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Massage and special treatments licensing

The London Borough of Hillingdon licenses businesses offering massage and special treatments within the borough.

Licence summary

All premises offering massage and other special treatments must apply for a licence from the local authority before they commence trading. It is an offence to operate without a licence.

The following treatments would require a licence:

  • acupuncture
  • body piercing
  • chiropody
  • cosmetic piercing
  • electrolysis
  • facial treatments
  • massage Treatments, Aromatherapy and Reflexology
  • nail treatments
  • non-surgical lasers & intense light source systems
  • saunas and Steam Rooms
  • spa pools
  • tattooing
  • ultra violet light treatments
  • other treatments of a like kind to those listed above

Regulations

Exemptions

A number of organisations do not require a licence [60kb]. In certain circumstances, the council may grant an exemption to a business or individual therapist from the requirement to have a licence when the therapists or practitioners are members of specific professional bodies.

If you feel you may be exempt from licensing, you will need to supply us with a copy of the membership certificate for your particular professional body and a copy of some proof of identity. This will enable the local authority to establish your exemption status. If you are exempt, we will issue a registration of exemption from licensing.

Other applicable exemptions include:

  • premises not used for gain or reward
  • certain exemptions for medical practitioners, dentists and professions supplementary to medicine (nurses) hospitals and nursing homes
  • applicant membership of an approved body of health practitioners
  • registered osteopaths under the Osteopaths Act 1993
  • registered chiropractors under the Chiropractors Act 1994
  • state registered Chiropodists/Podiatrists
  • state registered Physiotherapists

Eligibility criteria

Licences will be subject to conditions. Your application may be refused for one of the following reasons:

  • the premises are not suitable
  • there is a likelihood of nuisance being caused in the area
  • the person who will manage the premises is not fit and proper
  • the people giving the treatments are not suitably qualified
  • the safety of equipment is not satisfactory
  • there is question as to the safety of the treatment being given
  • you have been convicted of particular offences
  • you fail to comply with any legal requirements

Assessment of practitioner competency

  • Before you make an application, you may check with the Regulatory Services that your qualifications meet the licensing requirements.
  • The Regulatory Services thoroughly check the adequacy and authenticity of any practitioner's qualifications submitted in support of a licence application. 
  • Any practitioner without appropriate qualifications or experience may not be licensed to administer special treatments. 
  • The council may require you to take further qualifications in line with industry guidance.
  • A photocopy of qualification certificates must be submitted with applications.

Note: We cannot take responsibility for loss or damage to any certificates posted to us.

Successful application

A license application is deemed to have been successful when:

  • the premises are satisfactory
  • any objections have been resolved

The licence will be granted subject to the council's Regulations applying to Massage and Special Treatments Premises [99kb] and the Codes of practice.

Together these documents form the licence conditions [29kb].


How to apply

The person having control of the special treatment premises should make the application.

  • You must submit the application at least 35 days either before you start operating or the licence is due for renewal.
  • Please enclose copies of certificates for all staff for any new applications and any new members of staff for renewal applications.
  • This renewable licence will generally last for 12 months.
  • It may sometimes be necessary to grant licences for longer or shorter periods (up to the statutory maximum of 18 months) to bring premises into the right renewal period.
  • The appropriate fee [207kb]

Further guidance on the application process. [713kb] »

Apply now

To licence a premises

To change a licence

To renew a licence

Target completion period

Application

Processing Times

Tacit Consent

Application to licence premises for massage or other special treatments

60 calendar days

No

Application to change a licence premises for massage or other special treatments

60 calendar days

No

Application to renew a premises licence for massage or other special treatments

60 calendar days

No

What happens if your application is not processed by the local authority within the timescales stated?

Tacit consent​ will not apply. This means that there is a risk to public safety, so it is in the public interest that the local authority must process your application before it can grant a licence. If we have not contacted you by the end of the target completion period, please get in touch with us. You can do this online if you applied through Business Link or contact the Regulatory Services.


Failed application redress

  • The Police, Fire Authority, and members of the public have the right to raise objections to an application for a licence.
  • The council must consider any objections made within the period allowed for the receipt of objections.
  • Where the council receives an objection, it does not automatically mean that it will refuse to grant the licence. On receipt of an objection, the council will notify you of the reason for the objection and ask for your comments. Where possible, the council will attempt to resolve any objections by a form of conciliation. If this is not possible, then in most cases the application will be determined by a meeting of the Licensing and Appeals Panel.
  • Where the council receives an objection, it will not refuse to grant a without the applicant having an opportunity to present a case before the Licensing and Appeals Panel. Should the application reach this stage, the applicant will receive full details and explanations of all procedures.

An application may be refused on the grounds listed in section 8 of the London Local Authorities Act 1991:

  • You fail to pay the licence fee, fail to supply the council with any information or documents that may be required.
  • The decision whether or not to refuse an application is taken by the inspecting officer.

Licences will be subject to conditions. Your application may be refused on the grounds listed in section 8 of the London Local Authorities Act 1991:

  • the premises are not suitable, eg they are not structurally suitable
  • the premise does not have adequate fire precautions including fire fighting equipment and fire escapes
  • the safety of the treatment is not satisfactory
  • there is a likelihood of nuisance being caused in the area
  • the person who will manage the premises is not a fit and proper person
  • the people giving the treatments are not suitably qualified
  • the safety of equipment is not satisfactory
  • there is question as to the safety of the treatment being given
  • You have been convicted of a particular offence within the last five years
  • you fail to comply with any legal requirements

If your application fails, you should contact the Environmental Health & Safety Team in the first instance. If you wish to appeal a decision of the council, you may appeal to Uxbridge Magistrates' Court within 21 days of the date you were notified of the decision in writing. You may appeal the decision of the Magistrates' Court to the local Crown Court.


Licence holder redress

A licence may be revoked if:

  • its holder is convicted of a relevant offence;
  • the licence holder dies (certain conditions);

The decision to revoke a licence is made by the Licensing and Appeals Panel. If you wish to discuss a revocation, please contact the Environmental Health & Safety Team in the first instance. If you wish to appeal a decision of the council, you may appeal to Uxbridge Magistrates' Court within 21 days of the date you were notified of the decision in writing. You may appeal the decision of the Magistrates' Court to the local Crown Court.


Consumer complaints

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint, you make the first contact with the trader, preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked and you are located in the UK, Citizens Advice consumer service will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

If you are concerned that a person is operating a special treatment premise without a licence, or you have concerns about the level of hygiene or health and safety, please contact the Environmental Health & Safety Team.

Please note, however, that although we maintain the confidentiality of your enquiry, we cannot deal with anonymous complaints, so please leave a contact name and details so that the officer dealing with your query can speak to you.

Other Redress

Should you need to complain about, for example noise, or should one licence holder have cause to complain about another, please contact the council's contact centre in the first instance.


Trade associations

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 17 Feb 2017 at 15:24