Accreditation

All Programmes at ICHAS are Validated and Awarded by QQI

All Programmes at the Irish College of Humanities and Applied Sciences are validated and awarded by Quality and Qualifications Ireland. QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland) is an independent state agency established by the Quality Assurance and Qualifications (Education and Training) Act 2012  with key functions relating to the Quality Assurance of Higher and Further Education in Ireland, with the validation of programmes and the making of awards primarily. QQI is governed by a board of ten members including the Chief Executive. Board members are appointed by the Minister for Education and Skills. The Chief Executive is appointed by the Board with the consent of the Minister. QQI is responsible for maintaining the ten-level NFQ (National Framework of Qualifications). As an Academic Awarding body it is the only awarding body in Ireland which makes awards at all levels of the NFQ. It is responsible for standard setting for educational awards at the ten levels of the NFQ which they make.

In the area of quality assurance, QQI are responsible for reviewing the effectiveness of quality assurance in further and higher education providers in Ireland, including the universities, institutes of technology, Education and Training Boards and providers in the private further and higher education and training sectors (availing of QQI awards).

QQI-Award-Logo-MidA QQI award is a quality assured award with national and international recognition and is your guarantee that the programme you are considering or have completed is of the highest standard and has been independently validated by QQI.

Accreditation and Regulation of Counselling & Psychotherapy

If you are considering carrying out a course in Counselling or Psychotherapy to become a professional practitioner in Ireland then you should be aware of impending changes in these fields which are likely to significantly impact on future practice. As of now, neither Counselling or Psychotherapy are regulated under statute, which effectively means that anyone can use the title counsellor or psychotherapist, regardless of their qualifications or experience. It is stated governmental policy to change this situation in the public interest and much work has been done to redress this situation in recent years. In recent times, the Government – through the Minister for Health has reaffirmed its commitment to statutory regulation of these areas of practice and when statutory regulation comes, it will be under the Health and Social Care Professionals Council (CORU). The Minister recently announced that a public consultation phase relating to statutory regulation of counsellors and Psychotherapists is expected to commence by early Spring of 2016.

Regulation under CORU (the Health and Social Care Professionals Council) will be a significant development in terms of the protection of the public. The Department of Health have consistently and clearly stated that the minimum educational qualifications that will be necessary for future registration will be QQI qualifications (or equivalent).

In 2014 QQI published new award standards for counselling and psychotherapy. This means that programmes will be required to meet these standards before being validated or awarded by QQI. This standard setting process will support the regulatory process. In 2015 all of the counselling and psychotherapy programmes at ICHAS were benchmarked against these standards and all the programmes meet these new QQI standards.

In addition to meeting the new QQI award standards counselling programmes at ICHAS are designed to facilitate those who wish to pursue professional accreditation also. Students should be aware that they need to meet the requirements of whichever professional accreditation body with whom they wish to be accredited. Programmes at ICHAS are structured with sufficient flexibility to allow for the varying requirements for pre-accreditation membership with a range of professional accreditation bodies in Ireland.

The undergraduate counselling related programmes at ICHAS are recognised by the Irish Association of Alcohol and Addiction Counsellors (IAAAC), the National Association for Pastoral Counselling & Psychotherapy (NAPCP) and the Association of Professional Counsellors and Psychotherapists (APCP) for accreditation purposes where students meet the specificrequirements of each Association in terms of experience within the programmes. The relevant programmes are listed below.

Students are free to apply to any of the relevant professional Associations for student membership while undertaking their programme and students who wish to be professionally accredited need to apply for pre-accredited membership following completion of their programme and in advance of full accredited membership. In such cases, students should direct their efforts within their programme to meeting the specific conditions of the relevant Associations with whom they wish to be accredited, which are set out below. All of the Associations listed below will have specific requirements following the completion of recognised programmes for pre-accredited members to work towards full accreditation and students should familiarise themselves with these requirements by making contact with the relevant Association and enquiring about the criteria that applies.

As a general guideline, all of these Associations specify that attainment of full Accredited Membership requires pre-accredited counselling members to demonstrate evidence of engagement in supervised professional client work for a total of between 450 – 500 hours post training, under supervision at a ratio of 1 hour supervision to 10 hours of professional practice, with an appropriately accredited Supervisor. All will also require demonstration of evidence of engagement with appropriate CPD and ongoing learning, etc. Students should make enquiries with each of the respective Associations for pre-accredited and accredited membership requirements.

Having done so, it is each student’s responsibility to demonstrate the required evidence to each of the relevant professional bodies. The College will advise and support students in this regard through the Student Academic Administration Office.

Students are encouraged to seek student membership of the Association/s with which they wish to achieve professional accreditation.

For further information on each of the professional bodies, see below.

The BA Programmes in Counselling Skills and Addiction StudiesCounselling Skills and Youth StudiesCounselling Skills and Psychotherapy Studies as well as the BA (Hons) in Counselling and Psychotherapy meet the criteria for recognition as a core counseling programme by the Association of Professional Counsellors and Psychotherapists where students meet the specific criteria set out below.

When applying for professional Pre – Accreditation status with the APCP applicants must demonstrate evidence of the following:

  1.  A minimum of 100 hours of supervised individual or group client work during their course.
    2.    A minimum of 400 hours of counselling/psychotherapeutic practice including personal development/personal experience (which may include engagement in training analysis, and processes of self-reflection, personal therapy or personal experience).
    3.    Evidence of Clinical Supervision at a ratio of 1:5 hours with an Accredited Supervisor during training (preferably accredited by APCP).

The BA Programmes in Counselling Skills and Youth StudiesCounselling Skills and Psychotherapy Studies as well as the BA (Hons) in Counselling and Psychotherapy meet the criteria for recognition as a core counselling programme by the National Association for Professional Counselling & Psychotherapy (NAPCP) where students meet the specific criteria set out below.

When applying for professional Pre-Accreditation status with the National Association for Professional Counselling & Psychotherapy (NAPCP) applicants must demonstrate evidence of the following:

  1.  A minimum of 100 hours of supervised individual or couple’s client work during their course.
    2.    A minimum of 50 hours of personal therapy during training.
    3.    Evidence of Clinical Supervision at a ratio of 1:5 hours with an Accredited Supervisor during training (preferably accredited by NAPCP).

The BA Programmes in Counselling Skills and Addiction Studies, as well as the BA (Hons) in Counselling and Psychotherapy meet the criteria for recognition as a core counseling programme by Addiction Counsellors Ireland (ACI) where students meet the specific criteria set out below.

When applying for professional Pre – Accreditation status with the ACI, applicants must demonstrate evidence of the following:

  1.  A minimum of 100 hours of supervised individual or group client work during their course.
    2.    A minimum of 50 hours of personal therapy during training.
    3.    Evidence of Clinical Supervision at a ratio of 1:4 hours with an Accredited Supervisor during training (preferably accredited by ACI).

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