MST practitioner licence

You need to register as an MST practitioner to carry out the following treatments at a premises in the borough of Hackney:

  • massage
  • sauna
  • manicure
  • pedicure
  • cosmetic piercing
  • tattooing
  • nail treatment
  • other types (see guidance notes)

Registering allows you to work at any premises licensed by the Council for a period of 3 years. The treatments listed are considered to fall under the definition of special treatments as set out in the London Local Authorities Act 1991.


Your application form must be fully completed and you must provide:

  • 2 recent passport size photographs (these must be brought into the office in person)
  • a copy of all relevant qualifications / certificates
  • proof of identity (for example, passport or birth certificate and one other form of identification confirming your current address)
  • the appropriate fee

If you have a non-UK qualification

If you have qualifications you gained outside the UK, you'll need to provide written verification that your qualifications meet the required UK standards. You can obtain it from organisations such as UK NARIC.

For more information on the UK standards, please see the Codes of Practice.


If you're applying so you can carry out tattooing, you'll also need to provide:

  • a reference (or references) from a registered premises where you've previously worked, or a copy of your previous registration with another local authority as a tattoo artist
  • examples of your current portfolio

Exemption practitioner

The exemption application is for members of accepted professional bodies who want to administer special treatments in the borough of Hackney.


You must submit a completed application form and:

  • the appropriate fee
  • copies of all relevant membership and qualification certificates for all operatives

Codes of practice

Page updated: 09/04/2019 09:07:14