As a national industry body, APAN was concerned with the restrictions for the use of lasers in WA and we approached the WA Radiological Council to consider a Case for Change when their regulations were up for review.  In light of nationally approved qualifications for the use of IPL and Laser as well as laser safety licences in existence, it was time for a review with considerations for changes. 

We were pleased to report that changes were introduced in July. However additional amendments were introduced on the 14th August.  Here is the information that was recently forwarded to us by the WA Radiological Council:

If you are still confused about the changes this report will allow you gain a more comprehensive understanding on how they may affect you.

The Radiological Council agreed to amend requirements/clarify matters in relation to the use of lasers for cosmetic procedures by non-medical practitioners.  Below are the updates for your information with particular attention is drawn to the following:

REGULATIONS OF LASERS AND PREMISES

The premises and all Class 3B or Class 4 lasers in use or storage must be registered under the Radiation Safety Act.

For use of lasers by non-medical practitioners for hair removal, superficial cosmetic and tattoo removal procedures, a medical practitioner will be required to be involved with setting up the protocols and procedures relating to cosmetic laser treatments.  For tattoo removal, confirmation must also be provided that a registered medical practitioner is available to provide medical support to the nurse undertaking the laser tattoo removal procedure.

For superficial cosmetic and tattoo removal procedure, prior to using lasers for these procedures, written correspondence must be provided from a medical practitioner confirming the patient has undergone a skin check in person with the medical practitioner prior to each course of treatments.

Registration Application Forms are available from the Form & Fact Sheets section of the Radiological Council website.

Further amendments include:

  • The prerequisites for an exemption from licence to use lasers for superficial cosmetic procedures.  This licence will be able to be obtained with 100 hours practical experience; comprising 50 hours pigment treatments and 50 hours vascular treatments. 
  • The supervision of trainees and demonstration of practical competence.  To demonstrate practical experience in accordance with the requirements, evidence of the minimum total practical hours must be provided (e.g. logbook of treatments).  In addition, the supervising licensee must provide written advice that the trainee has undertaken practical training in both consultation and beam-on aspects of the specified treatments and is competent in each aspect.  Licensees supervising practical training will be held responsible for ensuring that the competence of trainees is accurately reported to the Council.
  • The skin check required prior to each course of new treatment for superficial cosmetic and tattoo removal procedures must be undertaken in person with a medical practitioner.

Details below outline the existing prerequisites for non-medical practitioners apply for a laser licence:

TATTOO REMOVAL

  • A Division 1 registered nurse with minimum 5 years nursing experience;
  • Have attended a laser safety course recognised by the Radiological Council;
  • Have attended a tattoo removal course.

HAIR REMOVAL

  • Be an Enrolled Nurse or Registered Nurse, or hold a Diploma or Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy or equivalent;
  • Have attended a laser safety course recognised by the Radiological Council;
  • Have undertaken 25 hours practical training under the immediate personal supervision of a WA licensee for the use of lasers for hair removal.

SUPERFICIAL COSMETIC PROCEDURES (removing skin reddening, pigment and vascular treatments)

For pigment treatments and vascular treatments only; the use of lasers for superficial cosmetic procedures does not include treating issues such as varicose veins and raised spots.

  • Be an Enrolled Nurse or Registered Nurse, or hold a Diploma or Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy or equivalent;
  • Have attended a laser safety course recognised by the Radiological Council;
  • Have undertaken minimum 100 hours practical training under the immediate personal supervision of a WA licensee as follows:
    • Minimum 50 hours practical training for pigment treatment
    • Minimum 50 hours practical training for vascular treatments.

Note: Enrolled Nurses and Registered Nurses means registered as such with the (AHPRA).  Immediate personal supervision requires the licensee to be present and maintain direct and continuous supervision of any person under the licensee’s direction.

To demonstrate practical experience in accordance with the above requirements, evidence of the minimum total practical hours must be provided (e.g. logbook of treatments).  In addition, the supervising licensee must provide written advice that the trainee has undertaken practical training in both consultation and beam-on aspects of the specified treatments and is competent in each aspect.  Licensees supervising practical training will be held responsible for ensuring that the competence of trainees is accurately reported to the Council.

While these changes still have their challenges, they are a step in the right direction.

Should you have any queries with regard to this matter please contact a Council officer on (08) 9388 4999 or radiation.health@health.wa.gov.au.

Please also check the relevant Radiological Council webpage (http://www.radiologicalcouncil.wa.gov.au/Pages/FAQ/Lasers.html) will be updated to reflect the above information.