Professional Beauty GCC

Professional Beauty GCC Magazine – Ask the Expert – April 2015

I am looking to take a training course in holistic aromatherapy and wanted to find out what I should be looking for in terms of a training institute – i.e. are there accreditations I should be aware of, affiliated institutes, etc?

Always make sure that the training school that you want to study with have the following to offer you, especially if you want to work in UAE, or would like to take your learning elsewhere in the world, and that it is an INTERNATIONAL qualification and not only support you in one country.
1. That they are affiliated with an International Body, for example. like The International Federation of Professional Aromatherapist – UK (IFPA), or International Therapy Examination Council – UK (ITEC)
2. They are under Knowledge and Human Development Authority – UAE (KHDA) which controls the education system in Institutes/Academies offering various educational program in Dubai
3. That they offer you a Scheme of Works upon you registering with them, as that will show the student how much is at stake and how much they would need to commit before actually putting a deposit down.
4. That they have a proper Prospectus that follows the guidelines of the UAE education system and the affiliation they are connected with i.e. (ITEC) or (IFPA)
5. That all students who register with a registered college have a proper ‘code of conduct and ethics’ in place and follow that through till the end, hence this stops from favoring any other student being better than the rest and stops discrimination.
6. That they have special equipment and a full library to support students with learning difficulties. That the college is willing to support students whose first language is NOT English.
7. Making sure that the Principal Tutor is a recognized and certified Educator with an advanced teachers training certificate from City and Guilds or other affiliations recognized by KHDA
8. Making sure that the trainers/teachers are registered with the curriculum/affiliation they are teaching i.e. ITEC or IFPA
9. That all criterias are covered as per the UAE law, for example for a Massage Therapist they require 500+ hour training (the breakdown is available in the DHA – Department of Health Authority – website). That ALL Massage therapist/Reflexologist/Aromatherapist have 2 years POST experience prior to be allowed to sit for the DHA exam, as without that they are not legible to sit for that exam, and hence cannot work in the UAE without this 2 years POST experience. This has put a huge dent in the market as no one can employ a fully qualified Massage Therapist/Aromatherapist unless he/she has left the country to get the experience for 2 years, comes back and is allowed to sit for the exam to work local here
10. That the training school has been in operation for a few years enabling to be experts in their field of training and have knowledgeable trainers and tutors.

Also what is the difference between taking a holistic aromatherapy course and undertaking this as part of a general beauty course? Finally, what areas should I expect to cover in a holistic aromatherapy course?

There is a vast difference between taking up a profession in one specific field and wanting to become an all-rounder. Comparing a Holistic Aromatherapy course as part of a general Beauty Course is not correct and unprofessional in the field of Clinical Aromatherapy. Note that Aromatherapy is an Art and a Science, it is the study of essential oils extracted from herbs, plants, fruits, flowers, bark, stems, roots etc., and is an Alternative Therapy and cannot be related in any way to a general Beauty course.

Some Beauty courses include some Aromatherapy in their regime as most products contain essential oils anyway, however they are only touching the surface of what is a huge scientific research and a therapy that has been used for 5000 years. To study Holistic Aromatherapy is not an easy task. In the IFPA curriculum which we teach is 800+ hours of training, plus the therapist has to do her case studies which also play a large role in their overall understanding of this art. In Aromatherapy one has to learn the chemical constituents of the oils which will enable the student to become master blenders. Basically at the end of the course the student will be qualified in learning 66 essential oils and 15 base oils and 4 Herb/Macerated oils, this then takes them to an area of being able to work with almost any medical condition the client may come with. Becoming a Holistic Aromatherapist is also understanding empathy and how one shows compassion in their job as a qualified Aromatherapist, where they work with confidentiality and help people also come out of their emotional upheavals. Aromatherapy is very vast as each graduate will specialize in certain fields, some go into Dermatology, Emotional issues, treating musculoskeletal issues, genealogical conditions and much more. It is endless and boundless.

In an IFPA curriculum you cover Anatomy/Physiology/Pathology, Professional Development and Business Awareness, Holistic Massage Theory and Practical, Aromatherapy Theory and Practical, plus the student needs to complete 120 hours of case studies for each practical learnt. All this can be found in our website