Unit of competency details

SIBBHRS706A - Design intense pulsed light and laser hair reduction treatment programs (Release 2)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by SHBBHRS006 - Design laser hair reduction treatment programsNot equivalent • Updated to meet Standards for Training Packages • SIBBHRS706A separated into IPL- and Laser-specific • Greater focus on client consultation • Inclusion of prescriptive Performance Evidence. • Development of Assessment Requirements. 10/Sep/2018
Is superseded by SHBBHRS008 - Design intense pulsed light hair reduction treatment programs• Not equivalent • Updated to meet Standards for Training Packages • SIBBHRS706A separated into IPL- and Laser-specific • Greater focus on client consultation • Inclusion of prescriptive Performance Evidence. • Development of Assessment Requirements. 10/Sep/2018

ReleaseRelease date
2 (this release) 12/Dec/2011
(View details for release 1) 09/Dec/2010


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 09/Dec/2010 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to consult with and assess client suitability in order to design intense pulsed light (IPL) or laser treatment programs to reduce unwanted hair on areas of the face or body.

This unit describes the process of applying complex understanding of skin and hair biology and wound healing to evaluate client suitability for the application of light technologies for hair reduction performed in a beauty industry treatment environment.

The therapist designs a staged program of multiple treatments that will safely achieve optimum outcomes for the client.

Application of the Unit

IPL and laser hair reduction treatments are designed by experienced beauty therapists with significant knowledge of skin and hair biology, light physics, laser safety and a broad experience in providing a range of skin therapies and hair reduction treatments.

They exercise judgement in planning and implementing an appropriate treatment program. The use of either IPL or laser apparatus, may be governed by client analysis or the availability of specific equipment in a particular workplace.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

IPL and laser hair reduction treatments are offered within a laser safety framework that is currently designed to reflect the guidelines expressed in Australian and New Zealand Safety Standard AS/NZS4173:2004.

The use of non-ionising radiation for cosmetic treatments is currently subject to licensing under the Queensland Radiation Safety Act 1999, accreditation of equipment, premises and operator under the Tasmanian Radiation Protection Act 2005. The Western Australian Radiation Safety Act 1975 imposes limitations restricting the use of Class 4 lasers for cosmetic treatments, including hair removal, to medical practitioners.

With regard to other states and territories, no licensing, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.


SIBBHRS705A Apply intense pulsed light and laser safety protocols

Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements and Performance Criteria


Performance Criteria 

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

1 Consult with client.

1.1 Obtain relevant information  to determine client’s  requirements.

1.2 Actively encourage and respond to client feedback .

1.3 Identify client characteristics  relevant to planning IPL or laser hair reduction treatments using observation and relevant diagnostic equipment .

1.4 Identify client’s relevant medical history .

1.5 Advise client of possible physical effects  of IPL or laser treatments and home care  required.

1.6 Identify contraindications  and special precautions relevant to proposed treatments, discuss with client and refer to an appropriate professional  where required.

1.7 Assess and discuss options or limitations  for future treatments according to client characteristics and contraindications.

1.8 Ensure that where medically-related contraindications  and special precautions are established, documented medical approval is obtained by the client prior to treatment.

2 Perform patch testing.

2.1 Set client at ease by explaining the sensation of the test before commencing.

2.2 Select small area with similar hair and skin to proposed treatment area.

2.3 Select energy settings (fluence) based on client consultation and analysis and apply a small number of pulses to nominated test area.

2.4 Record settings and observe immediate reactions  looking for an end point to assist in designing safe and effective treatment.

2.5 Select post-treatment skin cooling products  and apply according to treatment plan and client reaction to patch test.

