Training advice and national search


There are many different associations and awarding bodies offering differing qualifications in aromatherapy, so which one do you choose? The answer is to decide first what you want from the course. If you want to practice on friends and family only or for self interest then a basic course is ideal. These courses are also fine if you want a taster before committing yourself to a full diploma course.


If you want to practice as an aromatherapist, then your course must be benchmarked to the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for aromatherapy. When speaking to the course tutor, make sure that the course is mapped to the NOS and complies with the ACís Core Curriculum


Click here to download a copy of the NOS


Click here to download a copy of the ACís Core Curriculum


There are now various degree courses and foundation degree courses offering aromatherapy modules. These are normally affiliated to one of the professional aromatherapy associations. They include the NOS requirements for aromatherapy but also many other modules. It is up to you to choose which course best suits your requirements and pocket. Some degree courses are theory only and do not qualify† you as a practitioner, so if you want to practise, check the details.


Tips for choosing an aromatherapy training course:


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

 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 ACís 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 for registration.

 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 etc.


It is impossible to list all the schools on this site, so the associations are listed† below including links to their sites where you can search for schools in your area. If you need any help, please ring the office on 0870 7743477 and we will be happy to conduct a full search for you whilst you are on the phone. We cannot provide a typed list but will give you numbers and websites over the phone if you do not have internet access at home.



Aromatherapy & Allied Practitioners Association


Association of Medical Aromatherapists


Association of Natural Medicine


Association of Physical & Natural Therapists


City & Guilds (C&G)


Institute of Complementary Medicine


International Federation of Aromatherapists


International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists


International Holistic Aromatherapy Foundation


International Examination Board (ITEC)


Vocational Training & Charitable Trust (VTCT)






One of the functions of the lead body is to maintain standards of education for the profession and we undertake regular reviews of the National Occupation Standards in liaison with Skills for Health and also regular reviews on our Core Curriculum. Our Education Board co-opts education experts from the profession to ensure these standards as well as reviewing Awarding Bodyís submissions for courses to the Qualifications & Curriculum Authority (QCA).

Aromatherapy Council

The Lead Body for the UK Aromatherapy Profession

Education & Training