We're here to help
0345 222 5391
Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm, local rate & mobile friendly

Can anyone train to give Botox?


Medical syringe inserted into vial during Botox training.

Botox has come a long way since the late 1980s when it was first used by doctors in the US to treat eye muscle disorders in their patients.

Flash forward to today and the Botox trend's booming, injecting around £2.75bn each year into Britain’s £3.6bn cosmetics industry (and £4.6bn globally).

As scalpels give way to syringes, Botox, dermal fillers, and other non-surgical treatments now account for nine out of ten cosmetic procedures.

That’s around 900,000 Botox injections carried out each year in the UK alone. But who's doing it? And can anyone train to give Botox in the UK?

A ‘wild west industry’

While doses and techniques for non-invasive procedures like Botox and fillers have been refined over the years, the potential for unpleasant and potentially serious complications after treatment is still a major cause for worry.

As is the UK cosmetic industry’s ‘wild west’ reputation, where the administering of Botox and other botulinum toxins remains unlicensed and poorly regulated.

A rising number of complaints made to industry body Save Face seems to back this up after they registered 2,083 in 2020 (compared to just 378 in 2017).

Who can give Botox and fillers in the UK?

As the law currently stands, the answer is, ‘anyone’.

The UK’s drought of laws and regulations around who can give Botox and dermal fillers means anyone – from a practising medical professional (like a doctor, nurse, or dentist) to a non-medic (like a beautician) – can carry out treatments.

It also means that, legally, pretty much anyone can train to give Botox. Which, overall, is probably a good thing. Though it does underline the need for serious discussion about the lack of licensing laws for administering Botox and other potentially dangerous toxins.

Needling concerns

In 2013, the NHS’s then medical director, Sir Bruce Keogh, issued a stark warning in his government-commissioned report – that injections to plump up people’s skin were a “crisis waiting to happen”.

Since then, the government has dragged its feet, despite loud cries from campaigners for more regulation within the UK's cosmetics industry.

Finally, though, it looks like change might be on the horizon, with the government to discuss plans for the licensing of non-surgical procedures later this year. (Though we’re unlikely to see an official licensing scheme introduced until 2024 at the earliest.)

In the meantime, the risks associated with the unlicensed administering of Botox stay put. With one study suggesting at least one in six patients suffer from side effects post-treatment, including pain, swelling, bruising, headaches, nausea, and partial paralysis.

Can anyone train to give Botox?

If anyone can give Botox and fillers, then it figures that anyone can train to give Botox and fillers. Regardless of whether they come from a beauty, aesthetics or medical background.

Clearly, things can and do go wrong with injectables. And so extensive practice and training are needed before practitioners can get to work on clients.

The good news is, the UK’s raft of Botox and dermal filler courses are available to those looking to learn. Most include hands-on training, and some (though not all) are professionally accredited by bodies like the JCCP (Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners) and CPD Certification Service.

Still, for would-be practitioners, it’s important to do your research before signing up. It helps, too, to ask the right questions. The answers might surprise some…

Do you need qualifications to do Botox and fillers?

There’s no legislation to say any minimum level of qualification is necessary to carry out Botox and dermal filler injections.

That said, most employers require proof of qualifications before they’ll consider hiring a candidate interested in working with injectables.

At the very least, they’ll expect them to work alongside a qualified practitioner and show willingness to train before they can carry out treatments.

What qualifications do you need to do Botox and fillers?

Most trainee practitioners start with a one-day foundation course which enables them to begin practising right away.

As well as injection techniques, foundation courses typically cover things like consultation methods, treatment planning, and how to meet patient expectations. Some even provide access to a prescribing pharmacy after completion.

A step above foundation level is the ‘Level 7 Diploma’. This takes a year to complete and provides the most thorough grounding in injectables currently out there.

How do you find professionally accredited Botox and dermal filler courses?

Your best bet is to start by finding a credible, practice-based training provider (the JCCP has a good list). Then, pick the course most appropriate to your training and background.

If you’re a medic, you might opt for one that’s open to medically-qualified professionals only, and where anatomical knowledge is a requirement. Non-medics, on the other hand, might prefer one more tailored to the beauty industry.

Other things to look for are a low trainer-to-student ratio, a clinical environment, and the chance to carry out treatments on willing volunteers.

It’s also worth checking out your course’s requirements, as some cater to specific candidates. If you’re applying for a course geared towards medics, for example, you may have to show proof of registration with a professional body like the General Medical Council (GMC).

Can beauticians give Botox and fillers?

Legally, beauty therapists can carry out Botox and dermal filler injections, whatever their level of training. But whether they do, depends on the amount of risk beauty clinics want to take on.

There are practical reasons for that, too. As Botox is a prescription-only drug, a beautician has to partner with someone qualified to write prescriptions for them. Whether that’s a doctor, prescribing nurse, dentist, or prescribing pharmacist.

As a result, many clinics and medical spas prefer to employ medical professionals to administer their toxin or filler treatments.

That doesn’t mean, however, that beauticians shouldn’t learn how to administer Botox and dermal fillers.

It’s just that they’ll need the right level of professional training, as well as the trust of a prescriber, to supply them with prescription-only products like Botox.

What insurance do you need to administer Botox and dermal fillers?

Trainees are usually covered by their course provider’s insurance when practising on their premises. On completing their course, however, they should take out their own medical malpractice (or treatment liability) insurance.

While insurers can cover both medically and non-medically trained practitioners, they often have stringent requirements. For non-medics, that could mean at least six months of experience in Botox and dermal fillers, as well as a minimum NVQ Level 3 beauty qualification or equivalent.

Being insured can prove priceless, however, as no amount of training can 100% guarantee that all Botox and filler treatments will be trouble-free.

Lumps, bumps, infection, scarring, and even tissue death can have serious consequences. Not just for the unlucky client, but for whoever gave the injection.

If a client sues for physical or mental suffering, or both, a claim for compensation can run to many £tens of thousands. Medical malpractice insurance covers it all, as well as paying for legal experts to defend you.

Get beneath the surface

You can read more about Botox and dermal fillers insurance, or, if you'd prefer, give our specialist team a call on 0345 222 5391. Or just go ahead and get a quote.

Image used under licence from Shutterstock.

If you liked this, you might like these...

Aesthetics industry UK statistics 2023
Want to know more about the UK aesthetics industry? Here are some fascinating statistics to put you in the picture!
Do you need a licence to give Botox injections?
Do you need a licence to give Botox injections or dermal fillers in the UK? Or might you in the future? Get the latest regulations updates.
How treatments & training affect your beauty insurance
Find out how the treatments you offer and the training you have to do them makes a difference to your beauty therapist insurance.

More Advice, News & Know-how