School Curriculum Guidelines

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 of the structure and function of the following systems; Olfactory, Muscular, Immune, Nervous, Digestive, Respiratory, Integumentary, Urinary, Skeletal, Cardiovascular, Lymphatic, Endocrine, Reproductive, Pregnancy and Childbirth, Terrain (maintaining homeostasis).
  • 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 (Bold print above) 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 and butters)
  • Blending theory: Identify a minimum of three blending theories.
  • Applied aromatherapy:  Identify a minimum six 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
  • Student must pass examination offered by school (minimum 70% for passing grade)

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, Muscular, Immune, Nervous, Digestive, Respiratory, Integumentary, Urinary, Skeletal, Cardiovascular, Lymphatic, Endocrine, Reproductive, Pregnancy and Childbirth, Terrain (maintaining homeostasis).
  • 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 healthcare professional.

Graduating students should be knowledgeable in the structure and function of the 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, macerated oils, and butters) 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 effects 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. Literature review is acceptable however, essential oil profiles are not.
  • Student must complete a minimum of 15 case studies
  • Student must pass examination offered by school (minimum 70% for passing grade). Exam MUST include a combination of the following types of questions; short essay questions, true/false, fill in the blank, multiple choice, mix/match, and case study scenarios (choose 3 of 5 (or more) possible cases presented in the exam).

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. 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.

Level Three:  Advanced Professional 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 fifteen (15) 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.
    • Ethics: Legal and ethical issues in a clinical setting
    • Business:  Writing a business and marketing plan
    • Research: Understand and critically evaluate research
    • Student must complete an 8-10 page research paper.  (Literature review and essential oil profiles are not acceptable.)
    • Student must complete a minimum of 30 case studies
      • Student must pass examination offered by school (minimum 70% for passing grade) Exam MUST include a combination of the following types of questions; short essay questions, true/false, fill in the blank, multiple choice, mix/match, and case study scenarios (choose 3 of 5 (or more) possible cases presented in the exam).
      • 40 direct hours of live education/interaction incorporated into the program. This may be achieved through live Question & Answer Sessions, live study group activity with tutor/instructor involvement, face-to-face in classroom teaching, or clinic time. For online and correspondence schools, this can be achieved via webinar or teleconference with live interaction each month.

AIA currently approved Level 3 Schools will be required to have 20 direct hours of live education/interaction by 2018 and the full 40 direct hours of live education/interaction incorporated into their program by 2019. This may be achieved through live Question & Answer Sessions, live study group activity with tutor/instructor involvement, face-to-face in classroom teaching, or clinic time. For online and correspondence schools, this can be achieved via webinar or teleconference with live interaction.

The plan to incorporate the live education/interaction requirement must be included in the renewal packet.

This new requirement will provide a better opportunity for the school staff to better assess the student's competency in working their cases and essential oil use. This effort will help to ensure the student's understanding of the theory and proficiency in the practice of Aromatherapy.

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.

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

The AIA recognizes that there are Advanced Practice 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 Level 3 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 Advanced Practice 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 enrolment 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.


 

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School Recognition Fees

Congratulations on your decision to be an AIA Recognized School! When you hold the standard as a Level 1, 2, or 3 AIA Recognized School, this means that you are committed to holding the highest standards for your educational program in service to not only your students, but also the field of aromatherapy.

 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.

Schools planning to renew their “Recognized School” status should submit their renewal application three (3) months prior to the expiration date of their listing. There is a $75 “Lapse Fee” for those schools who do not re-apply in time, but if their application to renew is received before the expiration date of their current school listing on the AIA web site. The standard $50 application fee applies for renewal. The AIA will send you a renewal packet six (6) months prior to your school listing’s expiration.

If applying for two levels, fees are calculated as such:  pay for the highest level at 100%, and the next lower level receives a 25% discount. So applying for Level 2 & 3 would be $575 - ($350 for level 3 and $300 less 25% discount $225). If they apply for all 3 levels, then Level one is at 50% off: 

Level 3 $350
Level 2 $225 ($300 less 25% discount)
Level 1 $125 ($250 less 50% discount)
Total $700 + $50 fee

If only Level 1 & 2

Level 2 $300
Level 1 $187.50 ($250 less 25%)
Total $487.50 +$50 fee

Select Your Payment

Initial Application Fee is $50  by mail and $75 by email/digital. Full payment of Recognized School Fees will be due after approval of Recognized School application.

Two-Year Programs – Initial Recognition

Level One – Foundation school fee is $250 
Level Two – Professional school fee is $300 
Level Three – Clinical school fee is $350

Optional One-Year Programs – Initial Recognition

Level One – Foundation school fee is $150
Level Two – Professional school fee is $200 
Level Three – Clinical school fee is $250 

Renewal Application Fee is $50  by mail and $75 by email/digital. 

Two-Year Programs – Renewal

Level One – Foundation school renewal fee is $250 
Level Two – Professional school renewal fee is $300 
Level Three – Clinical school renewal fee is $350 

Click here to pay Recognized School Application Fee

Thank you for participating in the AIA School Recognition Program

AIA Board of Directors