School Recognition Program

AIA recognizes schools that offer aromatherapy certification programs. We are pleased to recognize and acknowledge these programs that cultivate aromatherapy and aromatherapists. This is an overview of the curriculum required of the schools. 

AIA approves applications from prospective schools with their own curriculum which are separate entities from AIA. AIA Recognized Schools have met the minimum curriculum guidelines as established by the AIA for each level. However a school may choose to teach curriculum over and above the AIA guidelines. AIA does not expressly endorse any curriculum or teachings that are outside the minimum curriculum guidelines established by the AIA. While AIA Recognized Schools are required to submit curriculum changes and/or additions upon renewal or re-filing of their listing(s), the AIA does not independently audit AIA Recognized School curriculums in between filings. An individual with a concern regarding an AIA Recognized School may file a complaint with the AIA using the form provided online.

Obtain the School Application

Why does AIA recognize clinical aromatherapy programs?

For clinical aromatherapy to grow as a complementary health profession, and to have our practices and methods taken more seriously, it is vitally important that we begin to regulate ourselves according to higher standards and that our methods are above reproach. We have an obligation to identify and establish the minimum proficiency outcomes for aromatherapy training at the clinical level. Professional training, standards of practice and professional ethics should be reflected, reviewed and revised on an ongoing basis. Curriculums should reflect current research and be audited regularly to ensure information taught is accurate and up-to-date.

It is the mission of the AIA Education Committee to foster high standards of safe, ethical and professional practice in the clinical use of essential oils. AIA promotes essential oil research and has established guidelines that promote excellence in aromatherapy education. These guidelines assure the competency of practitioners of clinical aromatherapy.

Some Benefits of Recognition:

  • Contact information and web links on the AIA web site.
  • Advertising opportunities in the AIA e-newsletter and conference proceedings.
  • International recognition guidance.

 

Basic Curriculum Requirements:
Level One: Foundation Course in Aromatherapy (Minimum 100 hours)
Level Two: Professional Aromatherapy Certification (Minimum 200 hours)
Level Three: Clinical Level Aromatherapy Training (Minimum 400 hours*)


Level One: Foundation Course in Aromatherapy (100 hours*)
*60 minute training hours or the equivalent in a self-paced program.

Curriculum:

  • World History of Aromatics: Relay history and development of the use of plants by ancient cultures.
  • Anatomy & Physiology: Basic knowledge and understanding of the structure and function of the following systems; Olfactory, Reproductive, Circulatory, Nervous, Endocrine, Lymphatic, Immune, Urinary, Integumentary, Muscular, Skeletal, Digestive, Respiratory.
  • Pathologies: Identify three common heath conditions for each body system and describe how they can be supported by essential oil use. Identify general essential oil safety guidelines.
    • Graduating students should be knowledgeable in the structure and function of the major systems of the human body, together with the pathology of at least three (3) common ailments of each.
  • Role of Olfaction on Human Psychology: Anatomy and physiology of olfaction (memory, emotional disorders, mental state, odor triggers and neurotransmitters) and how essential oils affect the mind.
  • Psychneuroimmunology (PNI): Introduction to PNI and how essential oils can support the mind/body connection.
  • Holism: Define holism and the role aromatherapy in a holistic paradigm.
  • Botany: Basic botany (plant anatomy, plant families, cultivation, environmental factors, photosynthesis).
  • Essential oils: Profiles of 20 essential oils (Folklore, common names, part used, characteristics, extraction methods, storage, among others), identify a Cautionary List and safety issues.
  • Chemistry: Basic organic chemistry (Definition of organic chemistry, atoms, molecules, bonding, main constituents, quality testing).
  • Carrier Oils: Describe the therapeutic properties and uses of 3-5 carriers (oils).
  • Blending theory: Identify a minimum of 3 blending theories.
  • Applied aromatherapy: Identify a minimum 6 methods of application, dilution ratios and pathways by which essential oils enter the body.
  • Consultation Skills & Therapeutic Relationship: Benefits of essential oil use for common ailments, home treatments and when to refer to another practitioner.
  • Ethics: Endorsing the AIA Code of Ethics
  • Business Skills: Basic labeling and marketing skills.
  • Research: Identify components of a research paper and where to locate credible resources.

 


Level Two: Professional Aromatherapy Certification (Minimum 200 hours*)
*60 minute training hours or the equivalent in a self-paced program.

