All Courses at ICHAS are accredited by QQI

All courses at the Irish College of Humanities and Applied Sciences are accredited 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.

CORU to regulate Counselling and PsychotherapyRegulation 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.

Learn From the Best

Our range of professional degrees and short courses are some of the most modern and inovative available today. Whether you are training to be a professional, seeking to upgrade your skills and knowledge, or just want learn for your own personal development; we have the course for you.


M.A. Masters in Counselling & Psychotherapy – Graduate 2011

Joining ICHAS at diploma level, my aspiration was to discover what counselling was about. After the diploma and through the Level 8 and Level 9 programmes, it became more about discovering who I was and then becoming a reflective counsellor. Understanding my self was most important if I was to help others with their journey. An additional benefit from this course was meeting so many different people from different backgrounds and with different views which taught me more about working with people, as a client or otherwise.

The college, course, staff and peers enabled this journey for me, where I have become a more holistic person. Now that I have ended up with a Masters in Counselling & Psychotherapy through the various challenges along the way is a great achievement for me.


Sinead MCGuinness
(Graduate of the MA in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy; BA (Hons) in Counselling and PsychotherapyBA in Counselling Skills and Psychotherapy Studies)

I began my voyage with ICHAS in Studying for the BA degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy studies was the beginning of my voyage with ICHAS. I never imaged what an amazing voyage this would be and all the amazing people I would meet along my way.  I am still on my voyage and still meeting amazing people and still learning every day. My studies with ICHAS went further than I could ever have believed with finding myself growing both on a personal and professional level. The college at all times (more…)


Patrick Fitzgerald
(BA in Counselling Skills and Psychotherapy Studies)

I came into ICHAS knowing that I wanted to help and work with people. Currently in my third year and all I can say is that I am amazed by how much I have grown both as a person and as a student. I was out of education for two years before starting and had fears and reservations about my ability as an academic and still not fully sure what I wanted to do with my life. The environment here compared to University’s or Institutes is not focused on just delivering the content and getting you through your degree or masters. Here they are looking at the individual behind the books and making sure that each student receives the same quality engagement that I have not seen anywhere else. ICHAS has allowed me over the last three years to see my true potential and ability through the stimulating learning environment here. I recommend this college to anyone looking into the areas of Counselling and Psychotherapy due to the high level of engagement with peers and lecturers.

Phone: 061 216 288
Walton House, Lonsdale Rd., National Technology Park,
Castletroy, Limerick, Ireland