Surgeons performing cosmetic surgery are trained as plastic surgeons. Only surgeons whose training is recognised by inclusion on the General Medical Council’s (GMC) Specialist Register of plastic surgery may call themselves plastic surgeons. All surgeons practising plastic surgery should be listed on the register. The register includes general information such as name, GMC Reference Number, dates of registration (provisional, full, specialist), gender, current registration status, primary medical qualifications and specialist qualifications, but it does not advise or recommend any particular surgeon or give comments or views about how suitable someone is to carry out a particular procedure or treatment.
In Ireland, the Medical Council’s Specialist Register lists plastic surgeons qualified in both plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery procedures.
The Healthcare Commission regulates the registration of private clinics and hospitals, inspecting all cosmetic surgery providers and preparing a report after assessment.
The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) is the professional representative body for plastic surgeons and reconstructive surgeons in the United Kingdom and is based at the The Royal College of Surgeons.
The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) supports member plastic surgeons and helps raise standards of aesthetic surgery.
Other professional membership bodies include The Plastic Surgical Trainees’ Association which is part of BAAPS, The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and The European Association of Plastic Surgeons.