Personal appearance services

The Public Health (Infection Control for Personal Appearance Services) Act 2003 places obligations on all personal appearance services to minimise infection risks to clients. Personal appearance services are broken into two categories - higher risk and non-higher risk.

Higher risk personal appearance service

A higher risk personal appearance service means a personal appearance service involving any of the following skin penetration procedures in which the release of blood or other bodily fluid is an expected result:

  • Body piercing, other than closed ear or nose piercing
  • Implanting natural or synthetic substances into a person's skin, including, for example, hair or beads
  • Scarring or cutting a person's skin using a sharp instrument to make a permanent mark, pattern or design
  • Tattooing
  • Another skin penetration procedure prescribed under a regulation

Businesses which provide higher risk personal appearance services must hold a licence under the Act and only provide services from the premises stated on this licence.

Establishing a new high risk personal appearance service

Prior to fit-out or operation of a skin penetration premise, ensure that the following steps are completed.

Step one

Confirm with council as to whether or not planning and building approvals are required.  A private building certifier may also need to be contacted.

Step two

Contact council’s Environmental Health Officers (EHO) to obtain requirements of high risk personal appearance service.

Step three

Skin Penetration Registration Application (PDF 69.7kb) form.

Step four

Submit the Environmental Health Plan Processing Application and Skin Penetration Registration application form to council with:

  1. The relevant application fee
  2. Two copies of floor plans, including elevations (to a scale of at least 1:100).  These plans or drawings are to be submitted separately to any plans requiring building and/or plumbing approvals

Ensure that plans include the location of all fixtures, fittings, appliances, sinks and the construction details relating to all benches, shelving units, floor, walls and ceiling surfaces.

Step five

Once conditional approval from Health & Regulatory Services is received, an EHO will be assigned to your application.  Your EHO's contact information will be included in the conditional approval.

Step six

Contact your EHO to arrange for a final inspection to be conducted when construction works are close to completion.

Step seven

At your final inspection, your EHO will either:

  • Issue requisitions for any outstanding construction requirements and arrange another inspection
  • Give approval to operate and issue your Skin Penetration Licence Certificate

Buying an existing business?

We strongly recommend prospective purchasers apply for a Health Search or Health Inspection.

A Health Search is a search of council's records on a premise.  A Health Inspection is physical inspection of the premise to identify any areas of non-compliance.  It also includes reports of any outstanding fees and breaches of the infection control guidelines and other relevant legislative requirements.

Once a business is sold, the new owner is responsible for all outstanding requisitions and licensing fees that are owing, so it is highly recommended to have a Health Search prior to settlement.

Transfer of ownership

When purchasing a personal appearance service, the proposed new registration holder must make an application to transfer the registration.  In order to do this the Skin Penetration Registration form (PDF 120 KB) must be completed and submitted to council with the relevant fee.

  • The Skin Penetration Licence application will be assessed by an EHO and the Skin Penetration Licence will be issued once approved

Non-higher risk personal appearance service

A non-higher risk personal appearance service includes hairdressing, beauty therapy and those skin penetration procedures that are not mentioned above, eg. closed ear or nose piercing.

Businesses providing hairdressing or beauty therapy services are not required to be licensed by Mackay Regional Council.

Infection Control Guidelines have been produced for businesses that outline ways in which to minimise infection risks to clients.

However, you are required to take all reasonable precautions and care to minimise the risk of infection to your clients.

For more information please refer to the Queensland Health.

Additional information

Queensland Health have also produced a booklet on what businesses need to know (PDF 425 kb) about infection control for Personal Appearance Business.

Alternatively you can contact council.