Unit of competency details

SIBBSKS504A - Design and perform cosmetic tattooing (Release 2)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to SHBBSKS003 - Design and provide cosmetic tattooingUnit updated to the Standards for Training Packages.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
Supersedes and is equivalent to WRBSS505B - Design and perform cosmetic tattooing/micropigmentation proceduresE Updated and equivalent to WRBSS505B 08/Dec/2010

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 penetrate the skin to apply pigments in order to achieve cosmetic tattoos on the face and body.

Application of the Unit

Cosmetic tattooing treatments may be remedial or cosmetic and are usually offered as a specialised treatment in the beauty industry. Treatments are designed in response to a client brief, and may also be a response to referral by a medical practitioner. Cosmetic tattoos are usually performed on lips, eyebrow areas, eyelids, face and breast areola.

They may be a single treatment or part of a semi-regular series of treatments designed and applied by a beauty therapist exercising judgement in designing the cosmetic tattoo and selecting appropriate pigments to achieve optimum client outcomes.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Relevant state and territory skin penetration legislation and regulations apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.


HLTIN402B Maintain infection control standards in office practice settings

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 Confirm treatment plan.

1.1 Access client treatment plan .

1.2 Identify and note any variations to treatment plan.

1.3 Provide client  with visual representation of expected outcomes .

1.4 Confirm treatment plan with client.

1.5 Obtain written consent from client.

1.6 Select treatment procedure  according to agreed treatment plan.

2 Prepare client for service.

2.1 Prepare self, service area, and client for service according to relevant legislation , workplace policies and procedures , and treatment plan.

2.2 Select and prepare equipment and materials  according to treatment plan, relevant legislation, and workplace policies and procedures.

3 Perform a patch test.

3.1 Select appropriate area to perform patch test. 

3.2 Perform patch test according to treatment plan, relevant legislation, and workplace policies and procedures.

3.3 Apply post-patch test products  as required according to treatment plan.

3.4 Dispose of waste  and treat equipment in accordance with relevant legislation, workplace policies and procedures and manufacturer instructions.

3.5 Rebook client to assess success of patch test.

3.6 Evaluate patch test result and rebook client for further service where indicated.

4 Perform a cosmetic tattooing service.

4.1 Map out the shape and colour of cosmetic tattoo according to treatment plan and confirm with client.

4.2 Photograph client prior to and immediately after the service.

4.3 Cleanse client’s skin and anaesthetise treatment area  as required according to agreed treatment plan.

4.4 Prepare sterile equipment within the client’s view according to relevant legislation.

4.5 Select, prepare and record needles and pigments according to manufacturer instructions, treatment plan and workplace policies and procedures.

4.6 Apply infection control  and skin penetration procedures  according to relevant legislation and workplace policies and procedures.

4.7 Perform cosmetic tattooing or micro pigmentation services according to relevant legislation and workplace policies and procedures.

4.8 Apply after-care products as required according to agreed treatment plan.

4.9 Dispose of treatment waste to minimise negative environmental impact, and sterilise or dispose of other equipment in accordance with relevant legislation, workplace policies and procedures and manufacturer instructions.

5 Review treatment and provide post-treatment advice.

5.1 Obtain client feedback  and record relevant outcomes of treatment .

5.2 Recommend future treatment program  according to client needs and revise treatment plan accordingly.

5.3 Provide home-care advice  according to client needs.

5.4 Explain possible adverse effects  to client.

5.5 Rebook client to assess service according to agreed treatment program.

5.6 Advise the source of referral  of treatment progress where applicable.

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 to:
  • respond to contraindications and adverse effects
  • interpret treatment plan and adapt treatment to accommodate changes in client's physical condition
  • select and apply pigments to achieve pre-determined outcomes
  • safely apply appropriate equipment, products and pigments to meet client requirements
  • communication skills to:
  • consult with clients
  • respond to questions and provide information and reassurance to clients throughout the service
  • numeracy skills to calculate the time and sequence required for proposed treatments.

Required knowledge 

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

  • relevant state or territory Acts and local regulations related to skin penetration
  • infection control procedures and the application of universal precautions
  • correct and environmentally sound disposal methods for cosmetic tattooing treatment waste, which also comply with skin penetration regulations
  • workplace policies and procedures in regard to cosmetic tattooing treatments
  • effects and benefits of a defined range of skin care products
  • factors likely to affect the suitability of each treatment to client needs
  • effects and benefits of cosmetic tattooing services
  • anatomy and physiology of the skin and skin structures as they relate to cosmetic tattooing services, including:
  • a simplified cross-section of skin
  • glands as they relate to basic skin function
  • skin chemicals, including sebum and sweat production:
  • normal and abnormal
  • collagen
  • elastin
  • lipids
  • microscopic anatomy of the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis
  • phases of growth, cell renewal, healing of skin and factors affecting epidermal mitosis
  • 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 treatments on the physical structure of the skin
  • wound healing in different skin types and locations
  • relevant electrical equipment, including:
  • properties and use of electrical energy, electrostatics and electrical current for cosmetic tattooing services
  • safe practices and management
  • basic nutrition and the relationship between nutrition and healthy skin, particularly foods which may have an effect on the skin, or which may be contraindicated in combination with particular skin conditions or products used in a treatment procedure
  • diet-related diseases which may affect a cosmetic tattooing service
  • chemical ingredients in relevant treatment products, particularly in regard to:
  • their likely effects on the skin
  • toxic effects of various substances
  • their contribution to premature ageing
  • possible adverse effects in combination with other products or circumstances
  • causes of skin reactions in regard to cosmetic tattooing services and the appearance and management of adverse effects, including:
  • inflammation arising from the cosmetic tattooing services
  • torn skin
  • bruising
  • physical appearance of:
  • various skin types
  • normal skin
  • abnormal skin conditions
  • minor skin blemishes
  • skin diseases
  • appearance of contraindications and adverse effects
  • typical medical treatments, drugs and side effects relevant to cosmetic tattooing.

