Standards and Regulation
Whether you are a member of the public or an employer looking for an aromatherapist or a product brand consultant you can choose with confidence by searching the IFA register of practitioners. The purpose of our register is to enhance public safety and help employers make informed decisions for their business by providing a list of aromatherapists who uphold the highest standards of education and regulation, giving you peace of mind.
Standards in Education and Training
You can be assured that all those listed on our register are qualified professionals who have been externally assessed. All registrants have, as a minimum, met the national occupational standards and aromatherapy core curriculum requirements. The IFA does not admit to the register those whose training has been completed entirely via distance learning.
As serious professionals, our clinical aromatherapy registrants (full members) have completed a HE level 4-5 diploma in aromatherapy; a 680-hour course consisting of modules in anatomy, physiology and pathology, aromatherapy, massage, professional practice and business management. Our professional essential oil therapy (PEOT) registrants have completed a 725 hour course; consisting of modules in anatomy, physiology and pathology, essential oils therapy, aromatherapeutic remedy formulation, professional practice and business management. These registrants can assist you with brand development and the incorporation of essential oils into a wide range of environments.
Our registrants’ currently practice in the NHS - for example some members work in oncology departments/ midwives/ ICU/ GP surgeries, the voluntary sector, for example, hospices, hospitals - maternity wards/ special care units, residential care homes, autism support groups etc, as well as private practice in salons, spas, hotels, complementary therapy clinics and consultancy work.
Registrants who specialise in a particular area such as cancer care, midwifery or those who are experienced with working with those with a disability or impairment will have undertaken additional training and their specialisms are highlighted on the register. For those wishing to receive a treatment at home, the register also indicates if a practitioner is mobile.
All registrants listed are fully insured, first-aid qualified and are committed to undertaking continual professional development to ensure their skills remain current - all of which form part of the requirements to remain registered.
We are dedicated to protecting the public and regulating independently, fairly, consistently and proportionately. The IFA sets, requires and promotes good standards of personal behaviour, technical competence and business practice. We provide a clear framework that registrants must meet when providing care, treatment and services to patients and service users and also a clear framework so that members of the public, service users and patients can hold a registrant to account if the standards and guidance are not followed. The outcomes of any sanctions applied as a result of an investigation are published to promote learning amongst its registrants and to protect the public. The IFA ensures the guidance it provides to registrants is consistently reviewed and updated, taking into consideration new legislation, changes in law and service user feedback.
Code of Conduct Ethics and Practice
The IFA requires all those displayed on its register to comply with the IFA’s Code of Conduct, Ethics and Practice. These are the standards for safe and effective practice which every registrant must follow. They also set out the quality of care that patients and service users should receive from those listed on our register. All registrants have a duty of care to protect the health and wellbeing of their clients and are personally accountable for their actions and must be able to explain and justify their actions. This ensures that they are practising within their competence and refer service users to other professionals when required. The Codes also explain how registrants identify any risks presented by a client e.g. contraindications, in providing a treatment with clear guidelines on how to mitigate them.
As a single discipline body with a long-standing reputation in the field, we understand the challenges, education, research and development requirements of our registrants, which allows us to deliver a specialist service to them. In addition to the above, the IFA also provides guidance to its registrants to address specific or specialist issues which complement and further develop the standards of competence and conduct prescribed in the codes. To assist our members keep abreast of the latest research in the field and ensure they continue to apply evidence-based practice, we provide our registrants with a research search facility and access to specialist databases to inform their work. We also provide a protocol for clinical trials that are not using an investigational medicinal product (non-CTIMP) and research guidelines. Service users can download fact sheets about how aromatherapy can alleviate various conditions, common issues and symptoms by clicking here.
All our registrants have an appointed mentor for their region with whom they can discuss issues affecting their work and continuously reassess and improve their skills. From the feedback, the IFA then identifies potential skill gaps, recommends appropriate training and organises CPD training and workshops. Equally, where a registrant has gaps in their professional practice/employment due to illness, injury or other personal circumstances we will require the registrant to undertake refresher training to re-join the register.
All registrants are required to declare that they:
• do not have a criminal record (including cautions);
• have not been subject to any disciplinary or civil proceedings in relation to their practice;
• and do not have any health issues that may impact their ability to practice;
to ensure fitness to practice.
The IFA undertakes spot check to ensure compliance with its standards and consults with other regulators where appropriate. We are currently a verifying agent of aromatherapists for the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) which is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA), a body accountable to the UK Parliament.