Hypnotism licence

Why do I need consent for a performance of Hypnotism?

The Hypnotism Act 1952 states that no person shall give an exhibition, demonstration or performance of hypnotism on any living person at or in connection with an entertainment to which the public are admitted, whether on payment or otherwise, at any place unless the controlling authority have authorised that exhibition, demonstration or performance.

Hypnotism includes hypnotism, mesmerism and any similar act or process which produces or is intended to produce in any person any form of induced sleep or trance in which the susceptibility of the mind of that person to suggestion or direction is increased or intended to be increased.


Nothing in the Hypnotism Act 1952 shall prevent the exhibition, demonstration or performance of hypnotism (otherwise than at or in connection with an entertainment) for scientific or research purposes or for the treatment of mental or physical disease.

The need to gain authorisation does not apply to an exhibition, demonstration or performance of hypnotism that takes place in the course of a performance of a play (within the meaning of the Theatres Act 1968) given either at premises in respect of which a licence under that Act is in force or under the authority of any such letters patent as are mentioned in section 17(1) of that Act.

Must I meet a certain criteria before I can apply for consent?

Applicants must not have been previously been previously refused, or had withdrawn, a consent by any licensing authority or been convicted of an offence under the Hypnotism Act 1952 or of an offence involving the breach of a condition regulating or prohibiting the giving of a performance of hypnotism on any person at a place licensed for public entertainment.

Refusal of consent by another authority does not necessarily indicate that the particular hypnotist is unacceptable and will not of itself prejudice the application.

What legislation applies?

Hypnotism Act 1952

How will my application will be determined?

An application for consent to conduct an exhibition, demonstration or performance of hypnotism shall be made by the applicant or his/her agent.

Applications should be made not less than 28 days in advance of the performance concerned and must include details of the previous 3 performances conducted by the applicant.

Applications that cause concern will be referred to the Licensing Committee for a decision to be made.

How much will it cost?

Please see our licensing fees page.

How do I apply?

Click here to apply

How long will it take to process my application?

We will endeavour to process your application within 20 working days. If acknowledgement of receipt of your application has not been received within this time, please contact us.

Will tacit consent apply?

Yes. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from the local authority by the end of the target completion period.

If my application is refused how do I appeal?

There is no right of appeal contained within the Hypnotism Act 1952 (as amended), hence the only form of redress is Judicial Review.

What if I have a complaint or concern?

If you have a complaint or concern about a Hypnotism Consent, please contact us.

General advice

If you are in the UK, advice is available from adviceguide

If you are outside the UK, advice if available from the UK European Consumer Centre

Can I view a public register on line?

There is no public register available on line. Requests for information should be made in writing to the Licensing Team.