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IFA Professional Aromatherapy Diploma Course

Overview

Qualification Overview

Guided Learning Hours: 250   

Self Study Hours: 430

Modules: 5

Level: Equivalent to HE 4 - 5

Age Restriction: 18 and above
Fees: 
Vary - set by approved Centres
Start Date: Vary - set by approved Centres
Location: Vary - at an approved Centre

Purpose
The IFA Professional Aromatherapy Diploma course is designed to develop knowledge and understanding of clinical aromatherapy, and provides the learner with the skills to provide advanced therapeutic treatments within a clinical setting. Pitched at an advanced level and devised by industry experts, this course is one, if not the most, comprehensive courses available in the market. It enables you to work confidently with over 70 essential oils and 30 carrier oils, having a thorough understanding of the therapeutic properties of each specific oil, and their methods of application, which can be tailored to individual clients when applying prescriptive aromatherapy. 

The IFA's philosophy is that therapists should understand not only how to perform certain tasks, but also the reason for those tasks, and the principles behind them. This gives you excellent job prospects and the opportunity for career advancement.

Who is this qualification for?
The IFA Professional Aromatherapy Diploma is suitable for those who have no previous experience or will provide a route of progression for those who already hold an aromatherapy or massage qualification. 

What does the course cover?
This course will develop your interpersonal skills while expanding your knowledge of aromatherapy to an advanced level. The course is taught from the IFA syllabus which has clear aims and learning outcomes and incorporates the National Occupational Standards (NOS), Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) and surpasses the Aromatherapy Core Curriculum requirements. The course will:

  • Enable learners to develop comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the principles of aromatherapy and massage from a historical and philosophical perspective.
  • Enable learners to understand the human body, anatomical terms and the diseases and disorders that can affect the body to enable the learner to work with the public safely and effectively while remaining within the scope of their professional practice.
  • Enable learners to explore and develop an in depth understanding of the art and science of 70 essential oils safely and in context; botany, extraction and production, chemistry, potential hazards and toxicity in a range of therapeutic treatments.
  • Enable learners to understand the sense of smell and the limbic system; odour characteristics and preferences; essential oils and psycho-emotional benefits and as an aid to cognition.
  • Enable learners to identify and evaluate the necessary skills to assess individual needs and the implementation of appropriate treatment based on sound research-based evidence.
  • Enable learners to create aromatherapeutic formulations for their clients; study of hydrolats and over 30 carrier/vegetable oils. 
  • Enable learners to perform full body aromatherapy massage on clients using a variety of different techniques, and also gain an understanding of the various different massage styles utilised by other therapists.  
  • Enable learners to understand the art of the perfumer; essential oils odour classification, volatility and the notes systems, blending ratio and dosage.
  • Enable learners to utilise reflective practice and the use of personal and professional development within the boundaries of client management and understanding a therapeutic relationship.
  • Enable learners to recognise and critically appraise the importance of personal and professional development and the need for lifelong learning in a critical and systematic way.
  • Enable learners to identify the factors required to create a safe and appropriate working environment, and to develop an understanding of the ethics, limitations and business requirements of aromatherapy.
  • Enable learners to develop an awareness of current research into aromatherapy and associated products, methodology to carry out and write research, understanding the relationship and differences between traditional medicine and research based clinical studies.

What could this qualification lead to?
This internationally recognised qualification is designed to lead to employment in a variety of roles, either self-employed, in salons, spas, hotels, complementary therapy clinics, hospitals, hospices, special care units or private practice.

This qualification automatically entitles you to apply for full membership with the International Federation of Aromatherapists (IFA), the oldest and largest professional body for aromatherapists since 1985 and a listing on the register, for additional benefits click here. 

Whilst the primary purpose of this qualification is to prepare learners for employment, learners may choose to develop their knowledge and skills further by completing additional specialist qualification in one or more of the following areas:


Who supports this qualification?
This qualification was created and is regulated by the International Federation of Aromatherapists (IFA) and is recognised by the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), part of the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care, an independent body, accountable to the UK Parliament.

The quality of our courses and training has meant that IFA qualified therapists are referred by recruitment agencies such as target jobs, the guardian newspaper, amongst a whole host of condition specific charities and NHS hospitals. This qualification is also recognised by city councils for licensing exemptions in London and beyond and recognised by a selection of health care insurance providers. 

Structure

Structure

All components of the course are mandatory unless you are eligible for exemption from the Anatomy and Physiology module, click here to download Recognition of Prior Learning and Exemption Policy.

The course is taught from the IFA Professional Aromatherapy Diploma Syllabus, which has clear aims and learning outcomes for each unit contained within a module which incorporates the National Occupational Standards (NOS), Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) and surpasses the Aromatherapy Core Curriculum requirements. The syllabus also provides sample examination questions at the end of each unit. Learners may purchase the syllabus in the IFA's shop once they are registered and logged into the website as a student member. 

The Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) provides a structure for all qualification levelling. This qualification, which is pitched at HE Level 4 - Level 5, equates to 37 or more credits. The credit value represents the depth and breadth of the teaching and learning content and the time reasonably expected to be consumed in delivery, study, research, revision and completion of tasks and assignments. The qualification includes 5 modules:

Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology          65 GLH                            150  SSH                            10 Credits 


Aromatherapy                                           124 GLH                            160  SSH                            17 Credits


Massage Therapy                                       33 GLH                              50  SSH                             06 Credits


Professional Practice                                  21 GLH                             50  SSH                             03 Credits


Business Studies                                        07 GLH                              20  SSH                             01 Credits    


Duration
Minimum period of tuition 09 months (1 academic year)
Maximum period of tuition 24 months (2 academic years)

Learners must undertake the IFA external examinations within one (1) year of completing the course. 
 

Delivery
All components of the qualification will be taught during training as prescribed in the prospectus. It is not a requirement by the IFA that the course be delivered in any particular order or in any particular way and each individual Centre may retain their own unique emphasis on certain subjects. The IFA respects that each principal tutor will follow their own methodology and will present subjects in an order that is relevant to the ability and needs of their learners, provided the stated number of guided learning hours and self-study hours is complied with.

The methods of teaching and the number of guided learning hours and self-study hours are stipulated to ensure learners are confident, caring, competent and enthusiastic about their profession. Please observe the following definitions:

Guided Learning Hours (GLH): include an estimate of the time allocated to contact hours with the tutor or other means of structured learning time i.e. directed assignments, skype, assessments or other means of supportive individual study and practice. For each contact teaching hour, 1 to 3 hours are added for self-study hours. 

Self-Study Hours (SSH): includes the hours a learner independently studies which include revision, portfolio, research, web search, reflective practice, projects, case studies etc. 

Distance Learning
The IFA syllabi involve both theoretical and practical elements. Distance Learning is appropriate for some theoretical modules (for example - Anatomy Physiology and Pathology, Business Studies, Research, Assignments) and certain elements of the practical modules (for example - providing demonstrations, presentation, seminars and lectures via Skype or Facetime, DVD or other similar digital communication mediums). Distance learning may be applied as an element of learning but this will not constitute more than 50% of the overall contact teaching and learning time allocated to the syllabi.

The Centre will use their discretion in terms of the appropriateness of and the elements of information they share via digital communication methods as per the syllabi guidelines and to reflect the needs of their learners.


Please contact an IFA approved centre directly for terms times and schedules.

Assessment

Assessment

Learners are required to demonstrate their understanding through formative and summative assessments in order to attain the IFA Professional Aromatherapy Diploma qualification. Each learner is required to submit coursework at the end of each unit, which provide evidence of the learner's progress and understanding. On completion of the course learners are required to illustrate their knowledge by undertaking the IFA external theoretical and practical examinations.

Compulsory Assignments

All compulsory assignments below are assessed and verified by your principal tutor before being presented to the IFA Quality Assurance Assessor at the practical examination, which will be externally graded. Learners will present their coursework in a portfolio. The portfolio will also include the learners own course notes, completed internal assessments and assignments set by their tutor to measure performance and any other evidence of other related training and qualifications. 

Case Studies Assignment
Learners are required to complete case studies consisting of 60 individual treatments. The case studies must include evaluations and reflective practice. These may consist of, 6 clients receiving 6 individual treatments (36) and 24 individual treatments of applying aromatherapeutic formulations or other methods of application for example (NB. 9 of these case studies can be methods other than massage.) Case studies provide evidence of the learner’s practical skills and ability to develop and adapt treatment plans and create appropriate remedies.

Business Studies Assignment
Learners are required to create a business plan project 2000 – 2500 words in length. Business projects provide evidence of the learner’s ability to appropriately research, prepare, cost and present a business plan. They demonstrate the learner’s understanding of what is required to set up a successful complementary therapy business and prepare the learner for setting up their own business. 

Research Assignment 
Learners are required to write a research paper 2500 words in length. Research papers provide evidence of the learner’s ability to audit the efficacy of clinical research trials and seek, review and evaluate information from a variety of sources (books, journals, electronic data bases etc.).  

Reflective Practice Assignment
Learners are required to provide a reflective practice portfolio. Reflective practice portfolios provides evidence of the learner’s ability to evaluate their practice and process; awareness of the scope and limitations of their practice and the importance of attending to their own continuous professional development. 

Compulsory External Examinations

In order to be awarded the IFA Professional Aromatherapy Diploma qualification, learners must successfully complete the IFA external examinations. Before entering the IFA examinations the learner must have completed all the compulsory coursework components, as prescribed above, successfully passed the internal mock examinations set by your tutor and have a minimum of 80% attendance record. 

There are 3 examinations for this qualification:

  • Aromatherapy Theory and Massage Examination Paper – 2 hours 
  • Anatomy & Physiology Examination Paper – 1 hour (exemptions may apply)
  • Practical Assessment - 3 hours (includes performing a massage sequence, interview and review of coursework)

Exemptions
Exemptions may be granted for the Anatomy and Physiology examination only. Click here to download Recognition of Prior Learning and Exemption Policy.

