Unit of competency details

SHBBSKS007 - Provide diathermy treatments (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes SHBBSKS002 - Provide diathermy treatmentsNon-equivalent. Unit Code, Application Statement, Prerequisites, Performance Criteria, Foundation Skills, Performance Evidence, Knowledge Evidence and Assessment Conditions have been updated. 15/Dec/2021

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 16/Dec/2021


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 02/Feb/2022 
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Unit Of competency

Modification History

Supersedes and is not equivalent to SHBBSKS002 Provide diathermy treatments.


This unit describes the performance outcome, skills and knowledge required to plan and safely use electric currents to treat dilated capillaries.

It requires the ability to establish priorities with clients, apply knowledge of electric currents to design and provide treatments to reduce the appearance of dilated capillary blood vessels on the face and upper chest. The diathermy treatment 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 judgement in selecting and providing an appropriate treatment; demonstrate maturity and confidentiality in their client interactions; and apply knowledge of facial treatments.

The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State or Territory legislation, Australian standards and industry codes of practice.

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

Pre-requisite Unit

Unit Code 

Unit Title 


Maintain infection control standards


Incorporate knowledge of skin structure and functions into beauty therapy


Incorporate knowledge of body structures and functions into beauty therapy

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 priorities.

1.1. Access and review client treatment plan if available.

1.2. Discuss client diathermy requirements, changes in skin over lifetime, current skin care regimen, lifestyle and nutrition influences to determine causes of dilated capillaries.

1.3. Identify and assess dilated capillaries and skin.

1.4. Identify and explain contraindications to treatment, and refer client to appropriate professional as required.

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

1.6. Classify client skin and explain outcomes to client.

2. Design diathermy treatment.

2.1. Identify treatment parameters and techniques.

2.2. Discuss with client potential adverse effects, treatment design and recommendations for duration, frequency and treatment costs.

2.3. Confirm required treatment, develop or update treatment plan, record updates and obtain signed client consent.

3. Prepare for treatment.

3.1. Check readiness of treatment area and availability of equipment and products.

3.2. Prepare client, ensuring their comfort and modesty throughout treatment.

3.3. Prepare and present self, according to organisational policy.

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

3.5. Comply with health, hygiene and skin penetration regulations and requirements.

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

4. Conduct patch test.

4.1. Explain to client physical sensation of treatment.

4.2. Cleanse and disinfect patch test site.

4.3. Select sterile probes or needles and open in front of client.

4.4. Conduct patch test on an area adjacent to the treatment site.

4.5. Identify skin reaction and advise client of suitability for diathermy treatment.

4.6. Record current intensity and probe or needle size.

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

5. Apply electric currents.

5.1. Cleanse and disinfect treatment area.

5.2. Set current intensity and select probes or needles according to patch test results.

5.3. Open sterile probes or needles in front of client.

5.4. Apply and modify diathermy treatment, according to treatment plan, skin reaction and client feedback.

5.5. Apply aftercare products.

6. Review treatment and provide post treatment advice.

6.1. Evaluate treatment with client.

6.2. Advise client on how to care for skin in treatment site and expectations for wound healing.

6.3. Provide aftercare advice, recommend products and future treatments and rebook client.

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

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 waste 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, probes or needles and equipment
  • source and interpret credible information from:
  • trade journals and industry information on diathermy.

Oral communication skills to:

  • provide simple explanations to clients that describe the physiological processes of diathermy on dilated capillaries
  • discuss treatment contraindications and precautions tactfully
  • reassure client throughout service.

Problem-solving skills to:

  • identify issues, and modify electric currents and probe sizes to minimise skin damage and client discomfort.

Planning and organising skills to:

  • sequence treatment delivery to maximise benefits for client.

Technology skills to:

  • access credible online publications and resources which build knowledge for providing advice to clients
  • use client software to update client notes, rebook client for future treatments, record stock data and product purchases
  • safely use and maintain electrical devices.

Unit Mapping Information

Supersedes and is not equivalent to SHBBSKS002 Provide diathermy treatments.


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

Supersedes and is not equivalent to SHBBSKS002 Provide diathermy treatments.

