The answer is…it depends!
In Australia, the Australian Natural Therapists Association (ANTA) has ‘recognised professional’ training requirements in the field of aromatherapy.
“Aromatherapy is practiced by practitioners whose practice has been defined by the Government National Health Training Package HLT51407 introduced in 2002. An Aromatherapist is a practitioner trained in Aromatherapy principles, philosophy and practice and uses volatile plant oils for psychological and physical well-being. Aromatherapists blend therapeutic essential oils for individuals and recommend methods of use such as topical application, massage, inhalation or water immersion to stimulate desired responses.”
So you can’t even call yourself an aromatherapist in Australia unless you have completed the approved Health Training requirements. http://training.gov.au/Training/Details/HLT51407
In Canada, the profession is self-regulated, but clearly defined and the terms trademark protected. The Canadian Federation of Aromatherapists…
“…has set standards for certification, safety and professional conduct for its members. A core curriculum has been established that our schools must follow and writing the CFA National Exam is a requirement for membership. Our members are entitled to use the legal designation CAHP (Certified Aromatherapy Health Professional) which is only available and applicable to CFA members.”
“To graduate from a CFA approved program, students must complete 400 educational hours and pass the standardized national CFA exam.”
The CAHP designation is protected under the Canadian trademark laws. http://cfacanada.com/about/
The Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA) defines the term Qualified Aromatherapist as…
“one who has completed a recognized training in aromatherapy at the minimum level of 200 educational contact hours (such as approved by the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy or the Alliance of International Aromatherapists) or has been recognized through a standardized exam, such as provided by the Aromatherapy Registration Council.”
Many Qualified Aromatherapists in the USA belong to the AIA. http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/aromatherapy/standards-of-practice/
The United States has no Federal regulations for the practice of aromatherapy. Laws for the practice vary by state.
The title “Certified Aromatherapist” has no recognized or legal meaning at all in the USA.
Individuals who call themselves Certified Aromatherapists range from those who have attended a Sunday afternoon class, and leave with a certificate of attendance, proclaiming they are now a “Certified Aromatherapist” – to individuals who have degrees in the practice of medicine, but have only attended marketing classes held by the brand they were recruited to sell – to individuals with advanced training in aromatic medicine...and everything in between.
The only recognized title in the USA with any formal recognition within the Aromatherapy community in the USA, is “Registered Aromatherapist™ (RA™)“. This title is available to those who have passed the Aromatherapy Registration Council exam. Learn more from the The Aromatherapy Registration Council at http://www.aromatherapycouncil.org/