AEA Standards of Practice for Electrologists

High standards of competence and professionalism


The American Electrology Association (AEA) is dedicated to promoting high standards of competency, integrity, and professionalism. As an international organization specific to the profession of electrolysis, the AEA recognizes a responsibility to identify mechanisms for the measurement of competent professional practice and to provide a means to establish accountability for practitioner performance to the public.

The American Electrology Association affirms electrolysis, the practice of permanent hair removal, is an allied health profession and the specialists who practice this profession are independent practitioners. Because independent practitioners practice in varied settings, it is our intention that the Standards of Practice for Electrologists will be applicable within a variety of practice environments.

The Standards contained in this document have been developed to be broad in scope, attainable, definitive, and relevant to the practice of electrolysis. The Standards of Practice for Electrologists contain uniform concepts necessary for quality practice while allowing appropriate flexibility for individual practitioners.

The practice of electrolysis includes: (1) health-history assessment, (2) discussion with the client regarding goals and expectations, (3) client education, (4) development, implementation, and ongoing evaluation of treatment plan, and (5) referral to other allied-health professionals or appropriate health care providers when indicated.

The Standards should also be used by Electrolysis instructors to develop comprehensive curricula that reflect good business practices and ethical principles. In addition, the Standards should be viewed as a foundation for planning continuing education offerings and for developing job descriptions, performance appraisals, and office policies and procedures.

State boards regulating the practice of electrology are encouraged to promulgate regulations that are consistent with these Standards. By establishing uniform expectations for entry-level competencies, the Standards serve as a resource in the legislative process for unlicensed states. The Standards are disseminated to AEA members, state-licensing boards/departments, and professional associations.

Professional Standards must reflect the current state of professional practice. AEA will review and revise the Standards of Practice for Electrologists as necessary to incorporate changes in knowledge and technology.

The Standards of Practice for Electrologists will serve as a guideline for practitioners to provide competent and responsible care.


Purpose: To describe basic knowledge and behavioral competencies necessary to perform the role of an entry-level professional electrologist.

STANDARD I. The electrologist demonstrates professional skills, knowledge, and abilities consistent with current recognized and accepted professional standards of practice.

Measurement Criteria

l. Electrologists attend and graduate from an electrology training facility and meet all legal requirements set forth by the state where they practice.

2. Current accepted and recommended methods of electrolysis practic/treatment are used.

3. Electrologists use only needle/probe electrode-type epilation including electrolysis (direct current/DC), thermolysis (alternating current/AC), or blend (a combination of DC and AC current).

4. Electrologists demonstrate knowledge and skill in the understanding, use, and maintenance of electrolysis instrumentation.

5. Infection Prevention Standards for the Practice of Electrolysis, as developed and recommended by the American Electrology Association, are used to protect the client and the practitioner.

6. Electrologists undergo annual vision screening and use appropriate corrective lenses to assure optimal vision which is essential for optimal treatment.

STANDARD II. The electrologist assesses the health status of clients.

Measurement Criteria

1. During pre-treatment consultation, pertinent health data is compiled.

2. Relevant and accurate health history records are updated on an ongoing basis.

3. Contraindications to treatment are assessed on initial consultation and on an ongoing basis.

4. Physical conditions which may influence or affect the electrolysis treatment are identified and discussed with the client.

STANDARD III. The expectations and perspectives of the client are considered in planning the treatment goals.

Measurement Criteria

1. The rights of clients are recognized and respected.

2. The preferences of the client are considered.

3. Misconceptions and anxieties are identified, discussed, and explained.

4. Client self-esteem is reinforced.

STANDARD IV. The electrologist provides the client with information relevant to the electrolysis treatment process.

Measurement Criteria

1. Discussion includes hair growth cycles, causes of hair growth, and adverse effects of temporary hair removal methods.

2. Infection-prevention procedures and precautions are explained, consistent with AEA Infection Prevention Standards for the Practice of Electrolysis.

3. Post-treatment skin responses and appropriate care are explained.

4. Office policies or procedures that affect the client are discussed.

STANDARD V. A treatment plan is developed based on comprehensive client assessment designed to be consistent with client goals and desired outcomes.

Measurement Criteria

1. A client-centered approach is used.

2. Identified priorities serve as the focus of the treatment plan.

3. A thorough explanation of hair-growth cycles is provided.

4. Medical/hormone conditions relating to excess hair growth are discussed so that client understands that new hair growth may appear in dormant follicles once permanent hair removal is achieved on existing hair.

STANDARD VI. The electrologist monitors the client response to treatment and revises the treatment plan as needed.

Measurement Criteria

1. Details recorded following each treatment and evaluated on an ongoing basis.

2. Consultation between colleagues and/or appropriate health-care providers is initiated when additional skills or knowledge are needed.

3. When indicated, referrals are made to appropriate health-care providers.

4. Professional services are terminated when treatment is contraindicated, treatment no longer meets the client’s needs; the goals or expectations of the client are not realistic or attainable; or, treatment goals have been achieved.


Purpose: To offer clients the opportunity to make an autonomous informed decision regarding The electrologist provides the client with information relevant to the electrolysis treatment.

STANDARD I. Electrologists provide accurate, current, and relevant information which enables the client to make decisions regarding treatment.

Measurement Criteria

1. The treatment process is described.

2. Risks, side effects, and discomforts of the procedure are discussed.

STANDARD II. A written, informed consent document is provided for the client to review prior to the onset of treatment.

