Skip to main content

Tikanga tiaki mahi whakaniko maikuku

Manicure and pedicure code of practice

​Your business site

  • Keep your business site clean and hygienic.
  • Use single-use and disposable instruments or instruments you can easily sterilise.
  • Keep surfaces clean and sanitary
  • Wear gloves and protective equipment.
  • Comply with minimum standards if you have a shop or a mobile operation.
  • Get a Health Protection Licence to operate.

Work with your customer

Have a conversation with the customer before you start any treatment. Let your customer know what the process will be and be aware of any potential risk to their health.

Give appropriate aftercare instructions to the customer, and check that they understand these instructions.

Provide a safe service

Sterilise instruments

  • All instruments must be sterilised.
  • When you clean and sterilise instruments, keep them so they remain sterile.


You must have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide manicure and pedicure services. This can be achieved through:

  • National Certificate (or international equivalent) in Beautician or Nail Technology; or
  • Commercial industry experience of five consecutive years or more, and evidence of professional development in the commercial service; or
  • Evidence of training with a nail services training provider.

Broken skin: do not treat

  • Do not carry out a manicure or pedicure on any customer if there are any exposed cuts or abrasions on the customer’s hands and feet.
  • Do not expose any skin that is broken during a manicure or pedicure to any further service.

Skin preparation

  • Evaluate the skin site before each service and discuss any skin condition that may lead to skin irritation.
  • Before you start a manicure or pedicure, clean the customer’s skin with an antiseptic using a clean, single-use swab and maintain product-specific recommended contact time.

Use of instruments and chemicals

  • Be aware of the heat created when using an electric nail file on a natural nail plate, as opposed to acrylic or shellac nails.
  • Disinfect pedicure chair basins and pipes in between customers.
  • Store chemicals and products in containers with air tight lids.

Disposal of waste

Dispose of waste with absorbed products in a sealed container (for example, tissues and paper towels).


In addition to all parts of the premises being adequately ventilated to the requirements of the New Zealand Building Code,you must ensure there is adequate ventilation for the products used.

Best practice: some additional recommendations

First aid

You should hold a current St John’s or Red Cross First Aid Workplace Certificate or an approved equivalent.


  • Install a ventilation system near worktables when performing shellac, gel or acrylic nails, in addition to a ventilation system for the business site, if applicable.
  • Natural ventilation may be used with open doors and windows. If there is insufficient natural ventilation, place artificial ventilation low down to be effective.

Operators/nail technicians

  • Cover your hands with clean well-fitting single-use disposable surgical gloves:
    • before carrying out a pedicure on any customer and before starting with the next customer;
    • before touching any object including surfaces and instruments which may have become contaminated with blood or serum of any customer, or touching any object which has not been subject to a process of cleansing and sterilisation.
  • Take practical steps to prevent cuts and abrasions from filing and buffing.
  • Wear dust masks when using an electric nail file or hand file as you should not inhale the dust from filing. However, dust masks will not prevent vapour inhalation.
  • If recommended by the manufacturer, you should apply an oil or solution to the artificial nail before filing, which will make the dust heavier, improving the atmosphere and aiding salon cleanliness.    

 Related topics



Open a health and beauty business a health and beauty businessFind out how to open a health and beauty businessGuideaspxBeauty and hair removal services
Health and Hygiene Bylaw 2013 and Hygiene Bylaw 2013This bylaw protects the health of people using commercial services that involve skin contact such as tattooing, health and beauty treatments, therapeutic massage and colon hydrotherapy.aspxBylaw
Complain about a health and beauty business about a health and beauty businessComplaints and concerns about a health and beauty business.aspxHealth, beauty, leisure and hygiene
Mobile or temporary business sites: Code of practice summary or temporary business sites: Code of practice summaryFind out what health and beauty businesses that are run from mobile or temporary sites must do to comply with the operator conduct code of practice.aspxCodes of conduct
Operator conduct code of practice conduct code of practiceFind out the minimal standards of operator code of conduct that health and beauty businesses operators must comply with.aspxCodes of conduct
Permanent business sites: Code of practice summary business sites: Code of practice summaryHealth and beauty businesses that are run from permanent sites must comply with the operator conduct code of practice.aspxCodes of conduct