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Tattoo hygiene rating scheme

Blackpool Council have re-launched the ‘Tattoo Hygiene Rating Scheme’. 

All tattoo studios within the town will receive an inspection, assessing them against a set criteria, and awarding a tattoo hygiene rating. The scheme is to allow potential clients to make an informed choice of where they go to get a tattoo, and to drive up standards within the industry.

This ratings range from 1 ‘needs improvement’ to 4 ‘very good’.

Tattoo hygiene rating scheme criteria 

Tattoo hygiene scheme criteria details
RatingCategoryMinimum requirement
 1 Needs improvement Standards falling below standards in 2

Hand hygiene
Protective clothing, cleansing and sterilisation of instruments, needles, equipment and premise

2 Satisfactory  Client record keeping regime in place and maintained
3  Good

Client age verification
Signed consent form required
Record keeping regime relating to ink batch numbers used on each client in place and maintained
After care advice provided

 4 Very good

 And also demonstrate the following:

Tattooists’ members of recognised trade body
Programme of staff training (tattoo related, health and safety, infection control etc)
Staff vaccination and health screening programme

Rating progression

  • Rating 1 – failure to satisfy the requirements of rating 2
  • Rating 2 – must satisfy all of the requirements
  • Rating 3 - must satisfy all of rating 2 and all of rating 3
  • Rating 4 – must satisfy all of rating 3 and all of rating 4 conditions

Achieving a 4 rating 

To achieve the highest tattoo hygiene rating of 4, tattoo studios will be assessed on the following criteria.

This list highlights the main areas but is not exhaustive 

Cleanliness of premises and fittings 

  • The premises is clean and tidy with an effective cleaning schedule in place
  • Walls, doors, windows and floors are in good repair and condition 
  • Correct use of single use paper sheets/plastic wrap 
  • Foot pedal bins and sharps bins in use, with correct disposal arrangements
  • Impervious surfaces that can be cleaned and disinfected after use

Treatment area

  • The clinical treatment area is physically distinct from non-clinical areas
  • Area is clean and tidy

Cleansing and sterilization of instruments, needles, equipment

  • Single use needles, razors and any other sharp instruments 
  • Single use ink pots and spatulas 
  • Appropriate disinfectants used at the correct dilution 
  • Sterilisation of equipment such as autoclaves are maintained in accordance with the manufacturers guidelines 
  • General purpose sink with a constant supply of hot and cold water
  • Sterile products are stored appropriately 

Record keeping 

  • Records of clients receiving a tattoo, ID/age verification checks, health assessments  
  • Client consent forms 
  • Records of brand and batch number of ink used

Cleanliness and personal hygiene of operators 

  • Good hand washing practices – hot water, soap and towels available at an allocated hand washbasin 
  • No eating, drinking or smoking in treatment area
  • Correct use of PPE (allergy awareness for latex)
  • Clean nails/no varnish
  • Watches and large rings removed 

Member of a trade or professional body 

  • Tattoo and piercing industry union 

Vaccination against Hepatitis B

  • Evidence that all tattooists have been vaccinated


  • Training specific to the trade of tattooing  

Health and Safety 

  • Infection control 

If you are an upcoming tattooist you need to apply to the council to be registered for body treatments. Registration is made under the Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1982, Part VIII Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 (