Unit of competency details

SHBBSKS003 - Design and provide cosmetic tattooing (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
The Deleted usage recommendation was implemented on 13 June 2017 to describe training components that have no replacement. Enrolments in training components and statements of attainment or qualifications issued before 13 June 2017 are valid. For any components marked as deleted after 13 June 2017, the applicable transition/teach-out periods apply. For specific questions regarding the enrolment, delivery or issuance of a statement of attainment/qualification, please contact your training regulator.
DeletedDeleted from SHB Hairdressing and Beauty Services Training Package15/Dec/2021
Supersedes and is equivalent to SIBBSKS504A - Design and perform cosmetic tattooingUnit updated to the Standards for Training Packages. Title changed to better reflect the outcome of the unit. Updated content of Application Statement, Elements and Performance Criteria. Prerequisite changed to:  SHBBINF001 Maintain infection control standards.24/Sep/2015

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 25/Sep/2015


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110301 Beauty Therapy 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110301 Beauty Therapy 07/Dec/2015 
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Unit of competency

Modification History

Not applicable.


This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to penetrate the skin to apply pigments in order to provide cosmetic tattoos on the face or body.

It requires the ability to consult with clients, design the tattoo, select pigments and equipment to tattoo lips, eyebrows, eyelids, face and breast areola. This is a remedial or cosmetic tattoo treatment and can be an individual service, or form part of a series of services.

This unit applies to beauty therapists who work in beauty salons. In this environment they exercise judgment in selecting tattoo designs; demonstrate maturity and confidentiality in their client interactions; and apply knowledge of skin biology and skin penetration infection control procedures.

No occupational licensing, certification or specific legislative requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

Pre-requisite Unit

SHBBINF001 Maintain infection control standards

Competency Field

Skin Services

Unit Sector


Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.

1. Establish client requirements.

1.1 Access and review client treatment plan if available.

1.2 Discuss with client cosmetic tattooing requirements and lifestyle factors to identify their priorities.

1.3 Consult with referral sources to clarify and confirm client request for tattoo service if required.

1.4 Assess skin in area to be tattooed to determine suitability of cosmetic tattooing to meet client requirements.

1.5 Identify contraindications to cosmetic tattooing and refer client to appropriate professional as required.

1.6 Identify skin disorders and diseases and possible adverse reactions and discuss with client.

1.7 Review client medical history, medications and obtain medical approval prior to treatment as required.

2. Design and recommend cosmetic tattooing.

2.1 Design tattoo, providing client with visual representation of expected outcomes.

2.2 Explain to client treatment sequence, duration, frequency and cost.

2.3 Modify treatment plan, record updates and obtain signed client consent.

2.4 Obtain informed and signed parent or guardian consent if client is a minor.

3. Set up and provide safe cosmetic tattooing.

3.1 Check readiness of treatment area and availability of equipment.

3.2 Prepare client and select pigments and equipment based on agreed treatment plan.

3.3 Position self throughout treatment to minimise fatigue and risk of injury.

3.4 Ensure client comfort and modesty throughout treatment.

3.5 Use energy, water and other resources efficiently during preparation and subsequent treatment process.

4. Perform patch test.

4.1 Cleanse and disinfect patch test on area to be tattooed.

4.2 Select sterile needle pack and open in front of client.

4.3 Conduct patch test on an area adjacent to the area to be tattooed.

4.4 Identify skin reaction and advise client of suitability for cosmetic tattooing treatment.

4.5 Record details of patch test.

4.6 Rebook client to assess outcomes of patch test and for further treatments.

5. Provide cosmetic tattooing.

5.1 Map out shape and colour of cosmetic tattoo.

5.2 Photograph area to be tattooed prior to and immediately after treatment.

5.3 Cleanse and anaesthetise skin in treatment area.

5.4 Open sterile needle packs in front of client.

5.5 Select, prepare and record needles and pigments to be used.

5.6 Provide cosmetic tattooing treatment.

5.7 Apply aftercare products.

6. Review treatment and provide post treatment advice.

6.1 Apply knowledge of skin biology, wound healing, cosmetic chemistry and treatment outcomes and client feedback to evaluate treatment.

