Certification, the ARC Exam, and Other Professional Questions
I think you said there is no such thing as certification, but I may have misunderstood. If we have a certification in aromatherapy, are we certified to practice?

Your interpretation was correct; at this time, there is no true certification for aromatherapy aside from becoming a Registered Aromatherapist (RA) after taking the ARC Exam. As to whether or not you can practice, it depends on what you mean by that.

If you want to administer aromatherapy treatments, you need a license to touch from your state. These include licenses in massage, esthetics, nail care and others, depending on your state’s requirements. If your plan is strictly to sell, then you’ll only need a local business license.

Our course offers a certificate of completion, like many other courses. However, these certificates do not certify you on a legal level to apply aromatherapy treatments to others. We recommend successfully passing the ARC exam and becoming an RA. This is the largest professional title available for aromatherapists at this time, and it will put you above any other type of certification. Our Aromatherapy Practitioner’s Course is geared toward giving you the knowledge you need to pass the ARC.

You can read more about this at our blog on certification, located here.

Is the ARC exam necessary? I heard it was optional.

It is optional, but it’s also the Gold standard of the aromatherapy industry. The RA (Registered Aromatherapist) designation stands above any school’s certificate. If you’re serious about practicing and education, it’s an important step.

Are we eligible for insurance?

One does not need a course for insurance. If you’re a licensed LMT or something comparable, then you’re already eligible for liability insurance through organizations like the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals. Other companies are available for those not licensed. If you are going into sales you will need to obtain insurance for the making of the product of course, like any other business.

I don't have a license in a hands-on modality so it sounds like I couldn't do aromatherapy consults with clients even after completing the course?

You don’t need a license to consult, the trick is how to supply blend without making claims but health coach or even a ministerial license allows this. We cover this in the course and forum.

Could I do consults with clients if I worked in, say, a chiropractic office?   Or, would I have to first pass the ARC to be able to independently see clients and have my own consulting practice?

I recommend you become an RA so you have some sort of credential showing you know what you are doing before approaching any medical people but yes you can do that. We have current students who work and teach with chiropractors.

Can we teach after taking your course?

We highly recommend that you begin teaching mini classes almost immediately, to help promote safe and efficacious use. Once you have completed our APT Program and receive your RA designation, we would love to discuss having you work as a future teacher with the Atlantic Institute.

Does your course provide ideas / support / sample outlines / etc. to help me create my own "curriculum" to teach eo safety classes or seminars in my community?

We urge you to start little safe use classes, we have shared what we use on the forum, also Nyssa has a free safety zine she made and it’s for sharing.  In the live course portion, we also specialize in consulting as we feel that is a large part of how we help each other.  We also have many students carrying on our – or my banner of safe use- such as The, Terrae Oleum, and more.  We host our graduates papers like this: Exploring the Synergistic and Complementary Use of Fixed Oils in Aromatic Therapies  which you can get as a download. Plus, we like to support our students talents and need help in blogs, etc and definitely like to share.

Questions about Our Course
I’m interested in learning more about aromatherapy, where do I start?

We offer several options. You may want to consider joining the Inner Sanctum area. This is for those maybe not wanting a course just yet but wanting to use aromatherapy. See the details here.

You study at home on your own with the Home Study Certificate Program but have access to Student Forum.   This is a 200 hour course (Package 1 or Package 2) and you can add on the module for a total of 300 hours (Package 3 or Package 4).

If you want to go all out, do the 425 hour which is all of the above plus 8 days in Tampa for live hands on classes. Check out the Aromatherapy Practitioner Training Program.

Or you could start with one of our books like the Aromatic Spa which is a good beginner book with skin and body care guidelines and covers 55 oils.

The Practitioner Manual covers 350 oils and all their details to compare plus cross indexes with safe use and formulation charts,etc .  This 2 volume set is included in Package 2 and Package 4 which we linked to above.

Please let us know how we can help you on your journey.

How does this course operate?

