APP, UKAPP. Piercer organisations, what are they and what do they do?

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aftercare piercing. piercing artist sanitizing piercing table

You might have heard me mention ‘the APP’ here and there. Now let me explain why studios worldwide, including Hofman Piercing & Fine Jewelry,  proudly display membership to these piercer organisations.  

In this article, I will do my best to explain why being part of the APP positively impacts your customer experience when you decide to get a piercing. 

To give you a little background, let’s start with some piercer organisations history. 

YAAY, history (don’t worry, I’ll keep it short)!

Why did Piercer organsations appear in the first place?

In 1994 a group of piercers in the USA formed an association called ‘the Association of Professional Piercers” or APP for short. By that time, piercing had become mainstream, and more and more people were getting pierced. 

With that also came an increased awareness of the risks associated with piercing.

The APP was created to promote safe body piercing, and it had a unique way of doing that.

Information is key, and the cornerstone of the APP is the dissemination of information regarding safe piercing. Basically, to make information about safety readily available so piercers could learn from each other. 

The APP conference is an excellent example of how this is done. At the conference, speakers give seminars on a variety of topics all related to piercing. This gives piercers a chance to learn new techniques, new knowledge, new insights.

Why are piercer organisations impactful to piercers?

Piercing is about keeping your knowledge up to date. Forever learning is any professional piercer’s philosophy.

Safety also means using jewelry that is safe to wear in the human body, being aware of the risks that inevitably come with piercing human beings and having a studio designed to minimize these risks should be part of any piercer’s job description. 

Now, what is essential to know is that piercer organisations like the APP don’t accept just anyone who pays for membership. To join a studio, you need to meet or exceed the membership requirements.

What are the requirements to join a Piercing organisation?

These requirements are on top of any national health care requirements (in the Netherlands the GGD) and are checked when applying.

What jewelry do you use, how is the studio built, what autoclaves you use, and do you test them daily and each cycle?

All this and much more is very important to ensure customer’s safety. Piercers must have a valid first-aid certificate and bbp (blood-borne pathogens) training. 

sterilized piercing table at HOFMAN

How does this affect you, the customer?

This way, you know that you will receive extra care when you go to a studio with staff who are members of piercer organisations. Plus, you can be sure that the jewelry used for your fresh piercing is made of safe materials. That’s good to know, right?

I can tell you from my experience that being accepted as an APP Member counts as a huge milestone. It was one of the proudest moments of my career as a piercer. 

The work that goes into getting a studio up to APP standards is huge. It requires effort, determination, and of course, investment. The fact that some of the finest piercers I know (and greatly look up to) reviewed my studio and acknowledged my effort to ensure customer safety is beyond words for me.

The APP was the first piercer organisation, and today it’s still the largest by far with members all around the world.

The current state of Piercing Organisations

Inspired by the success of the APP, professional piercers built local organisations for similar reasons. Local organisations often better understand local customs, laws, and the local piercer community In the end they all work for the same goal, promoting safe piercing. 

Although these are all separate organisations, they usually work in the same way, and friendships have been going on for years. 

Many piercers choose to be members of both the APP and their local piercing association. Being part of a global group of professionals and connected to their local scene offers a double possibility to grow!  

Now you know why we are so proud to display membership and what that means to you, the customer. 

Want to get pierced where you know claims about hygiene are not just words? Find a local APP  member, and you’ll know for sure!

For all of you lovely people all over the planet, looking for a piercer near you? Here is a list of associations around the globe. Is your association missing? I’m sorry, let me know, and I will update. 

USA – the APP,

Germany – the VPP,

UK – the UKAPP,

Russia – RuAPP, 

Australia – AUPP,

Hofman Piercing and Fine Jewelry.Stuart professional piercer in the Netherlands


Founder, Piercer

Founder and full-time piercer Stuart is the main face of the studio. Serious, a dose of humor (well, if we can call dad-jokes funny) and a lot of coffee, that’s how we can describe Stuart best.

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