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 the requirements of federal, state or territory Acts and local regulations relating to skin penetration and infection control
  • applying safe work practices in regard to cosmetic tattooing
  • interpreting a treatment plan, including adapting the treatment to accommodate changes in client's condition
  • recognising and managing contraindications and adverse effects
  • selecting appropriate pigment needles, angle, depth, and electrical current level and safely applying cosmetic tattooing techniques for a variety of treatment areas
  • using effective questioning and active listening techniques to consult, reassure and negotiate with clients throughout the treatment, while maintaining discretion and confidentiality
  • evaluating a cosmetic tattooing treatment and advising the client on home care and future treatments.

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 the technical expert working in partnership with the assessor as described in the Assessment Guidelines
  • that competency is demonstrated in a simulated workplace environment in a range of real work situations which may include client interruptions and involvement in other related activities normally expected in the workplace.

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • a fully equipped and compliant cosmetic tattooing environment, which includes as a minimum:
  • individual client workstations
  • cosmetic tattoo equipment
  • electricity supply at each workstation
  • multiple disposable needles suitable for a variety of body and facial areas
  • needle caps
  • colour pigment holders
  • ten colour pigments
  • topical anaesthetic cream
  • disposable towels
  • disposable mouthguards
  • personal protective equipments, including disposable gloves
  • a range of products and equipment from a professional range
  • appropriate cleaning and disinfection products and equipment
  • relevant workplace documentation including:
  • manufacturer's equipment instructions
  • product instructions
  • manufacturer safety data sheets
  • workplace policies and procedures manuals
  • a range of clients with different cosmetic tattooing requirements.

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:

  • 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:
  • selecting and mixing appropriate pigments
  • applying cosmetic tattoos
  • reviewing the outcomes of cosmetic tattoo procedures with clients
  • providing post-treatment advice
  • applying infection control procedures
  • written and oral questioning appropriate to the language and literacy level of the learner, to assess knowledge and understanding of designing and performing cosmetic tattooing procedures, including the safe application of electricity and infection control and skin penetration
  • completion of workplace documentation relevant to designing and performing cosmetic tattooing
  • third-party reports from technical experts
  • completion of self-paced learning materials, including personal reflection and feedback from a trainer or supervisor.

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

  • SIBBCCS404A Work in a skin therapies framework
  • SIBBCCS406A Use electricity in beauty therapy treatments
  • SIBBCCS407A Interpret the chemical composition and physical actions of cosmetic products.

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.

Treatment plan  must include:

  • treatment areas
  • contraindications
  • relevant medical conditions and medications
  • equipment
  • pigments
  • anaesthetic
  • outcomes of previous treatments.

Clients  may include:

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

Visual representation of expected outcomes  may include:

  • examples of previous work
  • make-up simulation
  • difference between cosmetic tattooing and semi-permanent make-up.

Treatment procedure  may include:

  • sequencing
  • pre- and post-treatment products.

Relevant legislation  may include:

  • state or territory Acts and local regulations relating to skin penetration
  • health regulations
  • occupational health and safety legislation.

Workplace policies and procedures  may include:

  • environmental protection practices, such as:
  • safe disposal of sharps and other treatment waste
  • waste minimisation
  • energy efficiency, e.g. electricity saving devices and practices
  • resource management
  • water efficiency
  • designated time frames for the completion of the service.

Equipment and materials  must include:

  • cosmetic tattoo machine and matching transmission shaft
  • colour pigment holders
  • disposable needles suitable for a variety of body areas
  • needle caps
  • a minimum of ten colour pigments
  • topical anaesthetic creams
  • mouthguards.

Materials  may include:

  • pigments
  • swabs.

Patch test  must include:

  • replication of treatment plan:
  • procedures
  • products
  • equipment.

Post -patch test products  may include:

  • ice packs
  • ointments
  • creams
  • serums
  • mild analgesics.

Waste  may include:

  • needles or probes
  • gloves
  • swabs.

Treatment area  may include:

  • lips
  • eyelids
  • brow
  • face
  • areola.

Infection control procedures  must include:

  • use of personal protective equipment
  • equipment sterilisation
  • equipment disinfection
  • use of disposable equipment.

Skin penetration procedures  must include:

  • disinfection of treatment area
  • prevention of blood to blood contact
  • disposal of sharps
  • disposal of infectious and non-infectious waste.

Client feedback  may include:

  • comments
  • suggestions
  • enquiries.

Relevant outcomes of treatment  may include:

  • client satisfaction with treatment
  • pain experienced
  • appearance of treatment area.

Future treatment program  may include:

  • number and frequency of treatments
  • complementary services or treatments.

Home -care advice  may include:

  • product recommendations
  • managing the healing process
  • follow-up treatments
  • ongoing assessment.

Adverse effects  may include:

  • inflammation arising from treatment
  • scarring
  • bruising
  • unsatisfactory appearance.

Source of referral  may include:

  • beauty therapist
  • make-up artist
  • physician, surgeon or dermatologist.

Unit Sector(s)


Competency Field

Skin Services