Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
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AGM Motions and Results - October 2022

Motion 1 - This motion was carried 

Motion Text

That the IACP Memorandum and Articles of Association (known henceforth as the IACP Constitution) and the Bye-Laws is hereby amended by the addition to paragraph 12.4 which is underlined below:


A member who is appointed Cathaoirleach in their sixth year on the Board of Directors shall be allowed continue for another year in order to fulfil that role for a two-year term.


A member who is appointed Leas Cathaoirleach in their sixth year on the Board of Directors shall be allowed continue for another year in order to fulfil that role for a two-year term.  In addition, they shall be eligible for election to the position of Cathaoirleach and if appointed, may serve for an additional term as Cathaoirleach.  These are exceptions to the maximum period specified in paragraph 12.1 and 12.5.


The maximum term of office for a Director or Officer is currently six consecutive years.  As an exception, a member who is appointed Cathaoirleach in their sixth year on the Board of Directors is allowed to continue for another year in order to fulfil that role for a two-year term.

The proposed amendments to the Constitution permit members who reach the position of Leas Cathaoirleach to:


a. continue for a second year as Leas Cathaoirleach and

b. be eligible for election to the position of Cathaoirleach even if they have served up to six years as a Director or Officer.

The rationale for this proposed change is to facilitate members who wish to continue to serve as Directors or Officers in very limited circumstances.  This will avoid the loss of experienced and dedicated volunteers at Officer/Board level.

It is also important to maintain corporate memory and knowledge in these key board positions which are dedicated to ensuring the long-term viability and effectiveness of the IACP.  This amendment will ensure there is continuity of the Board’s corporate knowledge and skills.

Proposed by: Elizabeth O'Driscoll                         Seconded by: Eamon Fortune

Motion 2 – This motion was not carried

Motion Text

The IACP engage with insurance providers to determine the type of insurance that is needed for psychotherapists and counsellors in the present day.


The rational is that insurance providers are dictating terms about payment beyond their scope and remit. We could use the buying power of thousands to the invite the best quotes. Depending on the rates quoted and discount offered, the IACP could recommend to their members the best value and cover to suit members situational needs.

Proposed by: Olive Cross                        Seconded by: Karen Murphy

Motion 3 – This motion was carried

Motion Text

That the IACP direct a review of the sections of the Supervision Policy Document which pertain to the period of Pre-Accreditation to ensure good supervisory governance, clarity, and accountability. Note: The word *Agency refers to the organisation/group/service with whom the Pre-accredited Member is accruing hours to qualify for IACP accreditation.


  • IACP approved Training Colleges/Courses discharge their undertaking to adhere to IACP codes, ethics, and practices as soon as a Trainee Member graduates.
  • Trainee Member becomes a Pre-accredited Member, commencing work with a new Supervisor to accrue 450 hours for Accreditation.
  • The Supervisor and Pre-accredited Member undertake to uphold the IACP codes, ethics, and practices.
  • However, the Supervisor has no access to any information relating to standards which the Pre-accredited Member is working to within an * Agency.
  • *Agencies are not necessarily working to IACP codes, ethics, and practices. • No mechanism exists for the Supervisor to have sight of, or access to, details of contracts between clients and Agencies,          hours worked, number of clients, quality of note taking or record keeping etc.
  • The Supervisor and the *Agency have no right to communicate with each other.
  • This lack of communication leaves the Supervisor and the *Agency working in a vacuum.
  • This vacuum has the potential to undermine the quality of the therapeutic experience for the Client.

Review the current Supervision Policy for the Pre-accreditation period to identify areas for improved communications and potential risk.

It is in keeping with the Purpose Statement and Strategic Plan to review all IACP Policies requiring revision.

Proposed by: Patricia Ashe                              Seconded by: Maura Dunne

Motion 4 – This motion was not carried

Motion Text

That the IACP undertakes to make the services of a suitably experienced Barrister (or other similarly qualified legal expert) available as a source of advice and counsel to IACP members to support them in their work with adult clients who report incidences of coercive control, sexual assault and trauma. This assistance is proposed particularly in relation to Therapists’ reporting obligations.

Such support could provide clarity, instruction and assistance to the membership who encounter adult sexual assault and trauma in the course of their client work.

This legal counsel could also advise on suitable training in this area for the IACP membership.


As Therapists we hold a careful balance between creating a place of safety for our client where he/she can openly explore and discuss, perhaps for the first time, the circumstances, impact and effect of sexual assault and trauma they have experienced or are experiencing in their lives.

