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What is ICATS?

ICATS exists to provide flexible quality learning to professional and aspiring professionals in the Aroma Trades, Perfumery and Flavour industries, it provides distance learning on a global basis leading to the IFEAT (International Federation of Essential Oils and Aroma Trades) Diploma. ICATS also provides occasional workshops exclusively focused on the Aroma Trades, Perfumery and Flavour industries.

Is attendance necessary?

With the distance learning approach no attendance is required. In this mode of study the normal university approach of lectures, tutorials and workshops are replaced with reading and activities. The approach has proved its worth over 30 years. All the necessary materials are included in the learning pack (ICATS unit workbooks on CDs, textbooks, monographs, aroma reference standards, smelling strips and IFEAT expert papers).

When can I start?

With the distance learning approach there is a lot of flexibility. There is no fixed exam at the end of the academic year and students can start the programme at any time of the year.

What is provided in the learning pack?

All necessary learning materials are included in the ICATS learning pack, CDs of learning material, key textbooks and monographs. For odour studies a sensory studies activity pack is provided. Regrettably for logistics and safety reasons materials for compounding or tasting cannot be supplied.

What support do I get?

On registration you will be assigned a personal tutor. Your personal tutor is only an email away for academic advice and support.

How much work is involved?

To complete the programme in 18 months, a student should plan to study 8 to 10 hours a week although depending on commitments but longer if required.

How long does the course take?

It is recommended that candidates should plan to complete the taught elements of the programme, with associated assignments, in around 18 months and submit their dissertation around six months later. Therefore, it would normally be expected that the course will be fully completed in less than three years.

What is the award?

The award is the ‘Diploma’ of the ‘International Federation of Essential Oils’. The awarding body is the ‘International Federation of Essential Oils and Aroma Trades’.

Are residential workshops available?

A series of short residential workshops are offered by IFEAT, ICATS and the British Society of Perfumers. Future events can be found on the relevant websites.

For the British Society of Perfumers (BSP) website, visit: www.bsp.org.uk

For the International Federation of Essential Oils and Aroma Trades (IFEAT) website, visit: www.ifeat.org

What is the relationship of ICATS to the ‘British Society of Perfumers’?

ICATS perfumery students automatically become ‘Student Members’ of the ‘British Society of Perfumers’.

What are the ‘Aroma Trades’?

The ‘Aroma Trades’ value chain extends form aroma producers (essential oils, extracts and aroma chemicals), aroma distributors, creative houses, producers of flavoured and fragranced products (e.g. Unilever, P&G etc.) and retailers of flavoured and fragranced products (Wal-Mart, Tesco etc.)

What is an evaluator?

Evaluators work with creative perfumers and other professionals in the creative house to help develop and select the best fragrance for a customer’s brief. The role demands good management skills, a good ‘nose’ and good marketing knowledge. Evaluators may also be members of the British Society of Perfumers.

What will the programme do for a new entrant to the industry?

For someone new to the industry the programme provides the answer to the question ‘What is special about the Aroma Trades industry?’ The coverage from production to finished consumer product provides that essential overview of the industry that the growing professional needs.

What will the programme do for a person who has been in the industry for some time?

The programme brings a balanced overview of the industry to enable a professional to deepen their knowledge of their specialism (e.g. flavour / fragrance creation, marketing etc.) and set this knowledge in the total ‘Aroma Trades’ context.

What academic qualifications do I need to apply?

Most entrants possess an honours degree or a professional qualification. This need not be technical or science orientated. The foundation unit provides the necessary underpinning.

Candidates working in the industry but without a first degree or equivalent will be considered. Such candidates should submit their CV and their application must be supported by a senior professional from their sponsoring organisation (e.g. Training Manager, Laboratory Manager etc.).

How will I be assessed?

Achievement is assessed by a number of tutor marked assignments and a final dissertation.

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