Professional Body Recognition:
The Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP) is Ireland’s largest counselling and psychotherapy professional body. IACP requires that education providers offer training in counselling and psychotherapy to a minimum of a Level 8 Degree standard. With over 4,000 members, IACP represents the interests of counsellors and psychotherapists in Ireland. Our BA (Hons) Degree and our Master’s Degree in Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy has been accredited by IACP. IACP recognition is associated with quality and high standards in the field of counselling and psychotherapy, and many jobs (e.g. HSE) require accreditation along with a recognised academic qualification.
QQI Academic Validation:
All QQI validated programmes in counselling and psychotherapy must adhere to the 2014 QQI Counselling and Psychotherapy Award Standards. QQI have validated the following IICP College programmes, which have all been written to these award standards (click award for more information):
- Level 6 Certificate in Counselling and Psychotherapeutic Studies (Special Purpose Award)
- Level 6 Higher Certificate in Counselling and Psychotherapeutic Studies (Major Award)
- Level 7 BA Degree in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy (Major Award)
- Level 8 BA (Hons) Degree in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy (Major Award)
- Level 9 MA in Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy (Major Award)
- Level 9 MA in Integrative Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy (Major Award)
Protection for Enrolled Learners
This programme is covered by arrangements under section 65 (4) of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 whereby, in the event of IICP College ceasing to provide the programme for any reason, enrolled learners may transfer to a similar programme at another provider, or, in the event that this is not practicable, the fees most recently paid will be refunded. Current PEL arrangements consist of a 2% levy on course fees. IICP do not pass the cost of this on to learners.
The Higher Education Colleges Association (HECA) is an association of independent, private and quality providers of higher education. College membership of HECA necessitates that providers offer a minimum of a Level 7 Degree on the National Framework of Qualifications, which are validated by QQI.
CORU – Future Developments:
Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, has recently announced the appointment of the thirteen members of the CORU Counsellors and Psychotherapists Registration Board, which is overseen by the Health and Social Care Professionals Council. We are delighted to confirm that IICP College President, Dr Marcella Finnerty, has been appointed to this Board. CORU is Ireland’s health and social care regulator and its role is to ensure the public are protected through the promotion of high standards in education and professional conduct. This Board will ensure these high standards are fostered among counsellors and psychotherapists.
In announcing the appointments, Minister Harris said “It is absolutely vital that users can have confidence in the service they receive. We have seen the impact of rogue operations in undermining faith in the profession. It is absolutely vital this area is regulated to ensure adequate supervision of the profession and to ensure its users are protected.”
In the first instance the registration board will undertake the necessary preparatory work to regulate the professions. One of the main functions of the Board will be to approve the education and training requirements for entry to the registers. Regulatory approval of education and training programmes is a process to assess whether a programme consistently and effectively prepares graduates for entry to the register of that profession. To receive approval, a programme must demonstrate that it meets specific quality assurance requirements as set by the Board.
The registration board will also have responsibility for establishing and maintaining two registers of members, one for each of the professions of counsellors and psychotherapists, and for setting the standards of performance and the code of conduct and ethics expected of registrants. The full list of appointees is as follows:
Dr Marcella Finnerty
Dr Brian Hallahan
Oliver A Kelly
Dr Gillian O’Brien
Dr Colin O’Driscoll
For further information about the appointees, please see: https://health.gov.ie/blog/noticeboard/appointments-to-the-new-counsellors-and-psychotherapists-registration-board/
IACP, our professional body, has indicated that the “Board will commence working on the initial structure necessary before it is situated to open the register. The creation of this structure is estimated to take up to two years. After this period, there will be an intervening window that will allow practitioners to register. Practitioners who do not meet the requisite level will be unable to register with CORU. The use of the protected titles such as ‘counsellor’ or ‘psychotherapist’ by an unregistered person will be an offence that will be prosecuted by a class A fine or imprisonment of up to six months.”
IICP College welcomes the appointment of the board and look forward to the knowledge that the process of regulation will bring clarity and confidence to the field.