What is defined as Skin Penetration?

Council has a responsibility to ensure skin penetration businesses are healthy and comply with the Codes of Practice. A "skin penetration procedure" can include any of the following procedures:

  • hairdressing
  • acupuncture,
  • tattooing,
  • ear piercing,
  • hair removal,
  • any other procedure (whether medical or not) that involves skin penetration,
  • any other procedure prescribed by the regulations, but does not include:
    • a procedure carried out in the practice of medicine or dentistry by:
    • a medical practitioner registered under the Medical Practice Act 1992 , or
    • a dentist registered under the Dentists Act 1989 , or
    • a person acting under the direction or supervision of such a medical practitioner or dentist, or
  • any other procedure prescribed by the regulations

What Legislation covers skin penetration procedures?

Skin penetration operators must comply with the Public Health (Skin Penetration) Regulation 2000 and the Public Health Act 2010.

What does a Council inspection involve?

A copy of the NSW Health skin penetration audit tool can be located through the NSW Health website by accessing the link below.

Generally the following factors are assessed during an inspection by Council Officers:

  • Cleanliness of premises and equipment
  • Handwashing facilities
  • Equipment washing facilities
  • Waste disposal including sharps disposal
  • That items used for skin penetration are sterile
  • That contaminated items are stored separately from clean or sterile items
  • That sterile and clean equipment is stored appropriately
  • That items are disposed of immediately after use
  • That sterilisation cycles such as autoclave cycles are carried out in accordance with Australian Standards and documented
  • That sterile gloves are used and disposed of appropriately.
  • That operators wear appropriate gowns/ aprons
  • That skin antiseptic is used appropriately
  • That the premises is registered with Council

Do I need to register my Skin Penetration business?

It is a requirement that all skin penetration operators register their business details with Strathfield Council prior to carrying out any skin penetration operations. 

What is Strathfield Council's Role with Skin Penetration?

Council Officers carry out annual inspections of hairdressers, beauty salons, tattoo parlours, acupuncturists and other business which carry out skin penetration procedures. 

The inspection program aims to:

  • Educate and inform business operators on best practice methods to minimize public health risks.
  • Ensure that business operators achieve compliance with the Public Health (Skin Penetration) Regulation 2000 and Public Health Act 2010.
  • Enhance and maintain public health standards among skin penetration business operators.

Strathfield Council maintains a register of all skin penetration businesses which carry out operations within the area.

How can I notify Council if I have witnessed questionable practices in a business?

If you wish to bring a skin penetration business to Council’s attention in relation to public health concerns, please contact Council’s Customer Service line on 9748 9999 to report the name and address of the business. Include the date and time you visited the premises and the nature of the problem.

Are there inspection fees involved?

There is an initial registration fee and inspection fee in accordance with Strathfield Council’s Fees and Charges.


Guidelines and Codes of Best Practice

Fact Sheets

Audit Tool

Skin Penetration Audit Tool 2000