Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
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Practice During Covid-19 Outbreak FAQs

Should I continue to see clients in my private practice?

This is a matter for each individual member to assess. However, in making this assessment we do advise you to follow the up to date guidelines outlined by the HSE (link) and the HSPC (link). For our members who may wish to consider seeing clients via telephone or online, we ask that you follow our code of ethics and practice and our guidance and criteria for provision of online counselling while doing so. Please note that there is also a free CPD training course on online counselling in the CPD Portal in our Members Area, that members can complete.


All IACP events have been postponed, how will I gain CPD points?

To date only events scheduled in March and April have been postponed/cancelled. We have an Online CPD portal in our Members Area where you can earn a total of 8 CPD points across 3 different courses. In addition, the requirements for compliance with CPD will be reviewed in the coming months to take account of restricted access to CPD opportunities during this time.


Can I receive telephone/on-line supervision during this Covid-19 outbreak?

If you and your Supervisor decide not to undertake face-to-face supervision sessions, please note that the board recently approved remote supervision via telephone or online which is accepted for Pre-accredited Members who work online (maximum of 50 hours of client work out of 450 can be supervised online) and for Accredited Members and Supervisors who work with clients both face to face and remotely.

IACP Supervisors who supervise remotely either online or by telephone, must be competent to deliver work remotely and adhere to IACP Criteria for Remote/Online Counselling & Psychotherapy Work, as well as adhere to IACP’s Recommended Approach for Online Counselling and Psychotherapy (link) and follow the IACP Code of Ethics and Practice (link).


How can I look after myself during this outbreak?

The IACP Code of Ethics and Practice states the following in relation to self-care and highlights that members should:

a) Take responsibility to protect and monitor their own physical, emotional, mental and psychological wellbeing at a level that enables them to work effectively with their clients. This active self-care includes:

• Taking precautions to protect their own physical safety

• Monitoring their own psychological and physical health

• Seeking professional support and services as the need arises

• Keeping a healthy balance between work and other aspects of life

b) Monitor themselves for signs of impairment from their own physical, mental, or emotional problems. Practitioners refrain from offering or providing professional services when their professional functioning is impaired due to personal or emotional difficulties including illness, bereavement, trauma, alcohol or drug misuse or dependency, or any other significant distress.

c) Take responsibility to seek appropriate professional assistance for problems that reach the level of professional impairment, Practitioners also take responsibility to inform and consult with their supervisor in relation to such issues, and when necessary, for the safety of their clients, and their own wellbeing, limit, suspend or terminate their professional responsibilities until it is determined with their supervisor that they may safely resume their work.

d) Provide consultation and assistance when warranted with colleagues showing signs of professional impairment and intervene as appropriate to prevent imminent harm to clients.


How can Students and Course Providers manage training requirements during the Covid19 outbreak?

To address contingency planning around course delivery and continuity of the placement work for students during Covid19 outbreak, IACP sees that it is course provider’s discretion to organise alternative temporary arrangements for course and client work if necessary. Regarding the clinical placement, if the course provider sees that it is in the best interest of the client to continue sessions by temporary telephone arrangement, please follow strictly IACP Code of Ethics and Practice and IACP practical guidelines on working remotely available under below link:

https://iacp.ie/onlinecounselling

While we're making allowances for remote contact counting towards qualifying hours, including client work, personal therapy and supervision on a temporary basis during the outbreak, it's up to the individual training institution as to whether they feel this aligns with their protocols and standards. If the Course Provider decides to allow the students to conduct such practice remotely, IACP Guidelines and Criteria for online work should be followed.


What employment and income supports are available to IACP Members during Covid19?

The most up to date source of information regarding employment and income supports is available on the Citizen Information Website. Here you can learn about employment and income supports for both, people who have temporarily lost their employment (both employees and self-employed) and for people who are ill. https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/health/covid19_overview.html 


If I decide to work online for the duration of the outbreak, how should I choose the platform to conduct such work?

