This page looks at training to become an aromatherapist, the importance of an anatomy and physiology level 3 qualification and how this can be achieved by home study / distance learning.
Gone are the days when a career was for life. More and more people change careers and it is getting increasingly common to hear that people want to leave the “rat race”, maybe become self-employed, and investigate different philosophies of life. Complementary Healthcare is a rapidly expanding industry and many adults come to it wanting to help themselves and others lead a healthier and more fulfilling life.
Aromatherapy is a popular Complementary Therapy with ancient roots. Aromatherapy is defined as the controlled therapeutic administration of highly concentrated oils extracted from plants. The therapeutic potential of Aromatherapy has yet to be fully realised. Although plant extracts have been used in association with medicine for thousands of years, we still have a great deal to learn about their attributes. What is becoming more widely accepted however, is that Aromatherapy can be a truly holistic (whole) treatment. As well as having effects that can be of benefit to physical conditions, Aromatherapy can help to relieve stress and tension. In general, holistic Aromatherapy treatments tend to create a sense of well being, both physically and emotionally, balancing the mind, body and spirit. So if you fancy training to become an Aromatherapist where do you start?
A Level 3 Qualification in Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology is the starting point for most careers in Complementary Healthcare. Before you can progress to study you chosen therapy you must develop an understanding as to how the body works. This is quite sensible when you think about it. It would be unprofessional, and indeed dangerous, to perform any hands-on treatment without a detailed understanding of the body’s structure and function. After all, you wouldn’t attempt to improve the performance of a car if you didn’t understand the mechanics of its engine.
Some aromatherapy courses may incorporate elements of anatomy, physiology and pathology. Other courses require a Level 3 Qualification as a pre-requisite. You will often hear the phrase Accredited Prior Learning (APL). If anatomy, physiology and pathology is listed as APL for a course then it is necessary for you to hold a qualification in anatomy, physiology and pathology before you begin.
Before you, as an Aromatherapist, begin to treat any members of the public you must take out insurances to protect both your clients and yourself. You will have to show that you hold an accepted qualification in Aromatherapy and that your anatomy & physiology is up to the required standard. The industry standard for anatomy & physiology is the Level 3 Certificate. A word of warning – if the anatomy & physiology is run in tandem and is not accredited, find out if a separate qualification in anatomy & physiology is given. If not, you may have problems getting insured and, despite your studies, your anatomy and physiology may not be accepted as APL for another qualification. It is worth the extra effort to gain an accredited Level 3 Certificate because this will open many doors for you in the future.Confused about Awards, Certificates and Diplomas? Click here.
To help ensure that your Level 3 qualification will be accepted as APL, wherever you choose to study, it is wise to select an awarding organisation that is regulated. The Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF) is the Government framework for recognising achievement. The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) regulates qualifications, examinations and assessments in England and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland. Details of qualifications that are accredited by the regulators of external qualifications are listed on the Register of Regulated Qualifications (RRQ), formerly known as the National Database of Accredited Qualifications (NDAQ). A Level 3 Certificate on the RRQ should be universally accepted. The VTCT (Vocational Training Charitable Trust) is an approved and regulated awarding organisation and offers a Level 3 Certificate in Anatomy Physiology and Pathology for Complementary Therapies that is on the RRQ.
It is important that you find an Aromatherapy course that suits you. You could contact your local college to see what they have to offer. You could also try contacting the International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists (IFPA) at ifparoma.org, the International Federation of Aromatherapists (IFA) at ifaroma.org, or the Aromatherapy Council (AC) at aromatherapycouncil.co.uk.