What Is The APP?

What is the Association of Professional Piercers?The Association of Professional Piercers (APP) is an international health and safety organization. It is a nonprofit voluntary alliance dedicated to the dissemination of information about body piercing. Governed by a voluntary elected Board of Directors, the APP is a united group of piercing professionals that freely shares information to help fellow members, piercers, health care professionals, legislators, health inspectors, and the general public get the best and most up-to-date information about body piercing.

The APP…

  • Provides a professional association for piercers
  • Encourages piercers to meet and/or exceed the APP Member Requirements and provides an avenue to show the public that this standard is being met.
  • Provides piercers, legislators, and the public with support and assistance in drafting appropriate legislation in the industry.
  • Provides piercing technique, business, and health education classes at our Annual Conference & Exposition for piercers, health inspectors, and others related to the industry.
  • Provides educational and informational materials, including consumer-oriented brochures available in the APP Store, and resources for piercers, like our Health and Safety Procedure Manual, Online Courses, Suggested Apprenticeship Guidelines & Curriculum, and other Publications.
  • Publishes The Point: Journal of Body Piercing, a quarterly professional journal dedicated to piercing related news and information for individuals in the industry.
  • Attends and is involved in health related conferences.
  • Provides information and professional opinions to the media, when requested and in response to erroneous information and articles about body piercing.
  • Presents lectures to students, health care professionals, and other related groups.
  • Has Membership Types for professional piercers and non-piercers who support safe piercing.
  • Staffs an email/phone response system for individuals with questions regarding piercing.
  • Maintains a comprehensive website with information for piercers, piercees, educators, legislators, health care professionals, and anyone else with questions about body piercing.

The APP does NOT…

  • Police the piercing industry or piercers. The APP will respond to and resolve complaints against its members, in addition to those falsely claiming membership.
  • License or certify piercers. Members do receive a certificate of membership which must be renewed every year. Attendees of APP classes receive a seminar certificate.
  • Allow piercings performed at its annual conference, nor does it teach people how to pierce. The APP provides supplemental education to piercers and has a number of Corporate Sponsors who provide basic piercing education.
  • Dictate the piercing technique(s) its Members use, what aftercare they suggest, or what specific piercings they may choose to perform.
  • Have a position on tattooing, branding, scarification, dermal punching, scalpelling, implants, or other types of body art. Members are not precluded from also practicing these types of body modification where they are allowed by law.

The APP logo is the trademark of the Association of Professional Piercers. APP Brochures are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works License.

Use of any APP Brochure does not imply membership in the APP. For a list of currently active Members, check the APP Member Directory. Possible Impostors or false claims of membership should be reported to the Membership Committee for further investigation and action.

Mission Statement:
Established in 1994, the Association of Professional Piercers is a California-based, international non-profit organization dedicated to the dissemination of vital health and safety information about body piercing to piercers, health care professionals, legislators, and the general public.


  • In 1994, representatives from several piercing studios organized as a political action group to address concerns with legislation (proposition AB101) in California.
  • The organization quickly grew to accommodate members and provide valuable representation for the piercing profession.
  • The APP is now a California non-profit dedicated to providing accurate and relevant education about body piercing, with members all over the world.