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Benefits of Membership

With over 100 ways in which we can help your practice thrive, unleash your potential with IFA membership. IFA membership provides you with the accreditation you need to work within the health sector, as registering with us means you are PSA accredited and referred to by the NHS, without the need to go through any other organisation. IFA membership also provides you with a vast range of additional benefits to reduce overhead costs, stay at the forefront of developments, have your interests represented, and benefit from our specialist expertise.

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The International Federation of Aromatherapists (IFA) is the voluntary regulator for aromatherapy practitioners worldwide. The IFA register of aromatherapists is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA), a UK body accountable to the British parliament. IFA membership includes listing and registration on the IFA PSA accredited register (free of charge) and referral on the NHS website.

The IFA also verifies aromatherapy practitioner qualifications for the CNHC should you also wish to join them (additional fee applies and only applicable to those working in the UK) and you must first be registered as an IFA aromatherapist.

Applies to the following categories: FULL, PEOT & ASSOCIATE members

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Use of the IFA (and PSA logo if working in the UK) is an important and valuable asset to your business for a number of reasons.

  1. By displaying the IFA logo on your website and marketing materials it differentiates you from other aromatherapists. It provides a visual indicator that you have met our stringent entry requirements and practice to the highest standards. This builds trust and confidence with clients, commissioners and other healthcare providers.

    *There is no higher accolade in the UK for aromatherapists than the IFA PSA quality mark.
     
  2. As the first established body for aromatherapy, we have a long-standing reputation in the industry as the organisation that delivers dedicated and professional practitioners. Our symbol is widely recognised amongst the public with our practitioners operating in 73 countries.
     
  3. IFA registrants can use the suffix 'MIFA' after their name, which demonstrates they are quality assured when introducing themselves and their business to the public.
     
  4. IFA registrants can use the member logo on their website, leaflets and business cards and have access to corporate marketing materials via our shop adding a professional touch to your branding.
     
  5. IFA status can provide additional marketing opportunities for your business. As a registrant you can participate in the IFA’s Aromatherapy Awareness Week campaign activities, any research trials we may have, exhibitions we attend and other events that are exclusive to IFA registrants. This can also help to increase your visibility and attract new clients.

Applies to the following categories: FULL, PEOT & ASSOCIATE members

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All IFA postgraduate registrants appear on the IFA PSA accredited register where clients can source a reputable practitioner, which is part of a UK government-backed scheme to protect the public.

Employers and commissions also use the search to not only procure an aromatherapist for employment but also to confirm a therapist is registered.

A listing on the IFA register can be hugely beneficial by driving more business to your website and increase your client base. Last year, the IFA’s searchable register was viewed approximately 65,000 times.

Applies to the following categories: FULL, PEOT & ASSOCIATE members

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The Government Department of Health and The General Medical Council advise doctors to refer patients to practitioners on PSA Accredited Registers. IFA PSA practitioners are recognised for employment with the NHS and are referred to on their website, providing our registrants with excellent career prospects.

The IFA is the sole aromatherapy organisation to have achieved PSA accredited status for its registrants to secure our members more employment opportunities.

Our registrants’ currently practice in the NHS e.g., in oncology departments/ midwifery and maternity wards/ ICU/, hospices, special care units, residential care homes, GP surgeries etc, as well as in private practice in salons, spas, hotels, complementary therapy clinics and consultancy work.

We post jobs in the closed members Facebook group, newsletter and website as and when they are received. We provide our therapists with a sample CV and cover letter, credential descriptions, promotional literature, plus sample GP introduction letters to inform your local practice of your services and introduce yourself to local authorities/communities.

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Our enamel badge and certificate are exclusively available to all our esteemed Full, PEOT, and Associate registrants. The certificate includes the IFA (and PSA if practising in the UK) professional seal. Registrants should display their certificate in their place of work as a reminder to their clients that you provide the highest UK-wide quality of care.

Each member also receives an IFA membership card, all of which are tailored to your category of membership, to keep on your person and be placed in your purse or wallet. These can be used as evidence when precuring discounts from our various discount providers, and when entering certain events.

