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What is the difference between an Essential Oil Practitioners' Diploma and studying Aromatherapy

My accredited Essential Oil Practitioner's Diploma is very popular for many reasons. Firstly, it is ideal for people who want to learn about using essential oils but do not want to learn or practice its administration through massage and secondly, it is done entirely online, supported by me as your personal tutor. Next, people like the modular payment structure where you pay as you go rather than having to pay for the whole course upfront and finally, they enjoy the tutorial support system, which is supportive but not pressured. You can take your time (you have up to two years to complete).

Aromatherapy has National Occupational Standards and a Core Curriculum that was written by the profession following 10 years of debate and work. You can view these documents online. The NOS are available on the Skills for Health website at and the Aromatherapy Council's website is I was instrumental in the development of both of these documents and still look after the Aromatherapy Council's interests.

Over the years, many people have contacted me to say that they wish they could learn about the oils but either did not want to learn massage or couldn't due to a physical disability. As a result, I have extracted all of the components of the aromatherapy core curriculum minus the massage to create the Essential Oil Practitioners' Diploma.This course is accredited by Complementary Health Professionals (see and upon successful completion, you can join this professional association as a practitioner member and gain insurance to practice.

What does the Essential Oil Practitioners' Diploma allow me to do?

Aromatherapists tend to administer their oils primarily via massage but they also learn to create blends in products for their clients to use at home. Therefore, this diploma teaches you to do just that: you will learn to make up blends in a variety of ways using many different base products that you can sell to clients following a face to face consultation. This will allow you to set up a practice where people come to you for bespoke essential oil products that you will make up especially for their individual needs. With a face to face consultation, you can make up blends specifically for a medical problem and put that on the label.

Some of my students are people who are interested in creating products for general sale on the market without a face to face consultation. This is fine as it will teach you about blending, safety and chemistry of essential oils to give you a greater understanding of the oils on the syllabus and it also gives you the advice you need legally to sell essential oil products this way. You cannot make any medicinal claims of products for general sale and it is quite expensive to have all of your products tested before you can market them.

Online learning and support

There are lots of courses online that will tell you that it is accredited and meets certain standards. You may even be able to get insurance after doing them but they are often quick and easy and do not leave you with the tools or confidence to set up a private practice. That is where my course differs. This is an in depth training programme that is challenging but with the coursework you have to complete, you will have the confidence you need when you have qualified. You will also be able to belong to one of the UK's leading professional associations that keeps its members up to date with information and provides lots of further training opportunities through workshops and conferences.

How I support my learners is in several ways. When you first enrol and pay for your first module, you will be sent a login and password to our online learning environment. Here you will be able to get into your first module workbook and lots of support resources, such as handouts, booklists, video links and links to research. You will also see the coursework set for each module. You can contact me for help and advice using whatever method suits. Some prefer to email, whilst others will send messages through Facebook Messenger or texts. Some students like to call for a chat and others like to use Skype or Facetime.

It is important that when undertaking a course like this that you have the time you need to dedicate to it and you need to be self-motivated as you will be studying the theory at home with support materials online. Therefore, you need to create a study timetable to plan when you will sit down and read the course materials and complete the coursework and case studies. If you are studying aromatherapy with me, then you will have that additional motivation of coming to practical sessions but for the Essential Oil Dipploma, you need to really plan your time for your studies. I will not be pestering you and will leave you to work at your own pace and in your own time, although the course must be completed within two years to be current. Booking a Skype session is helpful to get you back on track if you fall behind. Online courses are great if you are the sort of person who is self-motivated and of course it gives you the freedom to study when you want in your own home without travelling away but it is not for everyone. So please do think carefully about it before enrolling.

If you worry about online only courses then I also support this online course with workshops and I am always happy for you to visit me for the day if you would like to spend a day making products with me. This costs £100 for the day plus any product costs (base products, oils and jars), and you can take home everything you make. I do an aromatic tour of Kew Gardens every June through Complementary Health Professionals (CHP) to supports students of both the Essential Oil Diploma and Aromatherapy and it is also great CPD for existing Aromatherapists so there is always a nice mix of people where we can share oil knowledge and experiences as we learn about the plants that give us essential oils. I also offer a blending masterclass each year through CHP, which you can book onto via the CPD course page on their website.

I hope this has given you some insight into the training I offer. I do offer the full aromatherapy diploma too if that is something you would prefer and it is a wonderful career either way spending every day with essential oils. I was introduced to essential oils in 1990 and quickly enrolled onto a course back then and have never looked back. I have many, many years under my belt as a qualified therapist and love to share my experiences and knowledge with my students, so please do get in touch if you would like to train with me.

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