Businesses conducting beauty therapy, cosmetic applications, colonic irrigation, hairdressing, skin penetration or tattooing must be registered under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 . 

These premises are registered to minimise the risk of clients contracting certain infectious diseases. 

In summary, the regulations provide for a registration process and set out requirements relating to infection control as well as information to be kept and provided.

Changes to the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations from 14 December 2019

The information below provides an overview of changes in the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2019 (the regulations).

The changes:

  • create an offence for false advertising in relation to registration 
  • require the display of a Department of Health and Human Services approved notice about the scope of registration in a prominent position at the entry to the premises 
  • set out hand washing requirements be accessible, rather than ‘easily accessible’
  • clarify that water used for personal service be of drinking water quality
  • allow dry heat sterilisation at 180°C for a minimum of 60 minutes
  • require client records of skin penetration procedures (expansion from only tattooing and body piercing but does not include ear piercing and dry needling)
  • require Department of Health and Humans Services approved information to be given to clients about the risks and safeguard associated with the process (tattooing, ear piercing, body piercing or other skin penetration procedures) 
  • introduce infringement penalties for offences
  • introduce an exemption to registration for mobile cosmetic application business other than the principle place of business.

Why have these changes been made?

The changes strengthen and clarify existing requirements. Additionally, they:

  • discourage the misuse of registration
  • clarify that that the scope of registration applies to infection control standards and does not apply to the quality of procedures or abilities of individuals 
  • ensure accurate and consistent information provision to clients about the risks and safeguards associated with certain processes.  

What do the changes mean?

The changes are expected to be easily implemented.

Businesses will need to make themselves aware of, and comply with, the changes. In particular, businesses will need to:

  • obtain and display a notice about the scope of registration in a prominent position
  • obtain and provide approved information sheets to clients (for businesses providing tattooing, ear piercing, body piercing or other skin penetration procedures).

View the client information sheets.

Notice about the scope of registration

The new regulations include the requirement of a notice to be displayed in premises that are registered under the under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008. The notice sets out that the registration applies to infection control standards and not to the standards or safety of the procedures undertaken within the premises. 
This provides clarity for both the consumer and the regulator.

The notices are approved by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and published in the Victorian Government Gazette. 

View the notice of registration sheets.

Information for Environmental Health Officers

The information sheets below have been developed with the aim of providing guidance and advice to Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) regarding issues that may be encountered with the hair, beauty, tattooing and skin penetration industries.

The information sheets are provided as guidance only and do not constitute legal advice.

The Act and regulations documents can be found at the Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents.

These guidelines do not replace industry-specific guidelines or codes of practice.