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:

  • provide four diathermy treatments for clients on each of the following areas:
  • face area
  • upper chest
  • provide patch tests for each of the above clients that replicate the parameters in each treatment plan:
  • equipment
  • procedure
  • treatment
  • provide consecutive diathermy treatments for two of the clients as required to achieve the treatment objectives
  • provide diathermy treatments using each of the following machines at least once:
  • thermolysis
  • blend machines
  • develop and update treatment plans and records for each client specifying details of:
  • client feedback and adverse reactions
  • capillary type and distribution
  • contraindications and conditions
  • current type, duration and intensity
  • outcomes of patch test and treatments
  • post treatment care advice and products
  • probe or needle size and type
  • products used
  • recommended future treatments
  • relevant medical history and medications
  • skin analysis
  • treatment duration, areas treated and not treated
  • treatment objectives
  • provide safe treatments demonstrating application of health and hygiene regulations and skin penetration guidelines for each client with a focus on:
  • disinfection of treatment area
  • disposal of infectious and non-infectious waste
  • disposal of sharps
  • equipment sterilisation and disinfection
  • hand washing
  • prevention of blood-to-blood contact
  • use of equipment:
  • disposable
  • personal protection equipment
  • single use disposable probes or needles
  • treat each client demonstrating the application of correct techniques:
  • angle of probing
  • choice of size and type of probe or needles
  • current intensity and duration
  • depth of probing
  • treat clients causing minimal skin reaction.

Knowledge Evidence

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

  • state or territory and local health and hygiene and skin penetration regulations and requirements relevant to providing diathermy treatments
  • 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
  • infection control procedures and application of standard precautions
  • definitions and methods of cleaning, disinfection and sterilisation
  • organisational policies and procedures relevant to providing diathermy treatments:
  • client record management
  • equipment use and maintenance
  • incident reporting
  • linen use and laundry procedures
  • personal protection equipment
  • personal hygiene and presentation
  • presentation of treatment area
  • waste and hazardous substance 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 diathermy treatments
  • roles of nutritionist, dietician, complementary therapist and medical practitioner
  • factors that affect treatment planning and client suitability for treatment:
  • areas treated
  • client finances
  • extent of area treated
  • pain tolerance
  • skin:
  • healing
  • reactions
  • effects, risks, benefits and indications for diathermy treatments on the physical structure of skin and blood vessels and minor blemishes
  • sources, risks, benefits and effects of light treatments for dilated capillary removal
  • anatomy and physiology of blood vessels and capillaries
  • typical medical treatments, medications and side effects relevant to diathermy treatments
  • principles and properties of electrical currents and the technology used in specialised diathermy application:
  • alternating current
  • direct current
  • electrical circuits
  • electrical supply
  • energy
  • specialised hair reduction applications:
  • blend
  • thermolysis
  • principles and processes of direct and alternating currents:
  • electrical energy and electron movement
  • electrolytic process
  • thermal effect
  • electrodes
  • frequency ranges
  • capacitance
  • safe practices and management when using electrical currents
  • factors affecting diathermy treatment outcomes:
  • accurate probing:
  • duration
  • angle
  • depth
  • areas treated
  • causes of skin damage
  • correct probing and successful treatment outcomes
  • current intensity and type
  • extent of area treated
  • needle or probe size selection
  • pain tolerance
  • safety and comfort
  • contraindications that prevent or restrict treatment or require clearance from a medical practitioner to proceed and their relationship to diathermy:
  • acne
  • adverse outcomes of previous diathermy treatments
  • bacteria, fungal, parasitic and viral infections
  • type one and two diabetes mellitus
  • medications that cause skin thinning
  • metal implants
  • pacemakers
  • rashes
  • scar tissue
  • skin trauma
  • appearance, causes and management of adverse effects of diathermy treatments:
  • bruising
  • inflammation arising from treatment
  • over treatment
  • reaction of client to electrical current
  • scarring
  • post treatment care procedures and advice for specific treatment areas:
  • special care of treatment area
  • sun protection
  • avoidance of intense physical acidity
  • dietary advice
  • skin peels
  • sustainable operating procedures for the conservation of product, water and power.

Assessment Conditions

Skills must be demonstrated in a diathermy 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 with different diathermy 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 diathermy treatments
  • manufacturer instructions for equipment
  • safety data sheets for cleaning products.

Assessment must ensure use of:

  • alcohol disposable single use skin wipes
  • cleaning and disinfection products and equipment
  • client gown or protective sheets
  • diathermy equipment:
  • thermolysis
  • blend
  • disposable needles or probes of a range of sizes in sterile packs
  • disposable tissues and spatulas
  • individual work station:
  • 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
  • personal protective equipment:
  • disposable gloves
  • apron
  • sharps container
  • sterilised small tools and equipment or all equipment to be single use and disposable
  • treatment towels or linen, or disposable linen.

Assessment activities that allow the individuals to:

  • complete diathermy treatments 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 Organisations’ 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