2.6 Wait three to seven days and observe and record skin response.

3 Design a treatment program and discuss with client.

3.1 Determine appropriate treatment program  according to client assessment  and within safe practice protocols .

3.2 Discuss proposed treatment program according to client’s needs.

3.3 Explain any perceived treatment risks that may be encountered.

3.4 Discuss special precautions  that client must observe prior to treatment.

3.5 Discuss responsibilities of the practitioner and the client  within treatment plan and negotiate client compliance. 

3.6 Take pre-treatment photographs of agreed hair reduction treatment area .

3.7 Negotiate management of selected treatment in relation to other treatments or lifestyle factors.

3.8 Discuss treatment evaluation strategies .

3.9 Document treatment program plan  according to workplace procedures .

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

The following skills must be assessed as part of this unit:

  • technical skills:
  • use IPL or laser equipment safely to conduct patch tests
  • evaluate patch tests
  • respond to contraindications and adverse effects
  • identify treatment options and develop treatment programs
  • interpersonal skills to consult with, inform and reassure clients regarding proposed IPL or laser treatments
  • communication skills to respond to questions and provide information to client throughout the consultation
  • literacy skills to:
  • read and interpret documents, such as safety standards for use of IPL and laser equipment, health regulations, manufacturer instructions, product safety data sheets, and records of previous treatments
  • develop treatment plans and record treatment outcomes
  • numeracy skills to calculate desired treatment parameters for each treatment session.

Required knowledge 

The following knowledge must be assessed as part of this unit:

  • relevant federal, state or territory, and local Acts and regulations relating to safe use of IPL and laser for hair reduction, including:
  • non-ionising radiation protection
  • skin penetration
  • health regulations
  • relevant occupational health and safety regulations and requirements
  • workplace policies and procedures in regard to IPL and laser hair reduction treatments
  • appearance of contraindications
  • complications and adverse effects and their causes, including:
  • hypopigmentation
  • hyperpigmentation
  • blistering
  • scarring and textural changes
  • paradoxical increased hair growth
  • principles of light energy and how it interacts with skin and hair
  • differing types of IPL and laser equipment and their recommended use and application
  • factors likely to affect suitability of IPL or laser treatments to client needs; and effects, risks and benefits of IPL and laser hair reduction treatments
  • causes of skin reactions in regard to IPL and laser patch testing and appearance and management of specific treatment reactions or adverse effects, including:
  • perifollicular oedema
  • perifollicular erythema
  • infections of the hair follicle
  • burns to skin
  • typical features and skin tanning response of each of six Fitzpatrick skin types
  • skin hair structure and growth in regard to permanent hair reduction treatments, including:
  • types of hair: lanugo, vellus, terminal
  • factors affecting hair growth, such as:
  • hormonal: topical and systemic
  • exposure to sunlight
  • heredity
  • drugs and chemicals
  • hair growth patterns
  • influence of IPL and laser hair reduction on hair growth
  • growth cycle of hair and its relationship to permanent hair reduction using IPL and laser
  • histology of hair
  • tissue interaction with IPL and laser hair reduction treatments
  • chromophores
  • melanin absorption
  • tanning issues
  • anatomy and physiology of the skin and skin structures as they relate to IPL and laser hair reduction treatments, including:
  • normal process of skin ageing and structural change
  • normal skin response to irritation and trauma
  • scars, including hypertrophic and keloid (their origin and evolution) and abnormal scar tissue
  • effects of IPL and laser treatments on physical structure of the skin
  • wound healing in different skin types and locations
  • factors affecting:
  • client pain tolerance
  • treatment parameters, including wavelengths to be used, duration of pulse and selecting the correct energy settings (fluence)
  • client safety and comfort
  • wound healing
  • hypertrophic and keloid scarring
  • causes of skin damage
  • post-treatment care procedures, including low-frequency laser and healing products
  • post-treatment advice for specific treatment areas, including underarm, chest, stomach, bikini line and face
  • factors affecting treatment planning, including patch test results, skin healing, skin reaction, follicle distribution, areas treated, extent of area to be treated, client finances, and pain tolerance
  • workplace product and equipment range and manufacturer instructions and safety data sheets
  • operator's legal and insurance liabilities and responsibilities in regard to IPL and laser treatment services.

