What are Class 3B/4 lasers and Intense Pulsed Light sources? 

Class 3B/4 lasers and intense pulsed light (IPL) sources can be used for a range of medical and skin treatments in different healthcare services such as:

  • Medical treatment in hospitals, including invasive cosmetic surgery 
  • Dental treatment
  • Refractive eye surgery (known as ‘laser’ eye surgery)
  • Dermatological conditions
  • Minimal or non-invasive cosmetic treatments (which are often carried out by beauticians or healthcare professionals), such as hair removal, tattoo removal and the treatment of birthmarks or other skin blemishes

Class 3B/4 lasers and intense pulsed light are powerful devices which, if faulty or used incorrectly, have the potential to cause serious injury to those operating them, recipients of the treatment and other persons in the vicinity, and to ignite flammable materials. This is why it is important that services are using these devices safely and are registered with us as appropriate. 

Who we inspect

We inspect services who provide private treatments using Class 3B/4 laser and Intense Pulsed Light Sources to make sure that they are safe for people receiving treatment.

This includes a range of different healthcare establishments, but the majority of services registered with us to provide these treatments are beauty salons and clinics.

How we inspect

We look at how services:

Our inspections of Class 3B/4 lasers and intense pulsed light are usually announced. Services usually receive up to twelve weeks notice of an inspection.

Our inspections are carried out by at least two HIW inspectors. 

Who needs to be registered with us

Any establishment providing private services using Class 3B/4 laser and IPL sources must be registered with us. 

The following document provide guidance about what we will look at during an inspection. If you would like a copy of our inspection workbook please contact hiwinspections@gov.wales


Last updated: 23 Oct 2017