IACP Members who choose to work remotely must be trained and adhere to IACP Criteria for Remote/Online Counselling & Psychotherapy Work, as well as adhere to IACP’s Recommended Approach for Online Counselling and Psychotherapy (link) and follow the IACP Code of Ethics and Practice (link). Also, IACP created Guidelines for Members on the use of online business platforms which can be accessed under the link. Please note that you should look for a portal/platform that is GDPR compliant and uses a secure payment system such as Paypal or Stripe or Worldpay. IACP does not endorse any specific providers of these online platforms, however, we are aware of a number of Irish online counselling platforms operating currently on the market including www.TherapyHub.iewww.wellola.com, www.mymind.org and www.nuahealth.com .


If I decide to conduct telephone counselling with my clients, how do I take payments?

For members who wish to conduct telephone counselling, without the use of an online platform, for payment purposes Members can use bank transfers or payment platforms such as Revolut or Paypal. Revolut is free online banking where you can make instant payments once both users have a Revolut card. Also, Paypal is another way for clients to make online payments. Many Irish banks have means and methods to provide safe payment online, please check with your bank to see how they can help you accept payment online. 


How do I apply for Re-accreditation during the outbreak?

The Accreditation Department works remotely during the Covid19 outbreak. 

Annual re-accreditation applications are already available online thus this process will not be affected. If you wish to complete the paper version of the form:

Please complete the re-accreditation application form and scan it in full (or take a photo of each page) and forward a copy of the full application by email to Accreditation Supervisor to: stephen@iacp.ie   

Please note that there might be a slight delay with the application processing during this time, but the staff are doing their best to continue as normal. If you are unable to apply for Re-accreditation for any reason during the outbreak, please notify the Accreditation Supervisor by emailing: stephen@iacp.ie   


How do I apply for First Time Accreditation during the outbreak?

The Accreditation Department works remotely during the Covid19 outbreak. 

As First Time Applications are at present paper-based, we would ask anyone who is ready to apply to the First Time Accreditation to request the form on the website: https://iacp.ie/first-time-accreditation , then once received, please complete the application form and scan it in full (or take a photo of each page) and forward a copy of the full application, including Supervisor's Reports and all supporting documentation, by email to Accreditation Supervisor to: stephen@iacp.ie . Please also post the original application to the IACP, First Floor, Marina House, 11-13 Clarence Street, Dun Laoghaire, A96 WC94, Co. Dublin. 

Please note that there might be a slight delay with the application processing during this time, but the staff are doing their best to continue as normal. 

 


I am unable to see clients during Covid19 outbreak, am I still required to attend supervision?

As per current IACP Supervision Requirements (https://iacp.ie/supervision-requirements-for-accredited-members), supervision must take place at least once a month, when the Accredited Member is actively seeing or available to see clients. If not seeing clients, a minimum of 10 supervision sessions per year will be accepted (allowing for holidays, illness, bereavements and other personal circumstances.).

If there is less than 10 sessions of supervision in the previous 12 months, a cover letter should be supplied to the Accreditation Department to seek an exemption outlining the reason for the lack of supervision.


As a Pre-accredited Member, can I work remotely during Covid 19 outbreak and what is the limit of remote client hours towards accreditation?

Current accreditation criteria states that online work can be a small proportion of 450 hours for the purpose of First Time Accreditation and a maximum of 50 hours out of the overall 450 hours. As we face a national emergency, client work for the duration of Covid19 outbreak completed remotely by Pre-accredited Members which exceeds 50 hours can also be counted towards 450 hours to allow continued support of clients in distress. Please note that these additional hours will be only accepted for accreditation purposes if meet other requirements such as adequate training on working online and supervision ratio.

Members who wish to work with clients via telephone or online must follow IACP Code of Ethics and Practice and IACP guidance and criteria for provision of online counselling. Please note that there is also a free CPD training course on online counselling in the CPD Portal in our Members Area. 


If I decide to work online during the outbreak, am I required to have an additional insurance?

Practitioners who wish to work online/telephone through distance therapy provision should ensure that their professional indemnity insurance covers their work in this medium, and that it extends to coverage of relevant jurisdictions and the laws which apply in these.  We advise all members to check with their insurance provider to confirm that they are willing to extend insurance to online/tele practice before embarking on this type of practice.


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