Aromatherapy Training

A dictionary definition of training is the education, instruction or discipline of a person being trained, while one of the definitions of train is to make proficient by instruction and practice, as in some art, profession or work.  Aromatherapy Training as offered through the West Coast Institute of Aromatherapy offers an enjoyable, fun way to learn about essential oils. Working with essential oils is both an art and a science and learning to develop both aspects is so much easier with the right guidance!

Aromatherapy 101 is the starting point and lays down a really good foundation. For some this is as far as they want to go. Others who are more serious about their studies and who want to learn more move on to Aromatherapy 201. Each course has an exam and exam requirements, successful completion of which results in the applicable certificate. Both exams are set up as 100 multiple choice question exam and for Aromatherapy 101 there is the additional requirement of an essay, while for Aromatherapy 201 there are the additional requirements of a research paper and case studies.  All of these are well explained and covered in the course material and workbook.

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  • The Aromatherapy 101 Course – our basic aromatherapy course.
  • The Aromatherapy 201 Course – this course that builds on the knowledge already gained in the Aromatherapy 101 Course. Prerequisite Aromatherapy 101.
  • Full Professional Course – take advantage of purchasing both the Aromatherapy 101 course and Aromatherapy 201 course at the same time and receive a discount.

Massage Workshop Options

A Certificate is awarded on the successful completion of each course and is specific to that course. Completion of Aromatherapy 101 (rated at 170 hours) and Aromatherapy 201 (rated at 440 hours) is generally required for those who wish to join one of the Aromatherapy Associations as a Professional Member. Please note that while none of our massage options are a requirement for our successful Aromatherapy 201 graduates to receive a Certificate from West Coast Institute of Aromatherapy recognizing them as an “Clinical Aromatherapist”, we do offer graduates of our Aromatherapy 101, Aromatherapy 201 and one of our massage options the opportunity to receive a Diploma in Aromatherapy to recognize that they have completed a massage portion as well.

Books or Downloads?

Aromatherapy Associations do not offer training courses, however they all have standards and requirements that must be met by those wishing to join. Some Associations will also recognize individuals or schools as teaching to their standards. Our courses are recognized by all of the associations listed. They not only meet the requirements of each individual association but in fact, exceed the requirements of all of them. Our graduates are eligible to join the following Associations as Full Professional Members.

In Canada:
British Columbia Association of Practicing Aromatherapists (BCAPA);
British Columbia Alliance of Aromatherapy (BCAOA);
Natural Health Professionals of Canada (NHPC) (formerly AMTWP);
Canadian Federation of Aromatherapists CFA;
In the USA:
National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA);
Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA);
Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP);
For links to these associations see our Links page.

Our courses are also recognized by:

  • the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals as being eligible for earning Continuing Education Units.

The West Coast Institute of Aromatherapy is approved by the Minister Of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada under sub-paragraphs 118.5(1)(1)(ii) and 118.6(1)(a)(ii) of the Income Tax Act and is eligible to issue Tuition Tax Certificates.

A Certificate is awarded on the successful completion of each course. Those who successfully complete, Aromatherapy 101, Aromatherapy 201 and one of our massage options will be eligible to request our Diploma in Aromatherapy.

What is Certification?
Most schools will offer an examination that tests the student’s knowledge of the material taught in their course. Upon successful completion of this exam a Certificate or Diploma will be issued by the School attesting that the student has successfully met the requirements as laid down by that school. The only governmental recognition of Aromatherapy in North America is the occupational title designation granted to the BCAOA under the Societies Act of British Columbia.

What is an accredited course in Aromatherapy?
The answer to this will depend on who you ask. At the present time, British Columbia is the only Provincial Government to recognize Aromatherapy as a distinct profession and has granted Occupational Title Protection to the members of the BCAOA (British Columbia Alliance of Aromatherapy) with the exclusive right for its members to call themselves Registered Aromatherapists (R.A.). Graduates of the West Coast Institute of Aromatherapy are eligible to join the BCAOA as our courses are recognized by them as meeting their core curriculum standards. The BCAOA also holds the Canada wide Registered Trademark of Essential Oil Therapist — EOT®, EOT®, Registered Aromatherapist – RA® RA®.  In the USA it is possible to write the ARC exam.  ARC is a private company that runs this exam and issues those who pass the exam the right to use the title Registered Aromatherapist.  In order to be eligible to write the exam the applicant must first have completed an aromatherapy course that meets the standards of NAHA or AIA.

Most Aromatherapy Associations will accredit courses that meet their minimum standards. In the United States, NAHA (National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy) and AIA (Alliance of International Aromatherapists) have their minimum standards in place and schools they recognize must meet these standards.  The ABMP (Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals) also has standards in place that must be met in order to be eligible for membership. The courses offered by The West Coast Institute of Aromatherapy meets and exceeds the standards of all three of these bodies. In Canada, there are two aromatherapy associations  the BCAPA (British Columbia Association of Practicing Aromatherapists) and the CFA (Canadian Federation of Aromatherapists). The West Coast Institute of Aromatherapy meets and exceeds the Core Curriculum Standards of both of these organizations as well.   The BCAOA (British Columbia Alliance Of Aromatherapy) is the first, and at this point the only, organization that has received a government issued designation for Aromatherapy anywhere in North America. They were granted occupational title protection and designation, Registered Aromatherapist and the initials RA, under the Society Act of British Columbia in March of 2003.  This occupational title designation grants the exclusive right to use this title in British Columbia to members of the BCAOA. The BCAOA also holds four Canadian Registered Trade Marked titles and initials: Essential Oil Therapist — EOT®; EOT®; Registered Aromatherapist – RA®;RA® for the exclusive use of their members Canada wide.


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