Dr Marcella Finnerty, IICP College President

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:

Patrick Benson
Ann Delaney
Dr Marcella Finnerty
Brian Gillen
Jennifer Griffin
Dr Brian Hallahan
Patricia Jordan
Oliver A Kelly
Jean Manahan
Rachel Mooney
Dr Gillian O’Brien
Dr Colin O’Driscoll
Fidelma Twomey

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.