These are sent by post and display your unique ID number. 

The IFA also issue certificates of excellence when a registrant has held continuous membership for 10, 20, 25, 30 and 35 years in acknowledgement of their dedication to the profession and continuation of high standards of practice.

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All categories of membership are able to access a wide range of exclusive webinars, many of which have been created specifically for IFA registrants, completely free of charge. These feature a variety of topics to ensure our members stay-up-to-date with the latest developments in aromatherapy, research and also allied subjects.

These are delivered by world-renowned industry experts including Salvatore Battaglia, Susan Parker, E. Joy Bowles, Suzanne Catty, Madeleine Kerkhof, Beth Spindler, K.G. Stiles, Dr Peter Mackereth, Felicity Warner, Carol Rose to name a few!

Members can access 30 past webinars in the members area. All of which can contribute towards continual professional development points for practitioners, to reduce the cost of overheads. 

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All categories of membership receive TWO journals free of charge: The quarterly Aromatherapy Times, the official journal of the IFA plus a free digital copy of Holistic Therapist Magazine, which contain a range of articles specifically to develop practitioners’ business.

The Aromatherapy Times is a fantastic resource for both experienced and aspiring practitioners at every stage of their career. Based on a wealth of experience with contributions from popular authors and researchers, readers can stay up-to-date on the latest findings and best practices in aromatherapy. Our journal prides itself on publishing high quality articles, expert insights and practical tips, covering all aspects of aromatherapy. This has resulted in the journal meeting the stringent requirements to be officially registered with the British Library - the only magazine of its kind to have met this benchmark.

Holistic Therapist magazine focuses on developing your business skills in a competitive industry and broader industry news form the CAM field. 

With the combination of the two we’ve got your needs covered.

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The benefits of belonging to a therapy-specific body are that we understand the therapy inside out. We understand the challenges, education, research and development requirements of our registrants, allowing us to deliver a specialist service.

We provide registrants with specialist guidance which address specific and specialist areas which complement and further develop the standards of competence and conduct prescribed in the IFA’s Codes of Conduct, Ethics and Practice - with over 25 downloads.

We have various committees comprising of over 50-strong professionals so if it’s not covered in the guidance, reassurance and information is just an email away.

Whether you’re looking to expand your business, increase your client base, or ask a question about treating a client, we’re here to help every step of the way.

Members can also access the IFA’s Facebook members group where members can share ideas, learn from each other and provide mutual support. 

The IFA is recommended by the UK Government National Career Office as the professional body of choice for aromatherapists to support them throughout their career.

Applies to the following categories: FULL, PEOT & ASSOCIATE members

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All members have access to exclusive discounts off a range of high-end brands to reduce overhead costs. For example, Oshadhi, Micheline Arcier, Tisserand Aromatherapy, Neals Yard Remedies, Base Formula, Towels R' Us, Couch Rolls, Beautelle and more.

Download: IFA MEMBER DISCOUNT SUPPLIERS LIST

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As a member of the IFA, you will have access to the many open access research papers we have collated and research summaries. To make it even easier for our members, we have created an easy to use drop down where you can find links to research papers filtered by essential oil, carrier oil, medical condition, therapeutic property, ailment and more - so the information you need is just a click away. 

We regularly update our hub as research is published to ensure our members remain informed about new advances in the field and provide further understanding of the ever-increasing evidence base of aromatherapy.

As well as accessing our online library of research articles, we also provide links to other authoritative sites, discounts on books and other resources related to aromatherapy research.

Members will also have access to extensive guidelines of how to construct a scientific manuscript so that our members submissions can be worthy of academic interest.

Our research resources are exceptional for aromatherapists looking to deepen their understanding of aromatherapy and explore the empirical information that supports it.

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IFA registered postgraduate members have access to a wide range of useful resources including 30 + free templates and downloads for personalised use to assist in the smooth running of your practice.

In a business world that’s constantly changing IFA membership can help you stay ahead. We provide our registrants with sample policies when new law or legislation impacts the way in which they conduct their business e.g., GDPR and privacy policies, sales of good policies etc. Other operational templates for example – Complaints, Health & Safety, Website Disclaimer, Data Protection etc. All of which is designed to ensure you remain compliant with all the latest business practices.

