The Institute of Personal Care Science (IPCS) has trained 1000's of students from over 77 different countries.

How can I become a Cosmetic Chemist?
To become a qualified Cosmetic Chemist, you will need to successfully complete our Diploma of Personal Care Formulation. This is the best choice if you are looking for a job in the industry (it is what employers look for on a resume) or if you have your own brand and want to be a qualified Cosmetic Chemist.


Where is your Diploma of Personal Care Formulation recognised?
Our Diploma of Personal Care Formulation (course code 10788NAT) is Nationally Recognised by the Australian Department of Education (NTIS provider no. 40333); and as such are Government Recognised courses that are industry approved and recognised as tertiary qualified courses around the world by recognised training institutions (such as Universities and accredited Colleges). In addition, our courses have been peer-reviewed by members of the Australian Society of Cosmetic Chemists providing industry recognition by other member associations such as the International Federation of Society of Cosmetic Chemists (IFSCC) and Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SCC). The training is also recognised by employers throughout this industry around the world.


Are your Certificates recognised?
The qualification of a Certificate level of study has different meanings around the world, unlike Government Registered Diplomas, which have a minimum nominal volume (over 1000 hours of study) along with standardised training levels and assessment requirements. Certificates don’t have set standards around the world therefore can’t be classified as internationally recognised by all regions, because some regions may have higher or lower standards for their Certificates. So while our Certificate training is just below the level of our Diploma training, we can’t say it is internationally recognised because no Certificate training from any Institution around the world can be classified that way. Our Diploma training is Governement Recognised and Registered, and is, therefore, an Internationally and Industry recognised qualification. Our Certificate training is pitched just below the level of our Government Registered Diplomas, so is a very high standard of training. When comparing Certificates and Diplomas in an educational organisation, make sure you look for official Governement accreditation on the Diploma as a mark of standard and quality – and the Certificates from that organisation would also be of a similarly high standard.


What do I get when I complete the Diploma in Personal Care Science?
You get an Internationally Recognised Diploma in the course you have completed, including the cosmetic Chemist title.


Will I get a Certificate when I complete the short courses?
Yes, when you complete the required assessments you will get a Certificate of Completion for the short courses you study.


What if I need help?
The IPCS has unrivalled support for students! Once you have enrolled, a trainer will be in touch with you to plan your study program for you, get you set up with on-line lecture access, learning materials, and help get you started with your studies. They will also be in contact with you every month to check on your progress. You can contact them anytime via email and they will get back to you within 1-2 business days; you can also schedule for tutorial support via phone or skype at a mutually convenient time to get 1-on-1 assistance at no extra cost – it’s all part of the study package! We pride ourselves on providing outstanding student support so you get the most out of your study with us.


I’m not sure which course to study – which is the best course for me?
If you are not sure which course is best for you, you can visit our online selector. The section below provides key information for each area of study. However, do not hesitate to contact us if you would like personalised advice on which course to register for, depending on your background and your overall goals.

For Formulation skills:

  • The Beginners Cosmetic Science workshops are for those who want to learn the basics in cosmetic science to formulate as a hobby, for friends and family, or up to market stall level.
  • The Certificate in Advanced Cosmetic Science is for those who want to learn the essentials of advanced cosmetic science and formulation skills to make professional-level cosmetic formulas. It is a professional-level course for those wanting to work in the industry formulating cosmetics as part of a company or with their own brand.
  • The Certificate in Advanced Hair Formulation is for those who want to learn the essentials of advanced cosmetic science and formulation skills specific to the needs of formulating professional level hair care cosmetic formulas; learners will learn how to formulate salon grade products and ensure their quality.
  • The Diploma of Personal Care Formulation is an ideal Cosmetic Chemist career course if you are looking to further your career working within a larger company and/or want the most comprehensive course possible. It provides you with a world recognised cosmetic science Diploma that is highly regarded by employers and is the best choice if you are undertaking study to further your career as a Cosmetic Chemist. It is the most comprehensive approach to learning how to formulate cosmetics and the quality control and testing aspects of cosmetic formulation development.

For Brand Management skills:

  • The Diploma of Cosmetic Brand Management is the most comprehensive approach to Cosmetic Brand Management and is the course you should select if you want to seek employment/enhance your career prospects as a brand manager or manage your own cosmetics brand.

