Following the two media releasing on A Current Affair recently regarding the alarming burns and APAN’s subsequent interview, we are having extensive discussions with regulatory officers with regards to revisiting the issue of laser and IPL regulations.

Our letter to ARPANSA has yet to be answered as they are reviewing the best course of action. At this stage, it has been suggested that Environmental Health is another department that will be interested in undertaking the whole issue of regulation in this space. As we have stated between 2015-2018 eight industry bodies and heads of departments were invited by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA} to participate in a Working Group, reviewing the need for regulation for IPL and Laser for Cosmetic Purposes.

We were required to attend five-hour-long monthly meetings and this process required a three-year commitment. It was an extensive process, and an incredible amount of work was achieved. We were required to study the various regulation categories and options (there are five). Our task
was to determine risks and the cost of risks to the industry and the financial burden to the Government. Each option had to be thoroughly studied to determine which one would best suit our purpose.

Once this report was finalized it needed to be submitted to the Prime Minister’s office – the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR). Our first submission was rejected, and we were required to provide further information to meet the OBPR’s criteria. This was finally achieved. From there the proposed regulation was sent out to the industry for public comment. 75% of the industry voted for full regulation.

When this information was collated the document then went to another department – the Radiation Health Committee who chose not to support and sign off on this document. Their reasons were that there was “insufficient evidence” for regulation. May I say that this was the second time that a Working Group was appointed to review the need for regulation. Some 10 years prior this matter was raised and once again this work failed to achieve a regulatory sign-off.

We believe it is wise to pursue another pathway which we are currently doing as we believe we do not have the time to waste another three years without a guarantee of an outcome. It is interesting to note that Leila McKinnon who presented the Channel 9 segments stated that “not a day goes by when we do not receive complaints about burns and procedures that have gone wrong”. It is quite evident that the incidents are escalating.

We are currently working with other industry bodies and we are determined to push for outcomes. WE NEED YOUR HELP!
A recent survey conducted in the UK interviewed the public as to whether they want cosmetic procedures they are having to be regulated resulted in an 87% positive response.

We, therefore, believe that it is time to also reach out to our consumers and ask for their support in this matter. As such we are setting up a Consumer Poll and seek your help in gaining their feedback as this will create additional ammunition for the need for regulation that we can take to the Government and stating that this has now become important to our consumers and they want us to be regulated.

Here is the link to the consumer poll:

Please share it on your social media pages and encourage maximum support.

We will need to have this finalised by the end of February as we wish to drive this issue as soon as possible. Please help us to help you. This is not about APAN it is about our industry and your future.

We are living in challenging financial times when SAFETY is a major consideration to consumers. We need to weed out those who operate through unsafe standards. This is important for the reputation of our profession, the survival of businesses, and the safety of our clients and patients.

We can do this. We will achieve this.

Tina Viney
CEO, Aesthetics Practitioners Advisory Network