We also provide templates for everyday use, for example, consent and consultations forms, prescription sheet, schedules, sample contracts, letters e.g., approaching GP's, referral templates.

Other resources include HMRC starter up information business planning, forecasts, risk assessment templates and also expansion guidance, product making and marketing notes, advertising and legislation guidance and more. 

Applies to the following categories: FULL, PEOT & ASSOCIATE members

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As a member of the IFA, you have access to a range of exclusive discounts to reduce overheads, including a tailored discounted insurance package with the Alan Boswell Insurance Group. This policy also covers you for more than 300 additional complementary therapies and beauty practices.

With over 40 years’ experience in the industry, Alan Boswell Insurance Group is a trusted chartered provider specialising in solutions for complementary therapists. As an IFA member, you can take advantage of preferential rates and comprehensive coverage for your practice, giving you peace of mind and protection against unforeseen risks. Whether you’re a sole practitioner or run a larger practice, the Alan Boswell Insurance Group can help you find the right package to suit your needs and provide expert 24-hour advice.

*We do appreciate it can be a little confusing that to hold IFA membership you need insurance but to get the discounted package you need to hold IFA membership – which is why we have arranged with Alan Boswell that they notify us when a person claiming the IFA discount takes out this package. Therefore, those who take up this package do not need to provide insurance proof as we receive it direct from Alan Boswell. 

For more details download: Alan Boswell Discounted Insurance Package

For any enquiries, please contact Tom Head or his team on 01603 649725 or email: aromatherapists@alanboswell.com

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In some areas of the UK, particularly London, special treatment licenses are required for businesses that provide complementary and beauty treatments by local councils.

If you operate your business from premises registered in a London Borough (and some surrounding boroughs too), and are a member of the IFA, you will be exempt from having to pay this license fee – potentially saving you hundreds of pounds a year.

Download: List of Exemption Fee Boroughs for IFA Registrants

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Being an aromatherapist can, at times, feel lonely, especially for those self-employed. IFA regional groups and meetings provide an excellent opportunity to forge relationships with your colleagues, share knowledge and talk about issues affecting your work.

By attending meetings, you can also gain CPD points as well as valuable networking time. If you have been practicing for many years or have just qualified there are always new avenues to explore and your regional group can certainly provide this.

Some of the groups offer evening group sessions, breakfast meetings, organise trips to distilleries and herb gardens etc. We currently have regional groups spanning across the UK and online for those in remote areas.

From time-to-time the IFA may also hold regional meetings during our international regulatory trips. At these events we often feature a guest key note speaker – so no matter the distance between us we are never far apart.

All members get free entry to the IFA's AGM which provide an opportunity to have your say in the next chapter of the IFA, interact with colleagues, network and build new friendships. Our AGMs are fun and informal with a chance for professional debate - full of great company, lively discussion and what more - great food!

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Various opportunities arise throughout the year for IFA practitioners to showcase their talents. Whether your forte is to write, provide talks or in guiding others, there are many ways to raise your profile in the media with IFA membership. 

Budding authors may apply to write articles on behalf of the IFA published in numerous journals and periodicals, participate in radio and television interviews and provide talks on various international platforms when opportunities arise. Registrants have in the past featured in Good House Keeping magazine, Vogue and in the Daily Mail.

The IFA also review books for Singing Dragon publishers and are always seeking volunteers from amongst our membership – giving you access to books hot off the press!

Every year the IFA hosts its registered national Aromatherapy Awareness Week in the second week of June. The week is scheduled with various activities bringing more press coverage to the profession, the work of the IFA and our registrants. This is published in local and national publications and our members are granted the opportunity to give 10% off treatments to the public during this week. All registered members are provided with template press releases, posters, leaflets, statistics and information to promote their practice during this week.

Registrants can also download template press releases, follow up letters, feedback forms, social media and blog tips for general use. We also provide access links to free software and marketing tools to help you in your advertising campaigns.

