Written answers

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Department of Health

Health Services Staff

Photo of Neasa HouriganNeasa Hourigan (Dublin Central, Green Party)
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315. To ask the Minister for Health his plans to update and modernise CORU’s assessment of recognition process, given that it remains a paper-based and lengthy process; if he is aware whether the process acts as a deterrent to health and social care professionals looking to work in Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12022/23]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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The process for the recognition of international qualifications operated by CORU, the Health and Social Care Professionals Council, has been fully digital, using an application portal and back-end system which supports processing, validation, assessment and reporting activities, since September 2021. A pilot for two high-volume professions ran from March to September of that year. Following a period of transition when applications were accepted in the old format (paperless but email based) and via the new application portal, all applications (with the exception of those requiring additional supports) have been made through an application portal on the CORU website at: since January 2022.

In 2022, CORU’s Registration Boards made 48% more decisions on applications for recognition of International Qualifications than they had in 2021. Despite this rapid rise in applications and decisions the average time required to deliver a recognition decision dropped to 69 days in Q3 and Q4 of 2022. This was a significant reduction on the 2021 average of 87 days and the 2020 average of 75 days (the 2018 and 2019 averages were 72 and 75 days respectively).

Delivering a recognition decision includes validation and checking of all evidence supplied such as degree certificates and transcripts, a portfolio style assessment of all relevant qualifications held and additional work-based learning where relevant, formulation of a recommendation by a team of experts, and consideration of that recommendation and final decision by the Registration Board. In some cases, this involves a request for, and analysis of, additional information.

This was achieved through completion of the transition into a fully digital system alongside a number of other changes, made with the support of my Department, to reduce the time required to assess international qualifications while maintaining the necessarily robust assessment system in the interests of public protection. These other initiatives included: transition to a Voice over IP telephone system to ensure effective and efficient phone support to applicants to reduce email traffic which is slower; transition to a new VPN system to improve connectivity; changes in procedures; changes in staffing and organisation; and increased frequency of decision-making meetings of the registration boards.

CORU is in the process of procuring a system which will integrate the processes of recognition of international qualifications and registration for all applicants which will further reduce administrative requirements and timeframes for applicants.


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