Measurement Criteria

1. Answers are provided to the client’s questions.

2. The consent form is signed by the client or by a parent/guardian if the client is a minor.

3. The client has the right to withdraw consent prior to treatment or to terminate electrology services at will.


Purpose: To identify the basic tenets of professional, ethical, and moral conduct.

STANDARD I. Electrologists respect the human dignity of each client.

1. The privacy of each client is respected and protected.

2. Patient records and other personal information are considered privileged and confidential unless disclosure is mandated by federal or state statute, by court process, or consent by the client.

STANDARD II. Electrologists comply with applicable federal, state, or local laws and regulations which affect the practice of electrolysis.

Measurement Criteria

1. Electrologists perform only those professional services for which they are trained or licensed.

2. A safe practice environment is maintained which complies with applicable federal, state, or local laws and regulations.

3. Electrologists support changes to laws and regulations which are inadequate or do not contribute to the health and welfare of the client.

STANDARD III. The electrologist’s conduct reflects positively on the profession and its practitioners.

Measurement Criteria

1. Electrologists strive through their actions to enhance the reputation and integrity of the profession and its practitioners.

2. Electrologists willingly contribute to the professional development of colleagues when called upon for feedback, opinions, and/or resources.

3. Prior to treating clients, electrologists refrain from imbibing alcohol and/or using other substances that could potentially hinder their performance. Drinking on the job and using illegal/recreational drugs are strictly forbidden.

4. Electrologists are mindful of the fact that, even when off-duty, their behavior may affect consumers’ perceptions of them as electrologists and on the profession at large.

5. As allied-health professionals, electrologists wear appropriate attire (i.e., lab jacket, scrubs).

6. An electrologist does not disparage colleagues or their work to clients even if a client reports dissatisfaction with a colleague.

STANDARD IV. Electrologists participate in activities that promote professional growth and development.

Measurement Criteria

1. Participation in appropriate continuing education activities is used to maintain and enhance knowledge and skills.

2. Networking opportunities are sought to provide a forum for discussion of common issues with other electrologists or appropriate health-care providers.

3. Membership in professional organizations is encouraged.

4. Board certification is encouraged to demonstrate professional competency in electrolysis.

STANDARD V. Electrologists maintain a professional relationship with their clients and avoid conversation and behavior that could be perceived as sexual in nature.

Measurement Criteria

1. Electrologists do not engage in sexual contact with a client during the course of electrolysis treatment.

2. Electrologists do not engage in any discussion of an intimate sexual nature with a client during the course of treatment unless that discussion is directly related to proper electrolysis purpose.

3. Electrologists will provide privacy and examination conditions which minimize the exposure of the unclothed body of the client. Appropriate draping measures shall be employed to protect the client’s privacy.


Purpose: To determine professional responsibilities and obligations that contribute to sound practice management.

STANDARD I. Electrologists make contemporaneous, permanent entries into client records which shall accurately reflect the electrolysis services rendered.

Measurement Criteria

1. Complete and accurate business and financial records are maintained in compliance with federal, state, and local tax laws. Client records are to be maintained for a period of 7 years from the date of entry or as specified under state law.

STANDARD II. Electrologists secure and maintain appropriate professional liability insurance coverage and — in states where electrolysis is governed by the medical board — malpractice insurance.

STANDARD III. Electrologists maintain the reliability and efficacy of equipment, instruments, products and supplies.

Measurement Criteria

1. Shelf life and integrity are considered in the maintenance and use of instruments and products.

2.Products and equipment are used as directed by the manufacturer and only for the intended purpose.

3. Sharps, hazardous chemicals, and other potentially dangerous materials or waste are disposed of in accordance with applicable federal, state, or local laws and regulations. AEA Infection Prevention Standards are followed in the absence of governmental laws and regulations.

4. Records are maintained which verify efficacy of sterilization techniques and equipment.

STANDARD IV. Electrologists discuss all potential fees or other charges with the client prior to the onset of professional services.


Purpose: To ensure that electrologists demonstrate knowledge and skill in the understanding, use, and maintenance of electrolysis-related electrical equipment and instrumentation

STANDARD I. Electrologists use and maintain electrical equipment and instrumentation in a manner conducive to client safety.

Measurement Criteria

1 . Electrical equipment and instrumentation are used in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions, specifications, and requirements.

2. Epilators are used for the purpose the manufacturer intended and for which the electrologist is trained or licensed.

3. Equipment malfunctions are identified and serviced promptly.

4. Service is on a preventive and as-needed basis.

5. Equipment is serviced by the manufacturer or other qualified personnel.


Purpose: To describe basic concepts which may be used to measure advertising/solicitation conduct, and to provide a mechanism for consumer confidence.

STANDARD I. Electrologists use advertising/solicitation methods consistent with ethical and professional values and which enable the public to make informed choices.

Measurement Criteria

1. Electrologists are truthful regarding current professional qualifications, affiliations, and honors received in verbal and written advertising.

2. Advertising/solicitation accurately describes electrolysis services.

3. Potential clients are not deceptively or falsely solicited.

4. An electrologist does not disparage colleagues or their work.

5. Advertising/solicitation conforms to applicable federal, state, and local laws.

6. Statements, suggestions, or pictures which are misleading to the public are not included in advertising.

7. Testimonials which do not represent the current opinion of the endorser are not used.

8. Claims regarding performance, safety, efficacy, or results are based on recent scientific or other unbiased data.

9. Rates for services are clearly posted on-site.


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