Skin piercing and tattoos

You’ll need a licence from us to carry out the following skin piercing or tattoo activities:

  • tattooing
  • cosmetic piercing
  • ear piercing
  • acupuncture
  • electrolysis
  • semi-permanent make up
  • microblading

Unlike annual licences that need to be renewed each year, these registrations only need to be granted once. If the person carrying out these activities changes, however, then they’ll also need to be registered.

If you’re planning to carry out any skin piercing activities in other local authority areas or on a mobile basis, then you may need to be registered in each local authority area that you’ll operate in.

Apply for a tattoo or body piercing licence online using our application form or contact us for help and advice.

Standards and working practices

Anyone carrying out tattooing or cosmetic piercing must work to the standards and working practises detailed in the tattooing and body piercing guidance toolkit (PDF File, 2,874kb) published by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH).

You should download and read this document and keep a copy of it at your premises at all times. These standards should be implemented without delay and progress will be checked on our next routine inspection.

Voluntary hygiene accreditation scheme

Invasive body modifications and similar beauty treatments can present a risk of infection and ill-health. This is particularly true when treatments are not carried out in a suitable environment or in a hygienic way.

Nottinghamshire's Hygiene Accreditation Scheme (HAS) is a voluntary scheme set up to improve and maintain hygiene and safety standards at premises offering tattooing, semi-permanent make up and cosmetic body piercing. If you’d like to take part you should begin by completing the hygiene audit and action plan (PDF File, 163kb). This should be reviewed annually.

Submit a HAS application form (PDF File, 224kb) to request your initial inspection.

Environmental health officers form the council will visit you to assess your hygiene and safety standards against the rating schedule and award your premises a rating. This will be reviewed annually. The fee for an inspection and rating is £120.

To achieve a Level 5 rating (‘Excellent’), you must produce written procedures proportionate to the size of your undertaking. You can find tips on how to do this in our written procedures guidance document (PDF File, 69kb) document.

If you’re unhappy with your initial score, you can take steps to rectify any shortcomings before applying for a re-rating using the applying for a re-rating using this form (PDF File, 123kb).

The rating schedule has been devised using nationally recognised guidance including the CIEH tattoo and body piercing toolkit provided above. You’ll receive a certificate and a window sticker to display your rating, giving customers confidence in the hygiene and safety levels at your premises.