Skip links and keyboard navigation

Laser licensing

Laser apparatus may be used for the following cosmetic procedures:

  • Hair removal
  • Skin rejuvenation
  • Tattoo removal
  • Superficial vascular lesion treatment
  • Superficial pigmented lesion treatment

Anyone operating a cosmetic laser business should be aware of laser licensing requirements.

Find forms and information to help you with both use and possession laser licence applications for cosmetic purposes.

Use licence

Any person who uses Class 4 laser apparatus must hold an appropriate use licence.  This ensures that at the very minimum, the user has had laser safety and infection control training.  There is a 2 step process to gain a full licence, involving:

  • Trainee licence (the operator can commence practical training, and they maintain a log book, and must have a supervising licensee)
  • Full licence (when the operator is judged by the licensed supervisor to be competent and able to carry out procedures safely and without supervision)

Use licence requirements

Laser operators must:

  • observe the advice of a knowledgeable medical practitioner to avoid possible adverse health outcomes.  This medical practitioner must also be supervising the client’s treatment.
  • discuss the outcomes with clients so that any concerns may be addressed.

If a client does present with an injury (e.g. burn or infection), it is important that you advise them to seek medical advice immediately. 

Read more about applying for a licence to use laser apparatus for cosmetic purposes 

Possession licence

Any person who possesses laser apparatus must hold an appropriate possession licence. This is a separate application process.

Possession licence requirements

You will need to hold a possession licence before you purchase your laser. 

Other requirements include:

  • Developing a radiation safety and protection plan to show how you will protect your employees and clients from the harmful effects of the laser use.
  • Purchasing recognised apparatus.   It is important to ensure that the equipment you purchase complies with the Australian and New Zealand Standard – AS/NZS IEC 60825.1:2014 Safety of laser products.
    • only buy equipment from reputable distributors
    • ask for a copy of the certificate of compliance against this standard for your records
    • seek approval for the purchase from the Queensland regulatory authority.
  • Understanding the limitations of your apparatus.  Make sure equipment that you have purchased is only used for its intended purpose.  There have been reports that lasers and intense pulsed light sources have been used incorrectly, resulting in harm (e.g. burns and scarring) to the client.  Intense pulsed light sources, for example, are not designed for tattoo removal.
  • Certifying your equipment and rooms.  By law, you are required to have your apparatus and rooms certified for compliance with Queensland’s radiation safety standards by a person accredited for the purpose under the Radiation Safety Act 1999.
  • Understanding medicines requirements. Unless you have suitably qualified health professionals in your staff, you cannot supply or use scheduled medicines. Most pain relieving creams and gels are pharmacy only (Schedule 2) medicines and can only be sold in pharmacies or premises holding an appropriate poisons licence.

Once you have the possession licence you must:

  • Ensure your operators are licensed. Every person who uses a laser apparatus is required to hold a use licence.   You should:
    • sight this licence and satisfy yourself that the scope of the licence is appropriate
    • consider any conditions that may be imposed on the use licence.
  • Ensure that the use licensee:
    • is familiar with your radiation safety and protection requirements as outlined in your radiation safety and protection plan
    • has completed the training you require, as outlined in your plan.

More information

For advice on regulatory requirements and licensing in Queensland, please contact the Queensland regulatory authority at radiation_health@health.qld.gov.au.

Anyone with information or a complaint about tattoo removal services, should call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or email RHU@health.qld.gov.au.

Further information on lasers and intense pulsed light machines used for cosmetic purposes may be found at:  http://www.arpansa.gov.au/RadiationProtection/Factsheets/is_IPLSources.cfm

Last updated: 8 February 2016