Evidence Guide

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • applying detailed IPL and laser treatment knowledge to consult clients and provide accurate advice according to the needs of the client
  • applying workplace policies and procedures in regard to the application and evaluation of IPL and laser patch tests
  • applying relevant federal state or territory and local safety Acts, regulations and guidelines relating to safe use of IPL and laser for hair removal
  • developing treatment programs and documenting treatment plans for IPL and laser hair reduction.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • that competency is consistently demonstrated over a period of time and observed by the assessor or a technical expert working in partnership with the assessor as described in the Assessment Guidelines
  • that competency is demonstrated in a fully equipped laser or IPL hair reduction clinical workplace or simulated workplace in a range of real work situations which may include interruptions and involvement in other related activities normally expected in the workplace.

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • a laser clinical treatment area, which includes as a minimum:
  • radiation warning signs stating 'warning laser in operation do not enter when light above door is illuminated'
  • non-flammable screens fitted inside windows to protect a person outside the window from non-ionising radiation levels greater than maximum permissible exposure from radiation
  • ventilation designed to ensure that infective agents are not passed downstream in air handling or exhaust system
  • fire extinguishing equipment, such as fire extinguishers, fire blankets and wet cloth drapes
  • IPL and laser equipment which, when energised, is capable of emitting an amount of non-ionising radiation higher than accessible limit for a Class 3B laser for the relevant period stated in, and measured in accordance with, the laser standard AS2211 (i.e. a Class 4 laser or equivalent in the case of IPL)
  • cosmetic laser equipment, which may include one or more of the following:
  • normal mode alexandrite
  • ruby
  • diode
  • Nd:Yag
  • IPL equipment, which may have one or more of the following characteristics:
  • programmable
  • manual
  • multiple pulsed shots
  • single pulsed shots
  • chilled sapphire head
  • one or minimal choice of filters
  • multiple filters
  • a treatment area which includes:
  • magnifying lamp
  • eye protection equipment for clients and operators
  • disposable operator masks
  • cooling post-treatment products
  • current safety and environmental standards, guidelines workplace policies, procedures documentation regarding IPL and laser safety
  • a range of clients with different Fitzpatrick skin types seeking hair reduction on a variety of areas on face and body.

For further guidance on the use of an appropriate simulated environment, refer to the Assessment Guidelines in this Training Package.

Methods of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • direct observation of learners performing a range of tasks in a simulated work environment, over sufficient time to demonstrate handling of a range of contingencies, including:
  • consulting with clients and assessing their characteristics, contraindications and hair reduction needs
  • planning a treatment program that involves a series of IPL and laser treatments to achieve client's desired hair reduction outcome
  • discussing treatment plan with client
  • safe application of an IPL or laser patch test
  • applying relevant guidelines, regulations and workplace procedures on safe use of IPL and laser equipment for hair reduction
  • case studies, and written and oral questioning appropriate to the language and literacy level of the learner, to assess knowledge and understanding of:
  • actions of IPL and laser hair reduction on the hair follicle and the surrounding skin tissue
  • relevant safety procedures
  • third-party reports from technical experts
  • completion of clinical practice, including recording practice details, personal reflection and feedback from the trainer, workplace coach or supervisor.

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • SIBBHRS707A Provide intense pulsed light and laser hair reduction treatments.

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Relevant information  may include:

  • areas with unwanted hair
  • previous hair reduction treatments
  • outcomes of previous treatments
  • required outcomes of future treatments.

Clients  may include:

  • male or female clients
  • new or regular clients with routine or special needs
  • people from a range of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and with varying physical and mental abilities.

Client feedback  may include:

  • enquiries
  • suggestions
  • comments
  • requests.

Client characteristics  must include:

  • Fitzpatrick skin type one to six
  • hair colour:
  • dark
  • medium
  • pale
  • hair type:
  • lanugo, vellus, terminal
  • ingrown
  • skin condition:
  • dry
  • normal
  • oily
  • combination
  • specific hair reduction treatment area or areas
  • pain tolerance
  • heat tolerance.

Relevant diagnostic equipment  may include:

  • dermascope
  • dermalight
  • melanin diagnostic equipment.

Client's relevant medical history  may include:

  • existing medical conditions
  • previous medical conditions
  • medications.

Physical effects  may include:

  • temporary heat
  • temporary localised pain.