An IFA Quality Assurance Assessor will visit Centre's to conduct and invigilate examinations. The Centre tutor will arrange assessment dates with the IFA Head Office who will confirm the date in writing. Please refer to your tutor for all questions relating to examination dates.

Approved Providers

Approved Centres

To discuss your requirements, including information relating to terms times, schedules and course fees please contact an IFA approved Centre directly. To locate an IFA Professional Aromatherapy Diploma approved provider please enter your postcode in the search below.

All learners who attend an IFA course will be issued with a student ID card from the IFA head Office. Please note, some companies are falsely claiming to be an IFA approved Centre, or are alluding to accredited status by making statements such as ‘Adhering to IFA standards’ or misuse of the IFA logos etc. This deception is not permitted and the IFA will take appropriate action against any company who make such claims. If a company is not included in this list, they are not approved by the IFA. If you still have any doubts about a company or an individual claiming IFA status, please contact us for clarification.

Cannot find a provider near you? Unfortunately, the IFA do not currently have approved Centres in all countries and regions. We suggest that if you cannot find an IFA approved provider in your local area and are unable to commit to travelling long term, to source a course that offer a level 3 aromatherapy qualification click here for examples. On completion, you can then either join the IFA as an associate member or apply to attend an upgrade course, which will bridge the gaps between your current qualification to the IFA Professional Aromatherapy Diploma standard and require less travel time to complete. Once you have completed your upgrade you will then be able eligible for full IFA membership. Information regarding upgrading qualifications can be found by clicking here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions that may assist you with your enquiry. Please click on the arrow to read the answers. If your question is not covered here please view the Learner Handbook which will answer the vast majority of questions you may have. If you require additional specific information please contact an IFA approved Centre directly.

Course Delivery

What if I cannot find an IFA approved provider in my area?

Unfortunately the IFA do not currently have approved centres in all countries and regions. We suggest that if you cannot find an IFA approved provider in your local area and are unable to commit to travelling long term, to source a course that offer a level 3 aromatherapy qualification click here for examples. On completion, you can then either join the IFA as an associate member or apply to attend an upgrade course, which will bridge the gaps between your current qualification to the IFA Professional Aromatherapy Diploma standard and require less travel time to complete. Once you have completed your upgrade you will then be able eligible for full IFA membership. Information regarding upgrading qualifications can be found by clicking here.

Can I complete the course via distance learning?

Distance Learning may be applied as an element of learning but this will not constitute more than 50% of the overall guided learning hours (see course structure). The IFA syllabus involve both theoretical and practical elements. Distance Learning is appropriate for some theoretical modules (for example, Anatomy Physiology and Pathology, Business Studies, Research, Assignments and certain elements of Professional Practice) and certain elements of the practical modules (for example, providing demonstrations, presentation, seminars and lectures via Skype or Facetime, DVD or other similar digital communication mediums). Each Centre will use their discretion in terms of the appropriateness of and the elements of information they share via digital communication methods. Please contact IFA approved Centre directly for details of methods of delivery.

When does the course start?

Dates and term times are determined by the individual approved Centre, please contact an IFA approved Centre directly.

Exemption and Prior Learning

I have a qualification already – can my qualification be used for APL/RPL?
Can I be exempt from IFA examinations?

Examinations

When are examinations?

The IFA will allocate an Examiner (External Quality Assessor) to your Centre to conduct examinations. Your tutor will inform you of the dates for examinations, which will be arranged between your tutor and the IFA. The Centre will inform learners of the date and time of their examinations once the IFA have agreed and confirmed this in writing.

Where are examinations?

Typically examinations will take place at your Centre. Only in exceptional circumstances will the examination take place at a different location or if there is a high volume of exam candidates the IFA may stipulate a centralised location for theory examinations.

Learners may undertake the course in one country and be examined in another, if due to relocation for example. In this exceptional circumstance examinations can take place at another Centre's venue the same time as the receiving Centre is holding examinations. Learners are responsible for ensuring there is an approved Centre located in the area and country they require to take the examination and is feasible to travel to. Please note, however, the IFA cannot insist a Centre receives other Centre's learners for examinations and it is not always practically possible so this is not guaranteed, however the IFA will do its utmost to assist learners.

See Transfer Policy for more details.

Can I sit the IFA examinations(s) without taking the IFA course?

All candidates entering an examination must apply through an IFA approved Centre and assessed before gaining entrance to an IFA examination. Please download the IFA's Recognitionof Prior Learning and Exemption Policy.

Can I sit an IFA examination in a different country to the one I am taught in?

Please refer to the IFA's Transfer Policy.

Fees

How much is the course?

Fees are set at the discretion of each approved Centre (not the IFA). Please contact an IFA approved Centre directly for costs and payment packages.

Can I pay over a matter of months?

Fees are set at the discretion of each approved Centre (not the IFA). Please contact an IFA approved Centre directly for costs and payment packages.

Qualification

Which countries is the IFA Qualification recognised in?

The IFA currently operates in more than 30 countries and the IFA qualifications are well known and recognised by employers for our high standards of training. However, therapists must contact the visa branch of the embassy of the country you wish to operate within, in order to establish the criteria required to work in your chosen country, as this differs from country to country.