Unit of competency details

SHBBBOS004 - Provide aromatherapy massages (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes and is equivalent to SIBBBOS403A - Perform aromatherapy massageUnit updated to the Standards for Training Packages. Title changed to better describe the outcome of the unit. Changes to content of Application Statement, Elements and Performance Criteria. Prerequisite removed. 24/Sep/2015

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 25/Sep/2015


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061711 Massage Therapy  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061711 Massage Therapy  07/Dec/2015 
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Unit Of competency

Modification History

Not applicable.


This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to provide aromatherapy massages using blended aromatic plant oils.

It requires the ability to establish priorities with clients, and synthesise knowledge of anatomy and physiology, skin science and lifestyle factors to select aromatic oils and massage techniques to meet client needs. Aromatherapy massage can be a single treatment, or form part of a series of treatments.

This unit applies to beauty and spa therapists who work in beauty salons, massage clinics and spas. In this environment they work as part of a team but make independent treatment decisions. They have knowledge across a range of aromatherapy massage techniques and blended oils.

No occupational licensing, certification or specific legislative requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

Pre-requisite Unit


Competency Field

Body Services

Unit Sector


Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.

1. Establish client priorities.

1.1 Access and review client treatment plan if available.

1.2 Discuss aromatherapy massage requirements and lifestyle factors with client to identify treatment priorities.

1.3 Review client medical history, medications and obtain medical approval prior to treatment as required.

1.4 Assess client skin condition and possible adverse reactions and discuss with client.

1.5 Identify contraindications to aromatherapy massage and refer client to appropriate professional as required.

1.6 Assess suitability of aromatherapy massage and capacity of massage movements to meet client requirements.

2. Design and recommend aromatherapy treatment.

2.1 Design proposed treatment for a single or series of treatments including the selection of aromatic oils to maximise outcomes for client and minimise damage to skin.

2.2 Discuss benefits and potential adverse effects of selected blended oils and treatment sequence with client.

2.3 Explain recommendations for duration, frequency and treatment costs.

2.4 Modify treatment plan, record updates and obtain client consent.

3. Prepare for aromatherapy massage.

3.1 Check readiness of treatment area and availability of equipment.

3.2 Prepare client and blended oils based on agreed treatment plan.

3.3 Use energy, water and other resources efficiently during preparation and subsequent treatment process.

4. Provide massage treatment.

4.1 Apply blended oils and massage sequence to client according to treatment plan.

4.2 Position self and client to minimise fatigue and risk of injury.

4.3 Vary massage routine to suit treatment objectives and in response to client reactions.

4.4 Ensure client comfort and modesty throughout treatment.

4.5 Allow post treatment recovery time in a relaxing environment.

5. Review massage treatment and provide post treatment advice.

5.1 Evaluate aromatherapy massage treatment with client.

5.2 Record outcomes of treatment on client treatment plan.

5.3 Manage client expectations of potential outcomes.

5.4 Recommend home care, lifestyle changes, products and future treatments to improve health and appearance of skin.

5.5 Update client treatment plan and rebook client as required.

6. Clean treatment area.

6.1 Remove used linen and clean surfaces and equipment according to organisational policies and procedures.

6.2 Store aromatherapy oils to ensure longevity.

6.3 Restock equipment and products in preparation for next treatment.

6.4 Dispose of general waste to minimise negative environmental impacts and according to organisational policies and procedures.

Foundation Skills

Foundation skills essential to performance in this unit, but not explicit in the performance criteria are listed here, along with a brief context statement.



Reading skills to:

  • interpret and follow manufacturer instructions and safety data sheets for dilution, handling, storage and disposal of cleaning products
  • interpret and apply product specifications for care and handling of blended oils.

Oral communication skills to:

  • elect and use appropriate terminology in consultations with clients and discussions with team members
  • protect confidentiality of client information by ensuring other clients and colleagues do not overhear discussions.

Numeracy skills to:

  • measure product quantities and calculate, treatment timing and pricing.

Technology skills to:

  • access credible online publications and resources to build knowledge of selection and use of aromatic oils for typical clients
  • use client software to update client notes, rebook future treatments, record stock data and product purchases.

Unit Mapping Information

SIBBBOS403A Perform aromatherapy massage


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=255d312b-db07-48f2-b6d6-1b0b06c42898


Assessment requirements

Modification History

Not applicable.

Performance Evidence

Evidence of the ability to complete tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit in the context of the job role, and:

  • provide six safe and appropriate aromatherapy massages to different clients that meet one or more of the following established client objectives:
  • muscular tension relief
  • relaxation
  • skin healing
  • explain to clients effects and benefits of blended oils listed in Knowledge Evidence and recommended aromatherapy treatment on body systems
  • design, record and update treatment plans and records for each of the above clients using correct anatomical terminology and specifying details of:
  • client feedback
  • contraindications and conditions
  • products and blended oils used
  • massage routine
  • outcomes of previous and current treatment
  • post treatment lifestyle and product advice
  • relevant medical history and medication
  • treatment duration, areas treated and areas not treated
  • treatment objectives
  • recommended future treatments
  • design and provide treatment routines that demonstrate appropriate selection, application and combination of the following aromatherapy massage movements:
  • effleurage
  • friction
  • petrissage
  • provide aromatherapy massage treatments that demonstrate appropriate variation in rhythm and repetition of movements
  • design a series of four treatments for three of the above clients to address ongoing needs of each client
  • present self, according to organisational policy
  • comply with health and hygiene regulations and requirements
  • clean, prepare and maintain treatment areas according to organisational policy.

