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For Written Answer on : 13/06/2023
Question Number(s): 1319 Question Reference(s): 28495/23
Department: Health
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.


To ask the Minister for Health the body or bodies representing professional counsellors and psychotherapists that are recognised by his Department and the HSE; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


The Department of Health does not have a role in recognising bodies representing professional counsellors and psychotherapists. The Department’s role relates to providing policy guidance to CORU in relation to professional regulation matters.

As the Deputy may be aware, CORU is Ireland’s multi-profession health regulator. Its role is to protect the public by promoting high standards of professional conduct, education, training and competence through statutory registration of health and social care professionals.

Regulations to designate counsellors and psychotherapists under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 were made by the previous Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, in 2018. The members of the Counsellors and Psychotherapists Registration Board (CPRB) were appointed in February 2019 and they held their inaugural meeting in May 2019.

The CPRB is currently considering which titles will be protected by regulation, the minimum standards of proficiency for entry to the profession, the minimum qualifications that will be required of existing practitioners, and the qualifications that will be required for future graduates.

Once statutory regulation is introduced to the counselling and psychotherapy professions, practitioners wishing to work using these titles in the Republic of Ireland will have register with CORU on the appropriate register. The CPRB will set the standard of education and training for entry to the register and approve and monitor education and training programmes in counselling and psychotherapy.

The work of the CPRB is ongoing and significantly more challenging than it is for registration boards for some of the more established professions owing to the different and complex pathways into these professions, the variety of titles used, and the variety and number of courses and course providers. As such, it is not possible to give a timeframe at present on when the register of counsellors and psychotherapists will open.

The Department is aware that the HSE sets its own eligibility criteria for posts within the HSE, which in the absence of of statutory regulation can sometimes include reference to qualifications accredited by a professional body or membership of a professional body. At present, eligibility criteria for posts within the HSE and HSE-funded services are approved by the HSE’s National Director of HR in consultation with stakeholders and with regard to recruitment challenges, skill-mix, and continuing professional development.

Once the register of counsellors and psychotherapists opens eligibility criteria for HSE posts will require CORU registration.

I hope this information is of assistance.