This is a post I published least year but it’s coming round to renewal time again so I thought I would post it again
I’m sure we’ve all looked at our professional association renewal when we receive it and thought ‘Do I really need to be a member?’ It seems like a lot of money and some of the multi-disciplinary bodies seem to offer similar benefits of membership for the same price or less.
Well I’m passionate about why you should be a member of a professional association that is specific to your therapy practice. I made the decision all those years ago to train with a then ISPA accredited school because:
- It reassured me that the training was to a high standard
- That the school I trained at was monitored to ensure high standards
- That the syllabus fitted with the National Occupational Standards (NOS)
- That my qualification was recognised by other professional bodies and most importantly the National Health Service (NHS)
- It shows the public that you have studied and achieved a recognised qualification in order to practice safely which instils confidence in your client
Being a member of a professional association brings together like-minded people who can network through regional groups, social media, and conferences to share experiences and learn from each other. Annual General Meetings (AGMs) and Conferences are tailored to the level of qualification. Aromatherapy qualifications can vary between Level 2 and Level 4 depending on the awarding body so I believe it is crucial to remain a member of the association that your course is accredited with. Most professional association memberships include a peer-reviewed journal, discounts and insurance as well as other member benefits. Most associations do a lot of work behind the scenes to support your work as well by maintaining high standards for education, providing the above mentioned educational offerings, engage in opportunities to educate the general public about your therapy, provide referrals to their members to those seeking more information, stay abreast of the current industry standards and news to keep their membership informed. Many organizations also get involved in regulations and governmental issues that may affect your ability to practice or provide your therapy. Your membership dues help to ensure the continuance of the organization to provide these special benefits to you the practitioner.
Be proud to be a member, shout it from the rooftops and educate others about professional associations. They are essential because the therapy they oversee is special and that’s probably the reason you trained in one of their schools. Stay true!