onsite by the event organiser.

Our Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) will use the information provided to determine if effective controls will be in place to meet statutory requirements for skin penetration, and make further recommendations if needed.