Curriculum:

  • World History of Aromatics: Discuss cultural differences regarding the use of essential oils. Relay the History and Modern Development of essential oil use.
  • Anatomy & Physiology: Identification of bones, muscles and body systems. Explain basic biochemical and physiological terminology. The following systems to be covered in depth: Olfactory, Reproductive, Circulatory, Nervous, Endocrine, Lymphatic, Immune, Urinary, Integumentary, Muscular, Skeletal, Digestive, Respiratory
  • Pathologies: Identify five common heath conditions for each body system and describe how they can be supported by essential oil use. Understand and describe the nature of disease and healing, when to refer to other heath care professional.
    • Graduating students should be knowledgeable in the structure and function of the major systems of the human body, together with the pathology of at least five (5) common ailments of each.
  • Role of Olfaction on Human Psychology: Identify and understand a variety mental and emotional states.
  • Psychneuroimmunology (PNI): Demonstrate the use of essential oils to support the mind/body connection. Identify the stages of the body’s response to stress.
  • Holism: Integrative therapies that can support client care.
  • Botany: Taxonomy (Botanical families, Latin binomial naming, identification, common chemotypes).
  • Essential oils: Profiles of 40 essential oils (Folklore, common names, part used, characteristics, among others, extraction, storage) used within a holistic framework, identify Cautionary Oils and why. Develop an intuitive sense of essential oil quality (organoleptic testing)
  • Safety and Aromatherapy (general, internal use and in pregnancy).
  • Chemistry: Demonstrate sound knowledge of functional groups, chemotypes , characteristics of constituents, hydrosols.
  • Carrier Oils: Describe the therapeutic properties and demonstrate the uses of 10 carriers (cold-pressed and macerated oils) in a holistic setting.
  • Blending theory: Holistic effect and other theories of blending (personality type, energetic)
  • Applied aromatherapy: Dilution, dosage and duration for specific therapeutic outcome in a professional setting.
  • Consultation Skills & Therapeutic Relationship: Various affects of therapeutic relationship, maintaining client records in a professional setting.
  • Ethics: Legal and ethical issues in a professional setting
  • Business Skills: The basics of business development, registration, recordkeeping and marketing
  • Research: General understanding of how to read a research paper, the writing of a case study and different types of research.
    • Student must complete an 8-10 page research paper.
    • Student must complete a minimum of 10 case studies
    • Student must pass examination offered by school (minimum 70% for passing grade)

 

Students entering an aromatherapy program with a degree in health related fields (e.g. Nurses, Massage therapists, Doctors) may test out or be exempt from the anatomy and physiology section only in relation to that part of the training which goes over the structure and function of each system. Pre-existing health professionals are still required to complete training in the application of essential oils to each system and the effect of essential oils on a variety of common ailments.

Any exemption of the anatomy and physiology portion of training should only be allowed when the request for exemption is fully supported by relevant documentation

Level Three: Clinical Level Aromatherapy Training (Minimum 400 hours*)
*60 minute training hours or the equivalent in a self-paced program

Curriculum:

  • World History of Aromatics: Discuss the role essential oils and aromatics in integrative healthcare today. Discuss the development of Natural and Allopathic medicine and the role of modern day aromatherapy.
  • Anatomy & Physiology: Demonstrate understanding of how essential oils interact within each body system.
  • Pathologies: Identify common ailments found in a clinical setting and be able to provide consultation in a medical setting and develop appropriate protocols.
    • Graduating students should be knowledgeable in the structure and function of thirteen (13) systems of the human body, together with the clinical science of at least five (5) common ailments of each.
  • Role of Olfaction on Human Psychology: Demonstrate how to select essential oils to affect emotional, physical and psychotherapeutic states and outline treatment protocols.
  • Psychoneuroimmunology: Clearly define the Stress Response, how the body adapts to stress and the impact of essential oils as a support in the relationship between the nervous system and the immune system.
  • Holism: Collaboration of integrative modalities with aromatherapy to support client care.
  • Botany: Expand knowledge of chemotypes and be able to critically review and apply in a clinical setting.
  • Essential oils: Profiles of 50 essential oils (Folklore, common names, part used, characteristics, among others), identify Cautionary Oils and know how and when to use them within a holistic and clinical framework.
  • Chemistry: Explain pharmacological effects, optical isomers and essential oil selection based on knowledge of individual components in a clinical setting.
  • Carrier Oils: Describe the therapeutic properties and demonstrate the uses of 20 carriers (cold-pressed and macerated oils) in a holistic and clinical setting.
  • Blending theory: How to modify blends for use in a clinical setting according to current research.
  • Applied aromatherapy: Dilution, dosage and duration for specific therapeutic outcome in a clinical setting; including energetic and emotional blending.
  • Consultation Skills & Therapeutic Relationship: Working integratively in a clinical setting and dealing with challenging client/client situations.
  • Business: Writing a business and marketing plan
  • Ethics: Legal and ethical issues in a clinical setting
  • Research: Understand and critically evaluate research
    • Student must complete an 8-10 page research paper.
    • Student must complete a minimum of 15 case studies
    • Student must pass examination offered by school (minimum 70% for passing grade)

