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Save Face work with the BBC to Expose Shocking Standards in Aesthetic Training Centres


Save Face work with the BBC to Expose how complicated aesthetic procedures, involving needles and surgical threads, are being taught over the internet or on unsafe one-day courses.

The quality of training and education, and the lack of standards and regulation in aesthetics continues to be a critical issue at the heart of incompetent and unsafe practice in the UK.

Save Face has been working in collaboration with the BBC for the past 18 months to expose just how poor and high risk the existing training and certification landscape is. For the first time on British television, reporters go undercover to reveal exactly what goes on in so called aesthetic training academies.

The BBC said:

“We really value Save Face’s contribution to our BBC Three documentary Under The Skin: The Botched Beauty Business.

Save Face provided us with their insight and expertise in the aesthetics industry; gave us access to their evidence and data they had collated on botched cases and shared some of their worst botched case studies with us. All of which helped to bring the lack of regulation in the aesthetics industry into the public’s focus.”

Under The Skin: The Botched Beauty Business shows an in-depth insight into two training providers that claim to specialise in the teaching of Botulinum Toxin and PDO thread lift treatments to non-medics. It reveals the shocking standards of practice that are passed on to aspiring aesthetic practitioners and clearly demonstrates that illegal, unethical and seriously substandard standards are deeply ingrained into these courses.

The footage illustrates why so many people suffer complications, adverse reactions, and unwanted treatment outcomes. Over the past 5 years, Save Face has helped over 5,000 members of the public who have fallen into unsafe hands over 80% of which were treated by beauty therapists, hairdressers, and laypeople.

This programme highlights the issues that have become ubiquitous in aesthetic practice. Undercover footage of a PDO thread lift training course at Boss Babes Uni shows a trainer accidentally puncturing a patient’s blood vessel and increasing the patient’s likelihood of infection through poor hygiene practices.

Save Face has been working closely with the BBC throughout the development of the programme, contributing data, expertise, and evidence to facilitate the undercover investigations.
The undercover investigation into the Botox course carried out Faye Coleen Sayers became part of the programme as a result of a Save Face investigation. After recieving more than 10 complaints from patients who had all suffered severe adverse reactions as a result of Botox treatments carried out by the same practitioner, it became apparent that the practitioner had substandard training and had been procuring and administering the medication without valid prescriptions.

We presented our evidence to the BBC which enabled them to send an undercover reporter on the half day Botox course ran by non-medic Faye Coleen Sayers. The footage corroborated our concerns. Not only was the quality of the training extremely poor but trainees were being instructed on how to procure Botox illegally, putting the public at serious risk. One of the victims we supported, Victoria Lee appears on the programme to discuss the devastating impact the procedure has had on her life.

Save Face has had serious concerns about the lack of standards in training and education in aesthetics for several years and has recently established the Qualifications Council for Cosmetic Procedures (QCCP). The QCCP was established to design a fit for purpose essential curriculum which can be accessed free of charge to benchmark the knowledge required to practice safely and competently and to encourage training providers to review the curriculum they teach.

The QCCP designed an accessible examination to enable practitioners to self-assess against the curriculum and take the examinations online to achieve the Medical Aesthetic Certificates (MAC) qualifications which are awarded and regulated by The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH).

Richard Burton, Director of Qualifications at Royal RSPH says;

”RSPH was pleased to be asked by the QCCP to help develop and assess qualifications for the non-clinical medical aesthetics industry. The qualifications ensure that industry practitioners have the knowledge and understanding required to undertake cosmetic procedures safely. This is an essential step in the pathway to a regulated, professional industry which is safe for all of its customers.”

The QCCP enables regulated healthcare professionals to gain regulated qualifications without the time and financial constraints associated with Level 7 qualifications and MSc’s. The only way to differentiate this medical specialty from the unregulated and unaccountable and break down the barriers that blur the lines between beauty therapy and injectables then all clinicians must be prepared to evidence they have met these standards and training providers must be held accountable to standards by approved regulators.


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