You will receive a notebook with chapters, sample tests and exercises, and you study independently. The notebook is in black and white, there are numerous diagrams, tables and pictures in the glossary. We will also invite you to our online Facebook forum, which is for students looking to share updates and articles, ask questions and learn together. Once you’re ready, you return your 100-question multiple choice test and 10 essays (you may also return your sample tests if you wish, but this is not required). If you have chosen the Practitioner module along with the course, you will need to provide additional case studies and a research paper for that section. We provide guidance through all aspects.

Is there any interaction with the instructor or other students during the course?

Sylla Hanger will become your mentor for life, and she invites you to contact her at any time with questions. We have also formed a Facebook group for students, and you are invited to interact there (we will need the email you used for your Facebook account to add you to this secret group). We have plans to incorporate more videos but students are added to the Inner Sanctum for the first year. You can also use the interviews on as a tool.

Tell me more about the student forum. Is it active? Do all students participate?

All students are on there, not all speak up but many read and many share. We have a large section of files for more learning. Our APT students and grads also help to serve as mentors. There is a lot of support in the forum for students of all levels.

If starting out I purchase just the 200 hour course and completed it, can I pay later on to add the 100 hour module?   If so, how much would that module cost me?

Yes, the cost will be that less $25, approx $225 without looking!

Can the 200 hour course be completed without the Reference Manual?

Yes it can, the course only covers 60 oils and the manual 350! But you don’t need it to do the course, and can purchase later for the same discount if desired.

One of our students, tells people, “I wanted to kick myself for not buying the Aromatherapy Practitioner Reference Manual when I bought my course.  It’s invaluable and I can’t imagine not having it now.  I tell everyone to get a package that includes it if they don’t already own it.  That 2 volume set is packed with tons of great information!”

Do you discuss hydrosols? I hear that is very popular lately and would like to learn more.

Of course! Hydrosols are a wonderful tool, and we love to cover them as part of the course.

Does the course involve other print materials in addition to the Practitioner Reference Manual?

You are not required to have any materials outside of the course book. However, if you would like supplemental material, we have the Aromatic Mind and the Aromatic Spa books, and you might also want to invest in our chemistry set.

We may also recommend books from outside sources, like Essential Oil Safety:  A Guide for Healthcare Professionals (Robert Tisserand & Rodney Young), depending on your field of study. We will provide personalized recommendations based on your goals, and the reading material will be suggested—not required.

Is the Practitioner Reference Manual included in the cost of the course, or is it a separate purchase?

They are separate purchases, but we offer $25 off after purchasing the course, and that offer stays valid for the entire year of purchase.

Your course is approved by the NAHA but not the AIA. May I ask why?

It is a common misconception that organizations approve courses. We are listed on the NAHA because we have applied, paid and renewed our application annually with the promise to teach by NAHA’s standards (which frequently change). That is the only requirement for being listed, and as a result, it’s not a solid measurement for the validity of a course.

Our course is one of the oldest in the United States, and we have been listed by various organizations for many years. The application processes for these organizations constantly change, and we sometimes find that they become complicated or expensive to maintain. That is why we are currently listed on NAHA but not AIA.

Do you offer live classes?

We currently offer the Aromatherapy Practitioner Training Program for $2,499, however you can save $250 if paid in full. We also offer payment options to make this affordable for those who prefer a monthly fee ($174.75 for 9 months with a $456 due at sign up). This includes the Aromatherapy Practitioner Course, the Aromatherapy Practitioner Reference Manual and two 4 day live sessions. The goal of this module of live classroom time is to provide you with guidance and mentorship as you progress through the course. You can start anytime and once you have started the Home study Course, you can enter APT classes if you would like to join that.

We also offer live two day classes Basic 1 and Basic 2; and several half day classes on distillation, blending, perfumery and full day classes that include the Aromatic Spa or Aromatic Mind book, focusing on aromatics for body or mind. These are stand alone or can be added to the APT program to round out the hands on and practical studies. And we continue to add new courses all the time.

In addition, Nyssa offers several aromatic classes from Upward Spiral Center, including a 100 hour Beginners Course, Writing with Aromas, Tropical Treatments, and free safe use and Make and Take classes. See those here: Upward Spiral Center.

