What is the Tattoo Hygiene Rating Scheme?

The Tattoo Hygiene Rating Scheme (THRS) is a voluntary scheme aimed at improving the standards of tattooists and semi-permanent makeup artists. It allows the public to choose a practitioner that meets high standards of hygiene.

The scheme is being taken up by local authorities around the UK, and was launched in Kent and Medway on 1st June 2015.

Research by Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Officers shows that 93% of customers considering having a tattoo would be influenced by a rating scheme. Tattooists surveyed as part of this research felt hygiene ratings would give recognition to well-run studios while driving out unregistered and unsafe practitioners who often operate from home, known in the trade as ‘Scratchers’.

Trade bodies such as the British Tattoo Artists Federation (BTAF) and the Tattoo and Piercing Industry Union (TPIU) have expressed support for introducing such a rating scheme.

Example of Tattoo Hygiene Rating Scheme sticker.What are the benefits?

The scheme aims to:

  • Inform the public about the hygiene standards in the premises at the time of the most recent inspection
  • Drive up standards and adoption of best practice across the industry
  • Reduce the risk of incidents of infection and of transmission of infectious disease from unhygienic tattooing and semi-permanent makeup procedures

How does it work?

Participation in the scheme is by application. All participating premises and local authorities will be bound by the rules of the scheme.

Premises are rated annually by us in a similar way to the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS).

The scoring system will be one to four, with one being rated the lowest, two being satisfactory (basic minimum standards) and scores three and four being rated 'Good’ and ‘Very Good’.

Businesses which sign up to the scheme have the chance to gain good publicity, with their ratings being promoted via social media and other means, helping to raise their profiles in a positive fashion.

Current ratings

View current THRS ratings.

Tattoo Hygiene Rating Scheme web banner.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the scheme, email the Environmental Health team.