A blog dedicated to promoting the healing power of essential oils and aromatherapy

Discover essential oil profiles, aromatherapy practice, essential oil safety, aromatherapy training,essential oil uses, aromatherapy talk and many more aromatherapy notes - all from a unique UK/USA perspective....

Monday, February 22, 2010

Aromatherapy Requirements in the U.K.

Last week I wrote a bit about how to become a registered aromatherapist in the U.S; although I've spent the last 3 years practicing aromatherapy in the U.S., I initially did my aromatherapy training in the U.K.  Personal circumstances brought me to the U.S., where I had to try to figure out the best way of practicing aromatherapy in what, to me, was a 'foreign' country.  I've learned a few things along the way, and although I'm not as in touch with U.K. regulations as I once was, I'll attempt to outline what I do know/have experienced.

As in the U.S., there a many aromatherapy 'courses' on offer to the aspiring aromatherapist from on line courses, weekend courses and full year diploma courses.  Aromatherapy is sometimes offered as part of a 'natural therapies' diploma course at a local college.  To practice as an aromatherapist your aromatherapy course must be benchmarked to the National Occupational Standards (NOS).   Of course, if you just want to learn a bit about aromatherapy to treat yourself, family and friends a shorter course may be more appropiate for you.

In May 2009, the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council launched a register, endorsed by the Department of Health, in attempt to 'formalize' and regulate the aromatherapy profession to some degree.  Registration is voluntary but as it has official governement backing, being on the register, will undoubtly put an aromatherapist in 'higher standing'.  For details on registration visit The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council.

Another organization which is a voluntary self-regulatory body for the aromatherapy profession in the U.K. is the Aromatherapy Council. On the Aromatherapy Council's web site, you can find information on:

  • aromatherapy organizations which give links to aromatherapy schools which meet the NOS standards
  • tips on how to choose an aromatherapy course
  • how to recognize if an aromatherapist holds full credentials and qualifications
  • many other useful links and information.
In my opinion, aromatherapy training is more 'formalized' in the U..K. than the U.S. but it is also a more accepted practice of complementary medicine; the use of essential oils is used in the National Health System in the U.K., something which is a long way from being achieved in the U.S. (where the whole issue of health care is managed entirely differently).  Many people do not really know what aromatherapy is in the U.S. (based on my experiences) or how powerful it actually is; aromatherapy is often confused with fragrance oils in the U.S. (which is something entirely different).

I took my aromatherapy training with Penny Price in the U.K. which I would highly recommend to others; in fact, I would like to continue further training with Penny Price - but distance (and subsequently cost) is an issue with me at the moment!  I know if I ever do move back closer to the U.K., I would have no hesitation in taking further training with Penny - and no doubt I would have to continue practicing aromatherapy in the U.K./Europe!  Of course, the U.S. may catch up in the mean time - perhaps :) - otherwise an advanced distance learning course is looking good - and that's what I'll discuss next time!

If you are a U.K. aromatherapist, I would love to know your comments on aromatherapy training and requirements in the U.K.; please post me a comment below!

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