 

Students entering an aromatherapy program with a degree/license in health related fields (e.g. Nurses, Massage therapists, Doctors) may test out or be exempt from the anatomy and physiology section only in relation to that part of the training which goes over the structure and function of each system. These health professionals are still required to complete training in the application of essential oils to each system and the effect of essential oils on a variety of common ailments. Any exemption of the anatomy and physiology portion of training should only be allowed when the request for exemption is fully supported by relevant documentation. Any exemption of the anatomy and physiology portion of training should only be allowed when the request for exemption is fully supported by relevant documentation

Special Note for Clinical Level Schools (300-399 hours)

The AIA recognizes that there are Clinical Level schools that offer aromatherapy training to only existing health professionals. A prerequisite to attend such a school requires a previous license in a health related field. The schools’ curriculum may not meet the AIA Clinical Guidelines as written, as consideration is given for previous general training in the areas of anatomy, physiology, chemistry and pathology. These schools provide for specific training in these areas as it directly relates to aromatherapy, and may also provide for a review of other areas of previous training. As such, the total curriculum hours for these schools may fall in the 300-399 range.

AIA Recognized Clinical Level Schools that fall into this category, may grant qualified students advanced placement credit (50 hours for licensed massage therapists, 100 nurses and doctors-restrictions apply*) to bring the student to the required 400 hours of study. The school may require a separate exam upon enrollment to ensure the student meets any prerequisite necessary for enrollment.

Students entering an aromatherapy program with a degree/license in health related fields (e.g. Nurses, Massage Therapists, Doctors) may test out or be exempt from the anatomy and physiology section only in relation to that part of the training which goes over the structure and function of each system. Pre-existing health professionals are still required to complete training in the application of essential oils to each system and the effect of essential oils on a variety of common ailments.

*Student must have been working in their professional capacity (doctor, nurse, massage therapist) within the last 10 years.

Submission Deadlines:

School applications are evaluated by the Review Committee of AIA.

The task of the Review Committee of the AIA is to review the curriculum of a prospective school applying for AIA’s approval. These schools are separate entities from the AIA. The content is reviewed and measured against AIA Education Committee’s guidelines for Clinical Aromatherapy training. The Review Committee does not review a school’s external offerings, such as workshops or Continuing Educational courses at this time. A school is reviewed at the time of application, but is not monitored on an ongoing basis at this time. If you have concern or complaint regarding one of the AIA Approved Schools and you believe they are offering classes that are in direct conflict with the mission statements of the AIA or the AIA Education Committee, please notify the AIA in writing.

Note: The school application review times may vary depending upon the complexity of school submissions

To obtain a school application click here.

There is a $50 non-refundable application fee. After you pay the fee you will receive an email with a link to download your package of Guidelines and Forms in PDF format. If you print out the entire package, you will have a complete set of guidelines with all the forms and application at your fingertips, or print out only the guidelines and forms you want. Be sure to read the instructions carefully. Note: The application will expire one year from purchase date.


If you have any difficulties with obtaining the Guidelines and Forms:

Call:  AIA office at 303-531-6377 or 1-877-531-6377
Email: info@alliance-aromatherapists.org.


For help with your application:

Call: AIA office at 303-531-6377 or 1-877-531-6377
Email: review@alliance-aromatherapists.org


Approval Process:
Upon notice of approval from the AIA Board, the applying school will be sent an invoice for the school fee, less the $50 application fee. Upon receipt of school fee, AIA will send the school an official certificate of the “Recognized School” status, an electronic version of the AIA logo for a “Recognized School” for use on school brochures, and your school will be listed on the AIA web site.


School fees:
The duration of “Recognized School” status is for two (2) years, after which the status expires if AIA does not receive a renewal application. An optional one (1)-year program is available. The effective standard two-year period date will be on the first day of the month following the month of approval by the AIA Board. For instance, if the approval notice was sent to the school by April 30th, the effective date of the two-year period will by May 1st. If the fees are not paid within 30 days of receiving the invoice, the effective date will be on the first day of the month following receipt of payment.

Two-Year Term Optional One-Year Term
Level One – Foundation school fee is $250
Level Two – Professional school fee is $300
Level Three – Clinical school fee is $350
Level One – Foundation school fee is $150
Level Two – Professional school fee is $200
Level Three – Clinical school fee is $250