Membership Requirements

The following criteria must be met or exceeded to gain 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.

To combine multiple images that apply for one category (example: autoclave photos, jewelry invoices, etc.) free online Combine tools are available.


Personal Criteria
The following must be submitted for each piercer applying for membership under the Business Member, Business Member at Large, or Associate Member - Piercer categories:
  • A completed application
    • Including a signed Health and Safety Agreement
    • Including a signed Logo Usage Agreement
  • A completed questionnaire (no group questionnaires will be accepted)
  • A current CPR certificate and First Aid certificate (expired certificates will not be accepted, but a combined course is acceptable)
  • A current Bloodborne Pathogens training certificate or equivalent training (to be renewed annually regardless of expiration date)
  • Proof of how long the applicant has been piercing professionally
    • A notarized statement (must come from a party other than the applicant), dated business document, or newspaper article are examples of appropriate proof.

Environmental Criteria
The following must be submitted for each studio location. Renewal/resubmission of studio environmental criteria is required at least every two years if a Member joins the staff or if significant changes are made in the studio. Applicable to the Business and Associate (Piercer and Non-Piercer) membership categories.
  • A NARRATED UNEDITED 360º walk-through video of applicant's entire studio (specific criteria listed below)
  • A $50 registration fee per application - will be charged at the end of the application process
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Copy of Certificate of Liability Insurance (if available)
  • Jewelry order invoice(s) from within the last 90 days - this must include a variety of jewelry styles appropriate for initial piercings
  • 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
Revised September 2011

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. 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 360º 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 **CAPITALS AND BOLD LETTERING**. Other items are strong suggestions that are not necessarily required for membership.

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 360º to thoroughly show the area including ceilings and floors.
**REQUIRED FOR MEMBERSHIP**
  • THE COUNTER SURFACE MUST BE GLASS, METAL, OR OTHER NON-POROUS SURFACE THAT CAN BE DISINFECTED SEVERAL TIMES A DAY.
  • Please show the front, top, and back of your front counter area in detail.
  • An EPA approved hard-surface disinfectant, gloves and disposable products such as plastic bags/cups to prevent cross-contamination should be kept at the front counter area.
  • Please show us where they are kept.
Suggestions:
  • Clearly visible signs in the restroom, front counter area, and piercing room should state that clients are not permitted to change or remove jewelry inside of the studio.
  • Signs in the restroom and at the employee hand-washing area should indicate proper hand-washing procedures.
  • A sign on the door of the sterilization room should state Employees Only.

STERILIZATION / INSTRUMENT PROCESSING ROOM(S) - Stand in the center of the sterilization room and SLOWLY pan around 360º thoroughly showing the door, counter tops, floor, ceiling, sink(s), autoclave(s), HEPA air filter, or other air purification system etc.
**REQUIRED FOR MEMBERSHIP**
  • A COMPLETELY SEPARATE, ENCLOSED STERILIZATION ROOM WITH WALLS AND DOOR(S) IS A REQUIREMENT (CURTAINS ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE) FOR REPROCESSING USED IMPLEMENTS, JEWELRY, AND SUPPLIES. 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.
Suggestions:
  • 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.  
  • Another option for processing new, non-contaminated jewelry prior to sterilization is a jewelry steamer.
  • 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.
  • A HEPA air filter or other air purification system etc., or separate ventilation for the sterilization room is strongly suggested.
  • 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


EMPLOYEE LOUNGE AREA - Stand in the center of the area and SLOWLY pan 360º thoroughly showing the floor, ceiling, and countertops), etc.
**REQUIRED FOR MEMBERSHIP**
  • 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 - Stand in the center of the bathroom and SLOWLY pan 360º thoroughly showing the floors, ceiling, door, sink, etc.
**REQUIRED FOR MEMBERSHIP**
  • NO STERILIZATION OR INSTRUMENT CLEANING EQUIPMENT INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO AUTOCLAVES AND ULTRASONIC UNITS MAY BE HOUSED IN THE PUBLIC OR EMPLOYEE RESTROOMS.
  • THE RESTROOM USED BY EMPLOYEES MUST HAVE LIQUID SOAP DISPENSER OR A HANDS-FREE DISPENSER AND AN EASY SINGLE HANDED PAPER TOWEL DISPENSER OR A HANDS-FREE DISPENSER.
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 360º thoroughly showing the area.
**REQUIRED FOR MEMBERSHIP**
  • REASONABLE ACCESS TO AN EMPLOYEE ONLY HAND-WASHING SINK IS MANDATORY. SINKS LOCATED IN THE RESTROOM ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE.
  • SINKS IN HAND-WASHING STATION MUST BE EQUIPPED WITH BOTH HOT AND COLD RUNNING WATER.
  • THE HAND-WASHING STATION MUST BE EQUIPPED WITH A LIQUID SOAP DISPENSER OR A HANDS-FREE DISPENSER AND AN EASY SINGLE HANDED PAPER TOWEL DISPENSER OR A HANDS-FREE DISPENSER.
Suggestions:
  • In room hand-washing sinks are preferable.
  • The sink used for hand-washing should be hands free (such as motion activated or foot controlled).
 
PIERCING ROOM - Stand in your piercing room and SLOWLY pan 360º thoroughly showing the floor, ceiling, countertops, inside & outside of ALL cabinets and drawers, HEPA air filter or other air purification system etc.
**REQUIRED FOR MEMBERSHIP**
  • THE PIERCING ROOM MUST BE A COMPLETELY ENCLOSED, SEPARATE ROOM WITH WALLS, CEILING 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.
  • NO OTHER SERVICES INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO: TATTOOING, HAIR STYLING, OR RETAIL SALES SHOULD TAKE PLACE 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, 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 SECURE IN ORDER TO PREVENT ACCIDENTAL SPILLAGE. IT SHOULD BE AT A COMFORTABLE HEIGHT FOR THE SHORTEST PERSON IN THE STUDIO. 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.
Suggestions:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • All biohazardous waste containers should be marked “Biohazard,” be lidded, and be foot operated or motion activated. Other lidded trash cans should be labeled “Do Not Touch.”
  • Trash cans should be placed in low or no traffic areas to avoid accidental exposure.
  • A HEPA air filter or other air purification system should be located in the piercing room.
  • All pictures, posters, decorations, and wall hangings should be framed and cleaned frequently.
  • As many products as possible should be sterile and single use.
  • Marking implements at a minimum must be single use.
  • All packaged equipment, sundry jars, and other materials and equipment used during a piercing should be handled only with clean, freshly gloved hands