6.2 Record treatment parameters and outcomes of treatment on client treatment plan.

6.3 Provide aftercare advice and recommend products and future treatments.

6.4 Manage client expectations of potential outcomes.

6.5 Rebook client as required.

6.6 Advise referral source on treatment progress as required.

7. Clean treatment area.

7.1 Remove used linen and clean treatment surfaces and equipment according to organisational policies and procedures.

7.2 Dispose of probes or needles in sharps container.

7.3 Sterilise any instrument that has come into contact with body fluids.

7.4 Restock equipment and products in preparation for next treatment.

7.5 Dispose of general and any hazardous waste to minimise negative environmental impacts and according to organisational policies and procedures.

Foundation Skills

Foundation skills essential to performance in this unit, but not explicit in the performance criteria are listed here, along with a brief context statement.



Reading skills to:

  • interpret, and follow manufacturer instructions and safety data sheets for safe use of cleaning and treatment products, pigments, needles and equipment
  • source and interpret credible information on skin structure and biology.

Oral communication skills to:

  • use effective questioning and active listening techniques to consult client, confirm requirements and monitor treatment outcomes.

Numeracy skills to:

  • calculate treatment timing, pigment quantities and needle size and pricing.

Problem-solving skills to:

  • identify issues and modify technique or products to minimize skin damage and client discomfort.

Planning and organising skills to:

  • sequence series of treatments to maximise outcomes for client.

Technology skills to:

  • safely use and maintain cosmetic tattoo machine and tools
  • use client software to update client notes, record stock data and product purchases.

Unit Mapping Information

SIBBSKS504A Design and perform cosmetic tattooing


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=255d312b-db07-48f2-b6d6-1b0b06c42898


Assessment requirements

Modification History

Not applicable.

Performance Evidence

Evidence of the ability to complete tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit in the context of the job role, and:

  • communicate, follow and modify treatment plans, to provide patch tests and three cosmetic tattooing treatments for clients on three different tattooing sites from the following list:
  • breast areola
  • eyelids
  • eyebrow
  • lips
  • design appropriate tattoos for each client
  • select and mix pigments according to tattoo design
  • provide patch tests for each client that replicate the treatment plan:
  • equipment
  • procedure
  • treatment
  • develop, record and maintain treatment plans and records for each client specifying details of:
  • adverse reactions
  • aftercare recommendations and advice
  • anaesthetic used and method of application
  • changes in client skin condition
  • contraindications
  • outcomes of patch test and treatments
  • needle size and type
  • pigments and products used
  • relevant medical history and medications
  • skin analysis
  • tattoo design
  • treatment procedure
  • photograph treatment site prior to and after treatments ensuring clarity and comparability of image
  • provide safe treatments demonstrating application of health and hygiene regulations and skin penetration guidelines with a focus on:
  • disinfection of treatment area
  • disposal of infectious and non-infectious waste
  • disposal of needles
  • equipment sterilisation and disinfection
  • hand washing
  • prevention of blood to blood contact
  • use of equipment:
  • disposable
  • personal protection equipment
  • single use, sterile, disposable needles
  • treat client demonstrating appropriate selection and use of:
  • pigment needles:
  • angle
  • depth
  • electric current levels
  • recognise and manage contraindications to tattoo services
  • interact with and reassure client throughout the treatment
  • treat clients causing minimal skin reaction
  • present self, according to organisational policy
  • comply with health, hygiene and skin penetration regulations and requirements.

Knowledge Evidence

Demonstrated knowledge required to complete the tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit:

