Qualifications we recognise
The IFA is an Awarding Body as well as a Professional Body for aromatherapists. This means that whilst we offer our own vocational qualifications in aromatherapy, which entitles successful candidates to full membership, we also acknowledge and register those with qualifications from other providers and recognise ‘of equal' qualifications. This enables practitioners from different academic backgrounds to join the IFA and come under the umbrella of our professional network and enjoy the benefits that this affords.
- National Occupational Standards (NOS) - these are statements that describe the minimum an individual needs to be able to do, know and understand in order to be safe and competent to practice.
- Aromatherapy Core Curriculum - these define the minimum overall aims and learning outcomes, module/units, practice hours, case studies and assessments to measure the students understanding and knowledge in aromatherapy.
*Please note courses delivered entirely by distance learning do not meet IFA requirements.
Examples of awarding body's qualifications we accept as having met the standards are:
- ABC Level 3
- CIBTAC (Confederation of International Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology) Level 3
- CIDESCO (Comite International d'Esthetique et de Cosmetologie)
- CITY & GUILDS Level 3
- CFA (Canadian Institute of Aromatherapy)
- CYQ/YMCA (Central YMCA Qualifications)
- IAAMA (International Aromatherapy and Aromatic Medicine Association)
- IIHHT (International Institute of Health & Holistic Therapies)
- IFPA (International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists)
- ITEC (International Therapy Examination Council) Level 3
- NAHA (National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy Level 3
- NCFE (National Advisory Council for Further Education) Level 4
- NOCN (National Open College Network)
- SQA (Scottish Qualifications Authority) Level 4
- VTCT (Vocational Training Charitable Trust) Level 3
- IAAMA (International Aromatherapy and Aromatic Medicine Association) - before 2008 (Formerly IFA Australia branch).
- ISPA (International Society of Professional Aromatherapists) - before 2002
- RQA (Register of Qualified Aromatherapists) - before 2002
- SCQF (Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework) Level 8
- University Degrees (UCAS, BSc etc.) in Complementary Medicine and have a massage qualification.
Proof of full membership belonging to any of the following membership organisations will also be accepted for associate membership: ABMP (Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals), AMTA (American Massage Therapy Association), ARC (Aromatherapy Registration Council), CHP formerly AAPA (Complementary Health Practitioner), CTHA (Complementary Therapy Association) or FHT (Federation of Holistic Therapists).
If you want to know if the course you intend to undertake will be recognised by the IFA please ask your training provider who the awarding body is.
What if my Qualification is not listed?
If your qualification was not awarded by any of the above bodies you may still be able to join the IFA. We can accept qualifications from private training centres provided they have been assessed as meeting the UK National Occupational Standards (NOS) and Aromatherapy Core Curriculum standards.
If you are unsure, please complete the online application form, which breaks down the Aromatherapy Core Curriculum requirements. If you are applying for full membership please complete the Accredited Prior Learning (APL) mapping questionnaire.
How we assess your qualifications (whether you are a full or associate member)
When considering whether your qualification equates to associate or full membership, we take into account topics covered (like-for-like), the depth of content covered during training and breadth of study which includes the number of hours dedicated to training. The IFA Aromatherapy Diploma is 37 credits (1 credit = 10 hours), which entitles graduates to be eligible for full membership, qualifications pitched between 25 - 36 credits entitle graduates to associate membership. For more information regarding general course credits read our blog post.
If you want to know if your qualification is equivalent to full membership please complete the Accredited Prior Learning (APL) mapping questionnaire and submit the supplementary evidence.
What do I need to do to upgrade from an associate to full member?
To upgrade your qualification to be eligible for full membership, you will need to enrol on an upgrade course to bridge the gaps between your current qualification and the IFA Diploma. For more information click here.
For an expedient response upload a copy of your certificate(s) here and complete the application online.