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Lasers and IPLs are ‘key’ controlled to prevent unauthorised use

Medical and aesthetic lasers, and other optical therapy devices such as intense pulsed light sources (IPLs), have the potential to cause serious injury. This is why they can only be operated with a key or keycode, which prevents unauthorised use.

By ensuring that only Authorised Users operate lasers and other optical therapy devices which require key control, the risk of injury or harm to patients/clients, colleagues, or the public is greatly reduced. A register of Authorised Users should be kept, and only the Authorised Users for a particular therapeutic optical device will be permitted to operate it.

Who are Laser/IPL Authorised Users?

‘Authorised Users’ are trained healthcare and aesthetic professionals who have been trained, and in some cases certified (depending on the local legal requirements), to operate these devices safely and effectively.

Laser/IPL Authorised User Training

Training will include clinical or aesthetic training appropriate for the scope of practice, device specific training from the manufacturer, and appropriate safety training.

The safety training will include the hazard controls required and outlined in the relevant legislation and best practice guidelines, and will follow an approved syllabus, such as the Core of Knowledge syllabus.

Core of Knowledge Syllabus

The Core of Knowledge syllabus is the syllabus recommended by the British Medical Laser Association. It represents a body of knowledge that underpins the safe use of lasers in clinical and aesthetic practice, and is intended to be undertaken by persons using laser (Class 3B and 4) and non‐laser (IPL and LED) light sources in a range of applications, including medical, surgical, dental and aesthetic practices.


So in summary an Authorised User should have:

  • Clinical or aesthetic training within their scope of practice.
  • Manufacturer approved training.
  • ‘Core of Knowledge’ safety training.

This training should be routinely updated as part of continuous professional development.

We run monthly live and online BMLA approved Core of Knowledge laser/IPL courses, and these courses are also available in a self-paced format. Our courses are tailored to speciality including Laser Therapy lasers used in physiotherapy, chiropractic, veterinarian, and podiatry clinics.