  • state, territory or local health and hygiene regulations and requirements as relevant to cosmetic tattooing
  • skin penetration guidelines
  • infectious disease transmission routes and prevention of infection transmission:
  • clients with blood borne diseases
  • contingency procedures for blood and body fluid contact
  • prevention of blood to blood contact
  • safe handling and disposal of sharps
  • immunity and how it is acquired
  • infection control procedures and application of standard precautions
  • definitions and methods of cleaning, disinfection and sterilisation
  • organisational policies and procedures relevant to cosmetic tattooing:
  • client record management
  • equipment use and maintenance
  • incident reporting
  • linen use and laundry procedures
  • personal hygiene and presentation
  • presentation of treatment area
  • waste disposal
  • work health and safety
  • legal and insurance liabilities and responsibilities regarding treatments
  • scope of practice:
  • when to refer clients to other practitioners
  • importance of not stating a diagnosis of a contraindication
  • limitations to cosmetic tattooing treatments
  • effects and benefits of cosmetic tattooing treatments
  • effects of cosmetic tattooing treatments on the physical structure of the skin
  • skin anatomy:
  • gross and microscopic
  • epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous layers
  • differences depending on location
  • function and role of skin
  • structure, function, and distribution of skin glands
  • production, composition, functions and control of skin gland secretions
  • appearance and characteristics of skin types:
  • dry/alipid/lipid dry
  • oily/lipid
  • diffused red
  • phases of growth, cell renewal, healing of skin and factors affecting epidermal mitosis
  • normal process of skin ageing and structural change
  • origin and evolution of hypertrophic, keloid and abnormal scar tissue
  • skin response to irritation and trauma
  • wound healing
  • nervous system and its relationship to skin
  • sensations and their relationship to cosmetic tattooing
  • properties and use of electric energy, electrostatics and electrical current for cosmetic tattooing services
  • factors likely to affect the suitability of treatment
  • formulation, function and action of cosmetic pigments
  • colours in pigments:
  • colour codes
  • dyes
  • interaction of colours
  • lakes
  • pigments
  • regulations
  • ingredients in tattooing products:
  • effects on the skin
  • toxic effects
  • contribution to premature ageing
  • adverse effects when used in combination with other products or treatments
  • contraindications that prevent or restrict treatment or require clearance from a medical practitioner to proceed and their relationship to cosmetic tattooing:
  • acne
  • bacteria, fungal, parasitic and viral infections
  • adverse outcomes of previous cosmetic tattooing
  • type one and two diabetes mellitus
  • bruises
  • cancer related treatments
  • dysfunction of nervous system
  • medication that cause skin thinning or inflammation
  • pigmented naevi
  • rashes
  • scar tissue
  • skin trauma
  • appearance, genetic factors, possible medical treatments and limitations of cosmetic tattooing treatments on skin conditions, diseases and disorders:
  • acne
  • benign neoplasm and hyperplasias
  • closed comedones/milia
  • couperose
  • dehydration/ trans epidermal water loss
  • dermatitis and eczema
  • erythema
  • icthyosis
  • lupus erythematosus
  • mature
  • photoaged
  • pigmentation disorders
  • open comedones
  • scleroderma
  • seborrhoea
  • sensitive
  • skin tumours
  • uticaria
  • appearance, causes and management of adverse effects of cosmetic tattooing:
  • bruising
  • inflammation
  • torn skin
  • unsatisfactory appearance
  • medical treatments, drugs and side effects relevant to cosmetic tattooing
  • safe practices and management when using electrical currents
  • post treatment care procedures and advice for specific treatment areas:
  • special care of treatment area
  • sun protection
  • managing the healing process
  • follow up treatments
  • ongoing assessment
  • sustainable operating procedures for the conservation of product, water and power.

Assessment Conditions

Skills must be demonstrated in a cosmetic tattooing environment; this can be:

  • an industry workplace or
  • a simulated workplace set up for the purpose of skills assessment, that provides services to paying members of the public.

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • paying clients, both new and regular, with different cosmetic tattooing requirements, who have the expectation that the services provided reflect those of a commercial business
  • hand washing facilities:
  • basin
  • hot and cold running water
  • liquid soap
  • single use towels or hand dryer
  • relevant workplace documentation:
  • blank client records
  • organisational policies and procedures relevant to cosmetic tattooing
  • manufacturer instructions for equipment
  • safety data sheets for pigments.

Assessment must ensure use of:

  • cleaning and disinfection products and equipment
  • a minimum of ten colour pigments
  • colour pigment holders
  • cosmetic tattoo machine and matching transmission shaft
  • disposable needles of a range of sizes in sterile packs
  • disposable, single use, sterile skin wipes
  • individual work station consisting of:
  • adjustable treatment table with safe working access to both sides and ends
  • individual electricity supply
  • magnifying lamp
  • operator chair
  • trolley for products, bowls and equipment
  • mouthguards
  • personal protective equipment:
  • disposable gloves
  • apron
  • sharps container
  • sterilised small tools and equipment or all equipment to be single use and disposable
  • tissues
  • topical anaesthetic creams
  • treatment towels or linen, or disposable linen
  • tweezers.

Assessment activities that allow the individuals to:

  • complete cosmetic tattooing within commercially realistic speed, timing and productivity
  • demonstrate competency in an environment reflective of real work situations
  • manage tasks and contingencies in the context of the job role.

Assessors must satisfy the Standards for Registered Training Organisation’s requirements for assessors and:

  • hold a qualification as a beauty therapist
  • have worked as a beauty therapist for at least three years where they have applied the skills and knowledge of this unit of competency.


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=255d312b-db07-48f2-b6d6-1b0b06c42898