What’s in a name? Quite a lot in the world of aromatherapy! If you are researching a course/career in an aromatherapy-related subject, you might be confused by the various names which a qualified aromatherapist goes by – names, or initials, which follow the aromatherapist’s name, that is. At the moment, there is no single, legally-required format to indicate your level of aromatherapy training – and you might find, with a bit of research, that people use the same term to describe very differing levels of aromatherapy training. Here’s a quick look at some of the more common terms used to describe an aromatherapist’s training.
Certified Aromatherapist (CA)
A Certified Aromatherapist (CA) is the most common – and probably the most apt – term used to describe an aromatherapist who has taken a certified aromatherapy training program with an approved provider for a particular organization. This training is some indication of the level of education that an aromatherapist has received. However, even certified aromatherapy courses can vary in content and quality, so do further research into the actual training provider, and the qualifications and experience they hold, too. Certified aromatherapy courses vary considerably in length – depending upon the accreditation board and the level of training.
Certified Clinical Aromatherapy Practitioner (CCAP)
Some aromatherapist use the term Certified Clinical Aromatherapy Practitioner (CCAP). Aromatherapists who use this term have usually completed an education in clinical aromatherapy practice – and may/may not be practicing clinical aromatherapy as well. Training in clinical aromatherapy is usually an indication of a higher level of aromatherapy training than a basic aromatherapy course (with a minimum number of hours of training) – but it is still prudent to check the level of training, too.
Master Aromatherapist (MA)
The term Master Aromatherapist (MA) – not to be confused with those who have taken an University Master’s degree – is used by some individuals, and organizations, to try to indicate that their level of training is of the highest standard (and length). However, this is not a legal term – and a course which doesn’t use this term isn’t necessarily of lesser value and quality than a course which does use the term.
It is personal preference if you want to use the term on completion of an aromatherapy course which indicates it is of “master aromatherapy” level.
Certified Aromatherapist vs. Registered Aromatherapist
In the United States, the term Registered Aromatherapist (RA) is also used. For more information on this term, read this previous blog post – The Difference Between a Certified Aromatherapist and a Registered Aromatherapist.
A Note on Aromatherapy Course Titles
Aromatherapy courses not only vary in content – but in description, too. Some aromatherapy course providers abbreviate the course title for ease of use; however, this does not indicate a legal term or title to be used after certification.
Do diligent research when searching for an appropriate aromatherapy course for your needs – there are many different aromatherapy courses to choose from and your final choice will depend on your personal needs, goals and budget. Don’t be afraid to ask questions from the course provider – a reputable course provider should be willing to answer such questions and provide information in order that you can make an informed choice.
On a final note, there is no legal requirement to have studied aromatherapy before setting up in practice as an “aromatherapist.”
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Author is a UK certified aromatherapist with seven years of practice and experience in the United States.