Home care  may include:

  • avoiding sun exposure
  • using sunscreen
  • avoiding topical tanning agents
  • not picking at abrasions
  • no other phototherapy concurrent with an IPL or laser hair reduction treatment program
  • avoiding chlorine environments, including pools and spas
  • keeping body temperature down by avoiding saunas, exercise, and gym.

Contraindications  may include:

  • sun-tanned skin
  • artificially tanned skin
  • pregnancy
  • some herbal remedies
  • active herpes simplex
  • active impetigo
  • active eczema
  • active acne
  • photo-sensitive medication
  • hypertrophic and keloid scars
  • tattoos in the treatment area
  • psoriasis in the treatment area
  • certain circulatory conditions
  • inappropriate hair type and colour.

Appropriate professional  may include:

  • medical practitioner
  • complementary therapist.

Options or limitations  may include:

  • alternative treatment recommendations
  • lifestyle recommendations
  • contraindications
  • medical conditions.

Medically -related contraindications  may include:

  • any condition already being treated by a general practitioner, dermatologist or another skin therapist
  • medical oedema
  • recent surgery
  • diabetes
  • asthma
  • epilepsy.

Immediate reactions  may include:

  • perifollicular oedema (slight oedema around follicles)
  • perifollicular erythema (slight redness around follicles)
  • pain tolerance
  • patch test skin area change from bristly to smooth
  • erythema.

Post -treatment skin cooling products  may include:

  • cold compress
  • cryogen sprays
  • cold gels.

Treatment program  may include:

  • energy settings (fluence)
  • planning frequency of treatments.

Client assessment  must include:

  • client requirements
  • client characteristics:
  • Fitzpatrick skin types one to six
  • skin condition
  • specific hair reduction treatment area or areas
  • pain tolerance
  • heat tolerance
  • client relevant medical history
  • contraindications
  • patch test outcomes.

Safe practice protocols  must include:

  • compliance with relevant federal, AUS/NZ, state or local standards for safe use of Class 4 IPL or laser equipment in clinical environments
  • workplace safety procedures for clients, operators and IPL or laser treatment areas.

Special precautions  may include:

  • none of the following treatments:
  • 30 days prior to IPL or laser treatment:
  • tweezing
  • waxing
  • bleaching
  • sunbathing
  • solarium treatments
  • use of depilatory creams
  • electrolysis
  • two weeks prior to treatment:
  • use of self-tanning products.

Responsibilities of the practitioner and the client  may include:

  • practitioner:
  • referring to appropriate professionals where indicated
  • commitment to treatment plan
  • discussing relevant contraindications or potential complications to treatment
  • following workplace safety procedures
  • client:
  • following instructions or advice before, during and after treatment
  • advising practitioner of any relevant contraindications or potential complications to treatment
  • advising practitioner of any changes to medical history or any change in medications
  • advising practitioner of compliance issues
  • committing to treatment program.

Client compliance  must include:

  • providing medical clearance for treatment where required prior to treatment
  • agreeing to treatment plan and signing a consent form.

Agreed hair reduction treatment area  may include:

  • legs
  • arms
  • under arms
  • chin
  • lip
  • bikini line
  • abdomen
  • back
  • chest.

Treatment evaluation strategies  may include:

  • discussing and reviewing response to treatment
  • taking photographs of treatment area before and after each session
  • reviewing achievement of treatment goals
  • monitoring time frame for achievement of treatment goals.

Treatment program plan  may include:

  • treatment area
  • follicle type and distribution
  • hair type:
  • single, compound
  • straight, curved
  • fine, coarse
  • lanugo, vellus, terminal
  • equipment selected
  • planned treatment parameters based on patch test results, including:
  • wavelengths to be used
  • pulse duration
  • energy settings (fluence)
  • treatment duration
  • products
  • equipment
  • follow-up procedures
  • observed contraindications
  • relevant medical history and medications
  • outcomes of previous temporary and permanent hair reduction treatments.

Workplace procedures  relating to developing treatment plans may include:

  • treatment plan pro-forma
  • treatment plan attachments, such as:
  • signed client informed consent
  • signed medical release
  • pre-treatment photographs
  • providing a workplace pre-treatment handout to the client.

Unit Sector(s)


Competency field

Hair Reduction Services