Industry sector:

Aromatherapist: Training

Where is training available from

Contact the following organisations for information about training that is available:

  • local business support organisations, including your local council
  • local colleges
  • the International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists (IFPA)
  • Skills for Health
  • the International Therapy Examination Council (ITEC)
  • Vocational Training Charitable Trust (VTCT)

Qualifying as an aromatherapist

At present anyone can set themselves up as an aromatherapist without any formal training or qualifications. However, to register with a voluntary regulator like the General Regulatory Council For Complementary Therapies (GRCCT) or the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) you'll need to be able to show that you're appropriately trained and qualified. This could include producing recognised certificates and diplomas. The CNHC requires that members must as a minimum meet the National Occupational Standards as established by Skills for Health.

There are very many qualifications and awarding bodies for the aromatherapy profession. One of the largest of these is the Vocational Training Charitable Trust (VTCT) which offers a number of qualifications in holistic and complementary therapies including:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Aromatherapy
  • Level 4 Diploma in Aromatherapy for the Complementary Therapist
  • Level 3 Certificate in Massage Using Pre-Blended Aromatherapy Oils
  • Level 3 Certificate in Stone Therapy Massage
  • Level 2 Award in Head Massage
  • Level 3 Diploma in Massage Therapy
  • Level 3 Diploma in Massage
  • Level 2 Diploma in Complementary Therapies
  • Level 3 Diploma in Complementary Therapies
  • Level 4 Diploma in Complementary Therapies
  • Level 3 Certificate in Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology for Complementary Therapies
  • Level 3 Award in Anatomical and Physiological Knowledge of Body Systems

The International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists (IFPA) accredits educational establishments and aromatherapy schools that offer courses in aromatherapy to a certain standard. You can see a list of accredited training organisations on the IFPA website.

Continuing Professional Development

Some of the aromatherapy trade associations require that their members carry out a certain amount of continuing professional development (CPD) each year. CPD course details and dates are usually posted on the associations' websites.


Learndirect is a free service which can advise on training and personnel development. It can provide details of qualifications and skills relevant to your type of business, give you an outline of appropriate training courses and advise where to go for such training in your area. Visit the Learndirect website or telephone 0800 101 901

National Careers Service

The National Careers Service provides background information and job profiles for a very wide range of careers and helps users to find details of skills requirements, relevant occupational training courses and available qualifications. Visit their website to find out more.