The Therapist has a duty of care to the client but may simultaneously be under a reporting obligation having been informed that the client has been and may in the future be in danger.

There is great tension in this dual responsibility and the burden to act appropriately, while not either alienating or placing the client in further danger, is carried by the Therapist.

Having the support of formal legal counsel in this area would provide legal protection confidence and reassurance for Therapists in their work. It would also ensure that as Therapists we maintain the highest standards of professionalism in our work with our clients.

Proposed by: Maura Davis                               Seconded by: Kevin Gallagher

Motion 5 – This motion was not carried

Motion Text

The Board of Directors seek Members’ support for the IACP to enter into an accreditation recognition agreement with the National Counselling Society (NCS) in the United Kingdom, equivalent to the accreditation recognition agreement currently in place with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).


The request regarding accreditation recognition agreement was sent to the IACP by the NCS and would afford NCS Accredited Professional Registrants the opportunity to apply for IACP Accredited Membership in the same way in which BACP Accredited Members can apply at present. (IACP condition would include the requirement of a minimum of 50 personal therapy hours to be completed in training by NCS Members, who wish to avail of this agreement, the same way as it is required from BACP Members).

IACP Accredited Members will equally be afforded the opportunity to apply for membership of the NCS via the accreditation recognition agreement in the same way they can currently apply to BACP.

It is clear that there are equivalent standards of accreditation in relation to requirements such as training, client work in training and supervision between the NCS and the BACP. This has also been highlighted in the recent Scope of Practice and Education (SCoPEd) framework. This framework outlines the core training, practice and competence requirements for Counsellors and Psychotherapists working with adults.

The Board considered the value of this agreement to IACP Members and made a decision to consult with Members on this matter.

Proposed by: Damian Davy                             Seconded by: Peter Ledden

Motion 6 – This motion was carried

Motion Text

That motion number 7 passed at the 2021 AGM is hereby rescinded.



That the IACP adopt a policy where they expect charitable organisations providing counselling and who are funded by the HSE are encouraged to pay their psychotherapists and counsellors the same rates of pay being offered to sessional and full time employed psychotherapists and counsellors in the HSE.


Based on legal advice received: Section 4 of the Competition Act 2002 prohibits anti-competitive agreements, decisions and concerted practices between undertakings, and decisions by associations of undertakings.

This Motion could involve the IACP acting as an ‘association of undertakings’ for competition purposes. It represents the clear formulation of a pricing policy applicable to a specific sphere of economic activity by its Members, namely provision of services by its members to charitable organisations funded by the Health Service Executive.

Whilst the Motion does not create a binding obligation upon Members, it would be considered likely that if the Motion was to be implemented, this would be regarded as the adoption of a decision or a concerted practice in relation to economic activity.

Based on legal advices received, this Motion is prohibited by Section 4(1) of the Competition Act 2002 and is void and could even give rise to a criminal exposure for Directors of the IACP under Section 6(1).

Proposed by: Jade Lawless                               Seconded by: Séamus Sheedy

Motion 7 – This motion was not carried

Motion Text

The IACP rescind the change to the IACP Course Criteria point 6.4 and remove the addition of the new sentence applied in 2021 at the request of the course providers and without the vote of the membership: “Students cannot receive payment directly for client work from the client during training.”


The rationale is that it has never been the remit of the accreditation bodies to legislate on fees. This change perpetuates the systemic problem of no monetary value and therefore no value on the profession of counselling, whether it is delivered by students or qualified psychotherapists. No other allied health profession works under these conditions.

Proposed by: Olive Cross                               Seconded by: Karen Murphy

Motion 8 – This motion was not carried

Motion Text

Implementation of Motions Carried at IACP AGM. .

1. Motions agreed and “Passed” by the membership at National AGM’s to be implemented to validate the voice of members.

2. Motions to be enacted within a year of the Motion been passed.


3. If legal opinion is required, this to be sought independently at the screening stage to safeguard the integrity of the Organisation.

Proposed by: Liam Neville                                   Seconded by: Ursula Gilrane-McGarry

Motion 9 – This motion was withdrawn

Motion Text

The IACP offer an on line version of the IACP Journal to the membership who agree to receive in this way.


The Rational is that in order to be environmentally considerate and save some of the €67,675 which was the cost of the 2021 IACP journal printing and postage, the membership might vote on changing the journal to fully on line and thus save on paper, air miles and costs for the IACP. Alternatively orders could be taken using Survey Monkey by email if someone wants to receive the hard copy.

Proposed by: Olive Cross                         Seconded by: Karen Murphy


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