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Changes in Regulation of Counselling & Psychotherapy

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Changes in Regulation of Counselling & Psychotherapy welcomed by the Irish College of Humanities & Applied Sciences (ICHAS), Limerick

In the latter part of 2016, the Department of Health formally engaged in a public consultation process with interested parties regarding the regulation of counselling and psychotherapy.  In recent week’s the Minister for Health Simon Harris wrote to all those who made submissions and advised them that the pathway towards this type of regulation was being progressed to the next stage.  In a commentary from the Minister’s Office, it was explained that the submissions received in the consultation process showed majority support for statutory regulation of the professions and for it to be undertaken in the context of the Health & Social Care Professionals Act, 2005. He advised those who made submissions that the professions of Counselling and Psychotherapy are to be brought under statutory regulation for the first time in Ireland as two separate and distinct professions under one regulatory registration board. The Irish Colleges of Humanities and Applied Sciences (ICHAS), based in the National Technology Park in Limerick warmly welcomes this development.  The College, which has a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in the fields of Counselling & Psychotherapy has been actively involved in the consultation process and the promotion of high standards of practice in these fields.


Counselling and Psychotherapy, as distinct and separate professions will now be regulated by the Health and Social Care Professionals Council (CORU) under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act, 2005. This means that persons wishing to practice as Counsellors and Psychotherapists will have to meet minimum standards which will be set by the registration Board in CORU, due to be established shortly. This registration function will replace current professional accreditation roles served by the very many Professional Associations who currently act on a voluntary capacity to regulate these areas of practice in Ireland.


It is expected that the minimum educational entry requirements for Counselling will be set at Honours Degree Level (Level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications) and that entry to the practice of Psychotherapy will require a minimum qualification level of Level 9 on the  National Framework of Qualifications (Masters Level)  that meet the academic award standards set by Quality Qualifications Ireland (QQI) in 2014, which acts as both a regulatory agency to ensure the Quality of all higher (and further) level education programmes in Ireland and which also makes its own awards in Colleges which are not in receipt of State Funding, such as ICHAS and other Independent Colleges.


Speaking on behalf of the College. Marie Mulcahy, Director of Corporate Affairs said she would like to congratulate Minister Harris on this development. She also said that the College community, which includes over 350 students at Degree and Masters level from right around the country had made a submission urging this pathway and on behalf of the student body and members of Faculty at the College, she was pleased that future practitioners would be required to hold qualifications which meet best educational and professional standards, which ultimately would benefit the wider public and increase the assurance of quality services.


To learn more please contact:

Marie Mulcahy, Director of Corporate Affairs
Irish College of Humanities & Applied Sciences
Walton House
Lonsdale Road
National Technology Park
061 216 288

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