For Regulatory Compliance:

  • The Certificate in Cosmetic Regulatory Essentials provides a comprehensive approach to the regulatory compliance of cosmetic ingredients, cosmetic labels, promotions, and quality control aspects, including stability and microbiological control from a multi-country perspective. Cosmetic compliance is taught to cover AU, EU, US, JP, and Chinese regions for cosmetic and personal care products.


I want to make my own range of products; what should I study?


Can I study at my own pace?
Yes, you can speed up or slow down your studies at any time; you just need to let your support team knows. The ‘normal’ duration for each course is based on approx. 15 hours of study per week; ‘normal’ duration is summarised in our Prospectus for each course. For those working full time and/or juggling family commitments, IPCS understands this can be hard to achieve. You can therefore study at 6 hours per week and take up to 3 times the ‘normal’ duration. If you can study more than the15 hours of study per week, you can complete the course before the ‘normal’ duration.


How does online training work without on-site practice?
The IPCS has a lot of online lecture videos, text, learning materials as well as study checklist and guidance support to help you study via distance, at a time and place that suits you. While all our training is provided on-line, there is a strong practical component throughout the formulations program getting your hands-on with materials, and making products, from the very start.


How do I do the practical components?
The IPCS sends you a box of raw materials with all cosmetic science and formulating courses for you to work from. In most cases, access to standard kitchen space and equipment will enable you to complete the practical component of these courses; if you have access to a lab environment that is beneficial but not necessary. We also send you a practical activity workbook with full instructions and video links on your cosmetic chemistry practicals to get you started. Please also refer to the Prospectus for more information on the practical components specific to your course.


How do I sit the Diploma exams?
The exams are run on-line via skype so you can attend at a time and place that suits you.


What is the difference between the Diploma of Personal Care Formulation & Certificate in Advanced Cosmetic Science?
There is a significant difference in the volume of study and assessments, and some difference in the detail of training. The Diploma is a 12 months part-time program with 18 full units of study, 4 written assessments, a practical assessment, and an exam. The Certificate is a 5 months part-time program with 6 full units of study from the Diploma and only 2 assessments. The Diploma also entitles you to be called a Cosmetic Chemist on completion, the Certificate program does not. Please visit the individual pages for full information on each program, including example training programs, assessments, and a detailed guide to what you will learn to formulate, here: Diploma of Personal Care Formulation or Certificate in Advanced Cosmetic Science.


Does the Diploma of Personal Care Formulation include Colour and Organic training?
Yes, it teaches some aspects of colour and organic formulation but not in-depth specialty training. On completion of the Diploma, you will know how to formulate just about any type of product and research materials but if you want to be a specialist in Colour and/or Organic FAST, then you should study our specialty programs in these which provide rapid and detailed training in these subject areas to enable you to specialise in these types of formulations much faster than if you go it alone. Read more about each of these programs, including example training and assessment plans and a guide to the extra specialised formulation training here: Certificate in Colour Cosmetic Formulation or Certificate in Organic Formulation.


I want specific advice on my brand can you help me with this?
Yes, the IPCS can help you! The level of advice will depend on the course you are studying with us:

  • For Brand Management courses – you actually need to submit 1 full, real-world Project as part of your assessments, and we provide advice and guidance on these projects during the training/assessment process.
  • For Formulation courses – you would need to be studying the Advanced or Diploma programs, and we can provide you with training support as you progress through the relevant units of study so you can understand how to solve the formulation issue yourself, and where to access similar information in other real-world scenarios. That way, you not only get immediate answers but also learn how to solve similar formulation issues yourself once you’ve finished study with us too!
  • For Regulatory support – you would need to be studying the Certificate in Cosmetic Regulatory Essentials and we will again guide you to finding the appropriate answer as you progress through the relevant units of study – understanding regulations is best learned by applying it to real-world scenarios and that is exactly how we teach!

By learning with the IPCS, you will get the confidence to solve your formulation, brand management, and regulatory issues for yourself using your specific scenarios as necessary, so that you are competent and real-world ready when you have finished your study with us too.

You are also welcome to contact the IPCS directly to discuss your individual needs for more personalised advice; please call the IPCS on +61 7 5446 4680 or email: [email protected]