I want to train in aromatherapy - how will I know if my course is recognised?



In order to be recognised, your school will usually be accredited by one of the professional associations. If not, then it needs to follow the National Occupational Standards as a baseline standard, but for full recognition by an association in order to practise and in order to register with the CNHC, it also needs to follow the Aromatherapy Council's Core Curriculum.


The reason why this is so important is that the NOS only outlines the basic requirements for training. It does not give the number of hours of face to face study or case studies  required in order to be recognised by the profession. As you will see from comparing the two documents, the Core Curriculum is essential for maintaining the training standards needed to prove competency to practise.


The Core Curriculum therefore protects the aromatherapy profession and ensures that quality is upheld in training. In turn this helps with the integrity of the profession as a whole.


Tips for choosing an aromatherapy training course:


  • Where possible, go and meet the tutor and find out about their experience in aromatherapy and in teaching. You have to commit to working with this person for at least a year so it is important that you feel comfortable with them. Make sure they have a recognised teaching qualification.

  • If the tutor is a practising aromatherapist, it is useful to pay and book yourself in for a treatment with them so you can be assured of their technique and knowledge.

  • Always check to ensure that the course is benchmarked to the NOS and AC Core Curriculum. Ask for the course syllabus and it should give you this assurance.

  • Check on the times of the classes and make sure you can attend them all. Most courses insist on 80% completion of in-class hours in order to graduate.

  • You can do the theory by distance learning, but as per the AC’s Core Curriculum, you will need to complete at least 94 hours in class for practical work, business studies, understanding research and therapeutic relationships. Those distance learning courses that meet the requirements will give you information on attending workshops and you have to complete the minimum 94 hours in order to qualify.

  • If your course is only offering a day or a week or a "fast-track" study then be aware as it will not be following the AC Core Curriculum which stipulates that a period of study must be one academic year (10 months).These short courses are fine if you only want to learn for interest only, but not if you want to enter into professional practice. Think about it - you would not want to visit a podiatrist or physiotherapist who only did two weeks of training!

  • The AC Core Curriculum requires you to complete 60 case studies. This will take time and is one of the most important parts of your learning. You cannot count any case studies from a previous massage qualification towards the 60 for aromatherapy as the treatments are completely different.

  • Look at what the course is offering for the price. Some courses are more expensive, but they may include exam fees, essential oils, field trips, books, resources during practicals etc. Most importantly, you cannot beat experience. If your tutor has been teaching for may years and has a proven track record, then the course is worth paying for. It means you will graduate with confidence and have success in your professional practice with repeat clients who will value your training and knowledge.


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