Over the past year, members of the Board of NAPCP have met with the Minister for Health, Simon Harris and also Deirdre Walsh and Aidan Tumbleton of the Professional Regulation Unit of the Dept. of Health. The purpose of those meetings was to progress the introduction of statutory regulation for counsellors and psychotherapists.
In March, Deirdre Walsh and Aidan Tumbleton made a presentation to a Joint Committee of the Oireachtas – see link to verbatim report of that meeting below. Subsequently, Minister Harris sought and gained the approval of the Oireachtas to proceed to the next stage of the regulation process – the establishment of a Registration Board consisting of 13 members to oversee the regulation of two professions, that of counselling and psychotherapy.
The Registration Board, with CORU, will determine minimum qualifications for future counsellors and psychotherapists. Existing practitioners who do not meet the new criteria will be able to apply for registration using a ‘grandparenting’ facility. NAPCP, in all its contacts with the Minister and the officials, has stressed the need to recognise and give credit for the experience of current counsellors and psychotherapists.
It is hoped that statutory regulation may eventually become a reality in approx. 2 years from now. While that has been promised in the past, at least on this occasion we have never been this far advanced on the road!
Press Release 21st March 2018
Minister Harris welcomes the approval by the Oireachtas of the Regulations designating the professions of counsellor and psychotherapist for regulation under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005
Minister for Health Simon Harris today welcomed the fact that the regulation of the professions of counsellor and psychotherapist has moved a step closer.
Minister Harris said “The regulation of these professions will ensure greater protection of the public as those registered must comply with a code of professional conduct and ethics and will be subject to fitness to practice.”
The decision to regulate the professions of counsellor and psychotherapist comes on foot of consultation with the Health and Social Care Professionals Council, followed by a wider public consultation.
“The approval by the Oireachtas today of the Regulations designating the professions of counsellor and psychotherapist under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005, establishes one registration board for both professions and creates two new professional positions (for the professions of counsellor and psychotherapist) on the Health and Social Care Professionals Council.
“Registrants will have minimum qualifications and only those registered will be entitled to use the title or titles protected under the Act. Registrants will be subject to a range of sanctions (including suspension or cancellation of registration) in the case of a substantiated complaint of professional misconduct or poor professional performance.
“I am conscious of the work done to date by a number of professional bodies and interested parties in seeking to have these professions regulated by the State and I am pleased that I am now in a position to make the Regulations and to commence work on the appointment of the 13 member registration board following the submission of suitable candidates for my consideration by the Public Appointments Service.”
Counsellors and Psychotherapists Registration Board: Discussion at Select Committee of the Oireachtas – 7th March 2018 – click here for full discussion.