Personal appearance services

Tattoo artist working on an arm

What is a personal appearance service?

Personal appearance services (PAS) include beauty therapy, hair dressing, or skin penetration procedures (e.g. tattooing, body piercing, scarring and implants) that are provided as part of a business transaction as defined under the Public Health (Infection Control for Personal Appearance Services) Act 2003.

Who requires a PAS licence?

Personal appearance services are classed into two categories, higher risk and non-higher risk.

Only those activities classed as "higher risk" personal appearance services are required to be licensed with Council. These activities include;

  • body piercing (does not include ear and nose piercing with a gun),
  • implanting natural or synthetic substances into a person's skin (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, and
  • tattoo removal involving skin penetration

Whether accidental or not, personal appearance services that involve skin penetration can spread blood-borne diseases such as HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C and are therefore deemed "higher risk" activities. These diseases are spread by blood-to-blood contact due to contaminated instruments from an infected person being used on another person without adequate precautions.

Businesses that do not require a licence with Council to operate are non-higher risk personal appearance services. These include:

  • Beauty and nail services;
  • Hairdressing services; and
  • Closed ear and nose piercing (i.e. with a gun).

However, operators are still required to comply with other relevant requirements, including:

It is recommended that the following departments be contacted to discuss their requirements:

  • Planning and Development Services to determine if any planning approvals are required.
  • Building Department to discuss any building requirements.
  • Trade Waste Department to determine if any trade waste approvals are required.

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