fb-trackingSkip to main content

Special treatment licences

If you operate or wish to operate premises in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham offering “special treatments” including: 

  • massage 
  • manicure
  • pedicure 
  • nail extensions
  • steam facials
  • acupuncture
  • tattooing
  • body piercing
  • cosmetic piercing
  • chiropody
  • electric facial, massage or muscle stimulation treatments
  • light or laser treatments
  • sun beds
  • vapour, sauna or other baths 

then, unless you are subject to an exemption as detailed below, you need a licence issued by the council in accordance with Part II of the London Local Authorities Act 1991.

Anyone found to be operating special treatments premises without a licence is liable to prosecution and a fine of up to £5,000.


You do not need a licence if special treatments are provided in the following circumstances:

  • there is no gain or reward – all treatments are provided free of any sort of charge or donation
  • treatments are not provided at premises – for example, mobile services provided from a vehicle or in clients’ own homes
  • treatments are provided by or under the supervision of medical practitioners, dentists, and professions supplementary to medicine in a hospital or nursing home
  • treatments are provided by a person who is a member at the appropriate level of a body of health practitioners approved for exemption by this council

Licence application process

Licences are granted for a maximum period of one year and must be renewed annually. All licences expire on 30 June, regardless of when they were granted. If you wish to apply for a new special treatments premises licence you should read this document, which explains the application procedure and all requirements.

How to apply for a special treatments premises licence (PDF, 226 KB)

New and existing licence holders should also read the Rules of procedure, which explains how all applications are processed and sets out the procedure for renewal, variation and transfer of licences.

Rules of procedure (PDF, 449 KB)

All licences are granted subject to the licence holder complying with licence conditions. The standard licence conditions are to be found in the Special Treatment Regulations. Under some circumstances, licensees may have to comply with additional special conditions.

Special Treatments Regulations (licence conditions) (PDF, 363 KB)

Practitioners carrying out special treatments must have received appropriate training and be properly qualified to provide those treatments. The Accepted Qualifications document lists all special treatments qualifications this council considers acceptable.

Accepted qualifications (PDF, 182 KB)

Qualifications – these are for guidance only

For QCF and to understand levels see the Accredited Qualifications website.

CIDESO and CIBTAC are international beauty qualifications that are of at least as high a standard as our NVQ/QCF. CIBTAC is the sister company of BABTAC, but they offer the qualifications – BABTAC do not.

ITEC is another international qualification mainly for beauty and complimentary treatments. 

All qualifications should be accompanied with a breakdown of exactly what units have been studied. It is this document that you should look at to see details of what has been covered, especially at level 3 and above as each student will take different options at this level.

You can check whether a qualification is regulated by visiting the Ofqual Register


Special treatments premises licence fees depend on the risk category of the treatments to be offered (Category 1 being the highest risk category and Category 4 the lowest). A non-refundable application fee must be paid before any application will be processed by the Licensing Team.

The licence fee becomes payable once the application is approved and before the licence will be issued. The fee payable is that for the highest risk category treatment to be offered at the premises; all other licensable treatments offered will be permitted for this fee.

Payments of any fees in respect of special treatments premises licences may only be made by credit or debit card online:

Pay for a Special Treatement License 

The online payment form requires a licence reference number. Applicants for renewal, variation or transfer of a licence should use their existing licence number; applicants for new licences may use the date in place of a reference number.

Application fees must be paid, and the online payment receipt number recorded before submission of the application form. The licence fee is payable on grant of the licence.

Special Treatments Premises Licence Fees 2021 – 2022

Category 1

Laser and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments.

 New LicenceLicence renewalVariationLicence Transfer
Application fee£574£574£125£157
Licence fee£157£157--


Category 2

Tattooing, body piercing, micro-dermal anchor, acupuncture, electrolysis, semi-permanent makeup, micro-pigmentation, tattoo removal (non-laser).

 New LicenceLicence renewalVariationLicence Transfer
Application fee£410£410£125£157
Licence fee£157£157--


Category 3

Massage, steam facials, manicure, pedicure, artificial nails, fish pedicure, sauna, Jacuzzi, flotation tanks, sunbed (UV) treatments, light and electric treatments.

 New LicenceLicence renewalVariationLicence Transfer
Application fee£288£288£125£157
Licence fee£157£157--


Category 4

Ear and nose piercing (Lobe and nostril only, exclude septum).

 New LicenceLicence renewalVariationLicence Transfer
Application fee£123£123£94£94
Licence fee£94£94--


Apply for a licence

Application forms

Application for a new licence (PDF, 241 KB)

Application to renew a licence (PDF, 151 KB)

Application to vary a licence (PDF, 228 KB)

Application to transfer a licence (PDF, 202 KB)

Supplementary forms

Practitioner details (PDF, 116 KB)

Declaration of convictions (PDF, 128 KB)

Public notice template (PDF, 136 KB)

Consent to transfer a licence (PDF, 112 KB)

Special Treatment Public Notices

Every application for new special treatments premises licences are subject to a minimum 28 day formal consultation period before it can be approved.

The consultation period starts on the day that a complete application is received by us. During this time, a public notice advertising the application must be displayed at the premises. A copy of every notice will also be published here for the duration of the consultation period.

Anyone who wishes to may make representations on the application or object to the granting of a licence should contact the Licensing Team.


No current applications.