Other opportunities include involvement in our internationally acclaimed charity and research projects. These are not only an opportunity to add to your CV but also further the profession. In the past our charity projects have gained Guiness World Record status (of which 500 members were part of), our Aromcare sponsored by Everton Football Club, and some of our registrants have gone on to work for the hospitals and hospices they were involved in as part of a project. Our latest research trial on essential oil aroma and subjective stress gave all our member participants not only exclusive access to the blend but will also mean they will be part of the historic groundbreaking results. The possibilities can be endless when you get involved. 

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IFA registration is recognised for reimbursement with Health ShieldUK Healthcare and Westfield Health Private Healthcare Cash Plans, which allows clients who hold the relevant plans to reclaim the cost of their treatment with an IFA registered aromatherapist. For more information:

Download: IFA REGISTRANT PRIVATE HEALTHCARE CASH PLANS TREATMENT REIMBURSMENT

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All practitioners can have blind spots in their work with clients from time to time, no matter how experienced they are. Particularly with newly qualified practitioners, sometimes there is a lack of specific knowledge of the best way to treat a client.

The IFA Members Closed Facebook Group is a lively platform exclusively to IFA members to connect, network and support one another. In this group members discuss issues affecting their work, share ideas, advice and encouragement. As a member, you’ll have access to this supportive community of like-minded people and connect with other aromatherapists.

The IFA is also present in the group, providing an excellent opportunity to get instant updates of jobs received, latest news and developments. We also from time-to-time post Q&A questions posed to our specialist advisors to promote learning and sharing.

In the members area you can also find contact details of mentors who can provide email, telephone and face-to-face supervision meetings at their discretion. Mentors provide an objective overall view, which offers a useful alternative perspective to the subjectivity of the practitioner towards their clients and a healthy balance between empathy and objectivity.

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The IFA is committed to promoting excellence in aromatherapy and advancing the field through high-quality education and training opportunities. As a member of the IFA, you can access teacher training courses and upgrade courses to take your career to the next level. These are specifically designed and exclusive to those who have met the IFA standards for membership.

Members can benefit from a range of training workshops, seminars, and other professional development events to stay at the peak of their performance. These events focus on evidence-based practice and best practices through expanding knowledge and skills. So, whether you want to enhance your techniques, build your knowledge in a specific area or grow your business, theres something for everyone. As a member, you can access discounted rates and priority booking for these events, ensuring you never miss out on an opportunity to learn from the best in the business.

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All members can gain discounted tickets to the IFA’s International Conferences, which allow attendees to listen to motivating and inspiring talks, to gain valuable knowledge and skills transferable to their practice.

Our next conference is scheduled for 18th May 2024, with the theme of ‘Aromatherapy Under the Microscope’. For full details and to book your place visit this page.

At our conferences we give out awards for those who have made a mark in their local community. Further details for 2024 entries to be announced. These acknowledge those who have gone above and beyond in their work, known as the unsung hero’s award. From time-to-time members are also provided opportunities to enter additional external awards afforded to IFA registrants.

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Our members are at the heart of everything we do. As your professional body, we stand up for your interests before decision making bodies to strengthen the recognition of aromatherapy as a true complementary modality. We do this in a number of ways, such as:

  • Working with other Complementary and Natural Medicine (CAM) organisations and lobbying groups to address Government agencies and tackle issues as a collective voice;
  • Actively engage in and respond to, government-led debates and challenge industry reports so our registrants’ voices are heard;
  • Sit on various advisory boards to improve standards internationally;
  • Affiliate with organisations who share our goals and registrants’ interests;
  • Seek accreditation with those who further our registrants standing and tap into those resources

In our newsletters we update members of developments and registrants can also hear an overview of activities and progress being made at our annual AGM.

IFA registrants can also download case study, reflective practice and research templates and guidelines so that registrants' submissions can be worthy of academic interest. We include these in our bank of evidence which we put forward when approaching insurers and GPs for wider-recognition.

Members are also invited to complete questionnaires and surveys to shape future policy and inform our work. Registered members may also apply to serve on the board of directors

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