Membership Requirements

The following Personal & Environmental Criteria must be met or exceeded to gain and maintain APP membership.

Once accepted, materials should be updated voluntarily by the Member if significant changes are made in the environment, advertising, equipment, aftercare, jewelry, etc. Updates should be submitted within 60 days ANY time changes are made.

** Should any part of this application conflict with local or state regulations, please contact the APP Board of Directors to see if an exemption can be made.


Printable Checklist


Ismael Vargas

Personal Criteria

(Click to show and hide)

The following must be submitted for each PIERCER applying for membership as a 
Business MemberBusiness Member at Large, or Associate Member-Piercer:

Ready to submit

Completed questionnaire 

  • No group questionnaires will be accepted.

Current CPR certificate and First Aid certificate

  • Expired certificates will not be accepted.

  • Training certificates to be renewed upon expiration date.

  • If no expiration date is listed, two year validity will be granted.

  • Separate courses or a combined course are acceptable.

Current Bloodborne Pathogens training certificate or equivalent training 

  • Training certificate to be renewed annually regardless of expiration date.

Proof of how long the applicant has been piercing professionally

  • Examples of acceptable documents: 

    • notarized statement (must come from a party other than the applicant)

    • dated business document

    • dated advertisement/social media post

    • dated newspaper article, etc.

Acknowledgement of the current APP Member Code of Conduct and Logo Agreement

  • You will sign this digitally when submitting your application.

Kookie Knox


Application Tip

When submitting, you will be asked to upload a SINGLE FILE for each requirement checkbox below.

You will need to combine multiple images/pages into a single file in order to upload them all. We recommend using one of the following methods:


OPTION 1:
- Open a Word document.
- "Insert" or "Paste" all images for a particular requirement into the document.
- Select "File" > "Save As" > "PDF file".

OR

OPTION 2:
- Use a website-based combine tool such as combinepdf.com


Environmental Criteria

(Click to show and hide)

** Renewal/resubmission of the following information is required at least every 2 years if a Member joins the staff OR if significant changes are made in the studio.

The following must be submitted for each STUDIO LOCATION.

These requirements are applicable to the
Business and Associate (Piercer and Non-Piercer) membership categories.

Ready to submit

A NARRATED UNEDITED 360 walk-through video of applicant's entire studio (specific criteria listed below)

A $50 registration fee per application 

  • This will be charged at the end of the application.

Photographs of all studio autoclaves/sterilizers with make, model, and serial number

  • MUST be medical grade, preferably with a dry cycle, and meet all FDA standards. Top loading autoclaves and pressure cookers are NOT acceptable.

Copy of two most recent biological spore test results for each autoclave/sterilizers

  • Biological spore testing must be done by a third party and must be updated at least monthly.

  • International applicants: If third party spore testing is not available, helix testing and daily logs are suitable.

Copies of all piercing release forms in use at the studio (piercing, jewelry insertion, minor, etc.)

Copies of all piercing aftercare information distributed at the studio (oral/body piercing, jewelry insertion, etc.)

Current copy of the studio business or establishment license

Piercing business card(s)

One or more recent samples of applicant's advertising (online, social media, print, etc)

Copy of Certificate of Liability Insurance (if available)

Jewelry order invoice(s) from within the last 90 days 

  • Must include a variety of jewelry styles and sizes appropriate for initial piercings.

  • All piercers working at an APP Member studio, members or non-members, will only use appropriate jewelry for initial piercings, as listed in the current APP Jewelry Standard.

A copy of a Materials (Mill) Certificate from the jewelry company or companies your studio primarily orders from MAY be requested if needed (DO NOT send unless requested)


Walk-through Video Criteria 

Upload the video to YouTube. Set to unlisted and Creative Commons license; go to info and settings >  choose advanced settings > Creative Commons license. Save the YouTube link for submission during the application process.


The purpose of submitting a walk through 360 video with your membership application is to help us determine the level of health and safety awareness in your studio. We look for the criteria mentioned on this list, and also note anything that may be a potential hazard to clients or staff.


Items that are required for membership have been labeled in **BOLD LETTERING**. Other items **in italics** are strong suggestions that are not necessarily required for membership. 


Please note: Any videos missing the items listed in bold (if applicable) will most likely need to be re-shot.


WALK THROUGH VIDEO CRITERIA

VIDEO MUST BE CONTINUOUS, UNCUT, AND NARRATED - Videos that have been edited or are without narration will not be accepted.

VIDEOS MUST BE SHOT HORIZONTALLY - Applicants that submit vertically shot videos will be asked to resubmit. 

SLOWLY pan around 360 to thoroughly show the area including ceilings and floors

Show all rooms and areas of the studio 

Go through every drawer and closet in the shop - Tattoo stations may be omitted

OUTSIDE AREA 

Your video should include the outside of your building, front and back, including all signage.


FRONT LOBBY/COUNTER/DISPLAY AREA 

Stand in the center of your lobby and SLOWLY pan around 360 to thoroughly show the area including ceilings and floors. Please show the front, top, and back of your front counter area in detail.

The counter surface must be glass, metal or other non-porous surface that can be disinfected several times a day.

These items should be kept at the front counter area. Please show us where they are kept. 

  • EPA-approved hard surface disinfectant 

  • Gloves

  • Disposable products such as plastic bags/cups to prevent cross-contamination

Suggestions: Clearly visible signs at the front counter area should state that clients are not permitted to change or remove jewelry inside of the studio.

