new certification

New cosmetic surgery certification announced

cosmetic surgery

New certification is to be launched next spring to drive up the standards in cosmetic surgery, the RoyalCollege of Surgeons (RCS) has revealed. 

The new certification will show that any surgeon who holds it is qualified and competent to perform a number of specific procedures. 

The changes were called for following the PIP breast implant scandal. The Government asked Professor Sir Bruce Keogh to review the regulations surrounding cosmetic surgery. 

Current regulations

As it stands, cosmetic surgery is not classed as a surgical speciality, which means there is noset of standards for surgeons to follow. 

Any doctor – whether they are a surgeon or not – is currentlyallowed to carry out cosmetic surgery. 

The new certificate will allow cosmetic surgeons working in the private sector to show theirpatients they have the right levels of training and experience to carry out procedures. 

Although the certificate won’t be introduced until next year, the RCS is now providing surgeons the information they need to apply for it. 

Steve Cannon, Chair of the Cosmetic Surgery Interspecialty Committee, says the scheme will make cosmetic surgery safer. 

Patients will be able to choose a highly qualified, experienced surgeon from a register of surgeons. 

What surgeons need to prove

Surgeons can apply as long as they are registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) in a specialty demonstrating their training and experience in their chosen area.

They will also need to provide evidence of their competency including:

  • Minimum experience levels: they will need to have performed a minimum number of surgical procedures in their area of certification and show their outcomes
  • Insurance: surgeons will need indemnity insurance to cover their practice in the UK
  • Revalidation: they will have to have undergone successful revalidation including an appraisal of their cosmetic practice
  • Masterclass: they’ll need proof they have taken part in an accredited masterclass
  • GMC/RCS Guidance: they should have knowledge of and adhere to the relevant GMC and RCS guidance 

New certification welcomed

The move towards tight control of the industry has been welcomed by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) and British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BPRAS). 

BAAPS President Michael Cadier calls it a move in the right direction to recognise cosmetic surgeons should have to prove at least a measure of training and experience. 

BAPRAS member of the RCS, Tim Goodacre, hopes the new rules will address any concerns over inconsistent professional standards within cosmetic surgical practice. 


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