Wednesday, 21 September 2022
Department of Health
Mental Health Services
115. To ask the Minister for Health if he will address the issue of regulation of psychotherapy and counselling under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 (details supplied). [46116/22]
The Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 (the Act) provides for the protection of the public by promoting high standards of professional conduct and professional education, training & competence through the statutory registration of health and social care professions designated under the Act.
As you are aware, regulations under SI No. 170 of 2018 were made by my predecessor in 2018. The effect of these regulations is to designate the professions of counsellor and psychotherapist under the Act and to establish one registration board for both professions. Members were appointed to the Counsellors and Psychotherapists Registration Board in February 2019 and they held their inaugural meeting in May 2019. The Registration Board has held 20 meetings since it was established. The details of the Board membership are available on the CORU website at coru.ie/about-us/registration-boards/counsellors-and-psychotherapists-registration-board/.
The work of a registration board includes consideration of the titles to be protected and the minimum qualifications to be required of existing practitioners and the qualifications that will be required for future graduates. The work of the Counsellors and Psychotherapists Registration Board is 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.
To date, progress made by the Registration Board has included:
- Identification, verification and comprehensive assessment of legacy/historical qualifications to determine if they are appropriate for transitioning existing practitioners onto the respective registers (when open);
- Scoping and research on the regulation of counsellors and psychotherapists internationally has been conducted;
- The drafting of separate and distinct standards of proficiency for counsellors and psychotherapists has commenced.
The work of the Counsellors and Psychotherapists Registration Board is ongoing.
I hope that this information is of assistance to you.