Is the 425-hour class ONLY available live/in person?

Yes. It’s geared to mentor you though the course, so you must be able to attend the 4 live classes or two 4 day classes (you may choose), which are personalized to the group. This is where the added value comes from and you get the hands on practical work.

Is it possible to do the first 300 hours at home, and then finish up the remaining 100 hours live?

Yes. The first 300 hours are the regular course studies you work on your own. You would then schedule your time in the APT Program to go through the course in detail, and do the rest with students on the same path as you. The full APT Program is discounted to allow for all 425 hours; otherwise you would have to pay the difference. Right now, if paid in full, the program is $2249 ($250 savings); if you make payments it’s $2499.

If you purchase the 300 hour course alone and want to upgrade, we will send you a link to be able to add the upgrade.

I live out of state, so a fully in-person program wouldn't be feasible. Would I be able to make a hybrid course work?

Yes, and we would be happy to work with you to make this happen. Contact us directly so that we can discuss the details. We do offer the live portion now in two four-day classes so you would only need two trips to do that.

I’m out of state/country, and I want to do the 300 hour course without live classes. Is that possible?

Yes, you would just complete the regular Aromatherapy Practitioner course, with the Practitioner Module (Package 3 or Package 4) which is built for independent study.

Do you have a timeframe on when you might add webinars and/or Skype sessions to the course?

No, but most likely within the year because they will go with the new Beginner Course which will be online soon. We have many new exciting things up our sleeve this year at Atlantic Institute.

Are there current students and alumni who would be willing to answer any further questions I have about the course?

Yes, we have many students who would be happy to share more information about their experience with our courses and programs. Just contact us and we will send you a list!

Of course, if you are on FB groups (like Essential Oil Consumer Reports), Dedi Keenan Thorne is mod, and also runs Terrae Oleum – feel free to contact her!

What is the average time-frame for most students to complete the 300 hour course?

This all depends on how much time you put in and your previous knowledge, having had one full time student complete the work in 2 months while others take years, there is no limit.  This is completely self paced.

How many hours per week of study is typical?

Again, this is completely a personal preference. It is up to you, most study for a couple of hours, if not more.

Is there personal individualized tutoring along the way?

Yes, you have access to Sylla, Nyssa and many others. The APT students also mentor the forum and we are always here for you.

Even though the course is self paced, do the instructors have regular contact with their students to "keep them moving forward" towards completion?

This is mostly accomplished through the forum we are always here to help motivate you.

Can you tell me more about how the live APT 2 four day sessions are structured so I can arrange travel and transportation? Do students study together in the evenings, do I need a car?

We recommend you arrive the night before or early on the morning that classes begin. Classes typically start by 9 am and end by 4ish so you may leave right after class ends that last evening if you wish. We try to have a class dinner together on the night before classes end. Our next sessions begins in May, with a follow up session to be scheduled in August/September.

There are local hotels we can recommend, also there are Airbnb close by, and some students bunk together; all of that we can help with.  Students are usually too tired to study together in the evenings but many do meet up to socialize or eat together, etc. Most students do rent cars, but if you do not, we can help arrange transport to and from the hotels, etc.

Safety and Essential Oil Questions
How do I understand the quality and purity of my oils, and how to use them based on that?

Purity has little to do with whether or not the oils will be toxic. Because essential oils are potent biological substances, they can be toxic even if pure. Always use caution and safe dilution methods when using any oil, regardless of quality. Of course, it’s still a good idea to purchase your oils from a trustworthy distributor to avoid synthetic oils.

I know essential oils have no nutritional value, but I enjoy having them added into my vitamins, and they make me feel great. What do you think?

Unfortunately, we’re beginning to see injury reports about those vitamins. There’s no need to add essential oils to your vitamins, and doing so has no proven beneficial effect and can harm by taxing your liver. Essential oils can also build up in your system over time and cause harm down the road. I advise against it for yourself, and I especially, 100% advise against it for children or animals. I repeat: Do not feed undiluted essential oils to children.

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