    

STERILIZATION / INSTRUMENT PROCESSING ROOM(S)

(If applicable)

Stand in the center of the sterilization room and SLOWLY pan around 360 thoroughly showing the door, counter tops, floor, ceiling, sink(s), autoclave(s), HEPA air filter, or other air purification system etc.

A completely separate, enclosed sterilization room with walls and door(s) is a requirement for reprocessing used implements. 

  • Curtains are NOT acceptable.

  • No other services including but not limited to: Tattooing, Piercing, or Retail Sales shall occur within this room.

All flooring in the sterilization room must be non-porous and easily disinfected.

There must be a clear separation between the clean area and the dirty area. Biohazard area should be labeled as such.

There must be at least one ultrasonic or instrument washer available for processing dirty tools or equipment.

The ultrasonic unit and the sink used for rinsing contaminated tools should be positioned as far away from the sterilizer as possible in order to reduce the risk of contaminating freshly autoclaved items. 

  • If space is a problem, one solution would be to install a Plexiglas, stainless steel, or other non-porous barrier to divide clean and dirty areas.

Hand washing should never take place at the contaminated sink (a posted sign should state so).

A sign on the door that reads Employees Only

Suggestion: Use a separate heated ultrasonic designated ONLY for processing new, non-contaminated jewelry, prior to sterilization this should be set up in a clean area. 

Suggestion: Another option for processing new, non-contaminated jewelry prior to sterilization is a jewelry steamer.

Suggestion: A HEPA air filter or other air purification system etc., or separate ventilation for the sterilization room is strongly suggested.

Suggestion: Autoclave should have a closed door, dry cycle intended to sterilize lumens (hollow items).

 

EMPLOYEE LOUNGE AREA

(if applicable)

Stand in the center of the area and SLOWLY pan 360 thoroughly showing the floor, ceiling, and countertops), etc.

No sterilization or instrument cleaning equipment including but not limited to autoclaves and ultrasonic units may be housed in the employee lounge area.

 

PUBLIC/EMPLOYEE RESTROOM

(if applicable)

Stand in the center of the bathroom and SLOWLY pan 360 thoroughly showing the floor, ceiling, and countertops, etc.

No sterilization or instrument cleaning equipment including but not limited to autoclaves and ultrasonic units may be housed in the public or employee restrooms.

No other services including but not limited to: Tattooing, Piercing, or Retail Sales shall occur within this room

The restroom used by employees must have a liquid soap dispenser or a hands-free dispenser and an easy single handed paper towel dispenser or a hands-free dispenser.

There must be no piercing related items in bathroom storage.

Suggestion: Signage in the restroom should indicate jewelry removal/changing is not permitted outside of the piercing room.

EMPLOYEE HAND-WASHING AREA

Stand in the employee hand washing area and SLOWLY pan 360 thoroughly showing the area.

Reasonable access to an employee only hand-washing sink is mandatory. 

  • Sinks located in the Restroom or Instrument Processing Room are NOT acceptable.

The hand-washing station(s) must be equipped with:

  • both hot and cold running water.

  • a liquid soap dispenser or hands-free dispenser.

  • a covered, single-handed paper towel dispenser or a covered hands-free dispenser.

Suggestion: The faucet should be hands-free (infrared or foot pedal).

Suggestion: The soap dispenser should be hands-free (infrared).

Suggestion: In room hand-washing sinks are preferable.


PIERCING ROOM

Stand in your piercing room and SLOWLY pan 360 thoroughly showing the floor, ceiling, countertops, inside & outside of ALL cabinets and drawers, HEPA air filter or other air purification system etc.

The piercing room must be a completely enclosed, separate room with walls, ceilings, and door(s).

  • Curtains are NOT acceptable.

  • Walls do not have to be floor to ceiling but should be a minimum of 8ft tall. This height may vary due to local ordinances etc.

  • Windows should have coverings available for privacy that are non-porous, easily disinfected.

No other services including but not limited to: Tattooing, Hair Styling, or Retail Sales shall occur within this room.

All flooring in the piercing room must be non-porous and easily disinfected.

All surfaces in the piercing room must be non-porous and easily cleaned. This includes but is not limited to piercing table, mats, shelving, counters, window coverings, etc.

Sterilized piercing implements should be kept in enclosed and non-porous containers, drawers, or cabinets and stored separately from non-sterile items.

The sharps container should be securely wall-mounted in order to prevent accidental spillage. 

  • It should be at a comfortable height for the shortest person in the studio. 

Used piercing implements should be kept in a lidded, non-porous tray or container that is marked Biohazard.. 

  • This tray should be used to transport used instruments to the reprocessing area.

  • This tray should be stored in a way to limit cross contamination and prevent accidental spillage.

Clearly visible delineation between clean areas and dirty areas.

  • The sharps container and contaminated-tools tray should not be close to sterilized piercing implements and supplies.

  • One solution would be to install a labeled area above the trash can for contaminated materials, thereby establishing a single contaminated area in the room.

All trash cans should be lidded, and be foot operated or motion activated.

Suggestion: All pictures, posters, decorations, and wall hangings should be framed, non-porous, and cleaned frequently.

Suggestion: Marking implements at a minimum must be single use.

Suggestion: Trash cans should be placed in low or no traffic areas to avoid accidental exposure.

Suggestion: A HEPA air filter or other air purification system should be located in the piercing room.

Suggestion: As many products as possible should be sterile or single use. 

Suggestion: Trash cans should be labeled Do Not Touch and biohazardous waste containers should be marked Biohazard.

Suggestion: All packaged equipment, sundry jars, and other materials and equipment used during a piercing should be handled only with clean, freshly gloved hands.


John Robberson high fiving W. Barron at Camp APP