Knowledge Evidence

Demonstrated knowledge required to complete the tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit:

  • state or territory and local health and hygiene regulations and requirements relevant to aromatherapy massages
  • organisational policies and procedures relevant to aromatherapy massage:
  • client record management
  • equipment use and maintenance
  • incident reporting
  • linen use and laundry procedures
  • personal hygiene and presentation
  • presentation of treatment area
  • waste disposal
  • work health and safety
  • legal and insurance liabilities and responsibilities regarding treatments
  • scope of practice:
  • when to refer clients to other practitioners
  • importance of not stating a diagnosis of a contraindication
  • limitations to passive joint movements
  • role of complementary therapist and medical practitioner
  • factors likely to affect suitability of treatments for client needs:
  • budgetary and time constraints
  • outcomes of previous treatments
  • physical attributes
  • effects and benefits of:
  • each type of massage movement and technique
  • blended oils:
  • basil
  • bergamot
  • chamomile
  • citrus: grapefruit, lemon, lime, mandarin, tangerine
  • clary sage
  • eucalyptus
  • frankincense
  • geranium
  • juniper
  • lavender
  • rose
  • rosemary
  • sandalwood
  • tea tree
  • massage on body systems
  • effects of aromatherapy treatments on body systems:
  • circulatory
  • digestive
  • integumentary
  • lymphatic
  • muscular
  • nervous
  • respiratory
  • skeletal and articular
  • anatomical position terminology in relation to aromatherapy massage
  • common disorders of body systems and their relationship to aromatherapy treatments
  • anatomy and physiology of skin structures as it relates to aromatherapy massage:
  • factors affecting penetration of aromatic plant oils
  • sensory functions of skin
  • potential capacity of aromatherapy massage to affect:
  • sleeping patterns
  • muscular tension
  • relaxation of client
  • healing of skin
  • care, handling and storage of oils:
  • clear and accurate labelling
  • decanting and resealing
  • protection from light
  • temperature control
  • ingredients in mixed oils and their effect on skin and possible contraindications in combining oils with other products
  • contraindications that prevent treatment or require clearance from a medical professional to proceed:
  • bacterial, fungal, parasitic and viral infections
  • cancer
  • clients under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • clients with symptoms of infectious disease:
  • fever
  • extremes of body temperature fractures relevant to aromatherapy massage
  • pain that is chronic or does not have a logical explanation:
  • local
  • sharp
  • dull
  • deep
  • surface
  • pregnancy
  • contraindications that restrict treatment and appropriate modifications to treatment and use of oils:
  • allergies to essential oils
  • areas exhibiting loss of sensation
  • asthma
  • fragile skin
  • inflammation
  • lumps and tissue changes
  • rashes
  • recent chemical peels, epilation, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), laser or micro-dermabrasion treatment
  • recent scar tissue
  • severe oedema
  • skin trauma
  • sprains
  • appearance and limitations of aromatherapy treatments in skin disorders and diseases:
  • benign neoplasms and hyperplasias
  • dermatitis and eczema
  • icthyosis
  • lupus erythematosus
  • scleroderma
  • skin tumours
  • uticaria
  • reactions to aromatherapy massage and appropriate remedial action:
  • allergy to products and oils
  • bruising
  • dizziness
  • emotional release
  • joint sounds
  • headaches
  • muscle spasms
  • pain or discomfort
  • lifestyle factors and benefits of lifestyle changes
  • sustainable operating procedures for the conservation of product, water and power
  • aftercare advice, products and treatments relevant to aromatherapy massage.

Assessment Conditions

Skills must be demonstrated in a beauty industry environment; this can be:

  • a beauty industry workplace or
  • a simulated beauty workplace set up for the purpose of skills assessment, that provides services to paying members of the public.

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • paying clients, both new and regular, with different aromatherapy massage requirements, who have the expectation that the services provided reflect those of a commercial business
  • hand washing facilities with:
  • basin
  • hot and cold
  • running water
  • liquid soap
  • single use towels or hand dryer
  • relevant workplace documentation:
  • blank client cards
  • organisational policies and procedures relevant to aromatherapy massage
  • safety data sheets for cleaning products and aromatic oils.

Assessment must ensure use of:

  • cleaning and disinfection products and equipment
  • client gown and hair protectors
  • individual work station consisting of:
  • adjustable treatment table with safe working access at both ends and sides
  • trolley for product and bowls
  • massage oils or creams
  • pre-blended aromatherapy oils from a comprehensive and professional product range
  • treatment towels or linen, or disposable linen.

Assessment activities that allow the individual to:

  • provide aromatherapy massage treatments within commercially realistic speed, timing and productivity
  • demonstrate competency in an environment reflective of real work situations
  • manage tasks and contingencies in the context of the job role.

Assessors must satisfy the Standards for Registered Training Organisation’s requirements for assessors and:

  • hold a qualification as a beauty or spa therapist
  • have worked as a beauty therapist for at least three years where they have applied the skills and knowledge of this unit of competency.


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=255d312b-db07-48f2-b6d6-1b0b06c42898