Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
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First Time Accreditation

first time accreditation 

To apply for IACP First Time Accreditation, an applicant must:

1. Be covered by professional indemnity insurance.

2. Have current IACP Garda Vetting in place. Please apply for the Garda Vetting at the time of submitting your documentation for First Time Accreditation, or contact 01 230 35 36 to check if your existing IACP Garda Vetting is current and valid. 

NB:  It is an IACP requirement that all Accredited Members must have current and valid IACP Garda Vetting. Vetting applications may take from 3 weeks up to 8 weeks. Waiting time depends on the level of demand in the National Vetting Bureau at the time of application. If an application is not complete, incorrectly completed or additional information is required, the processing time may be longer. 

3. Have qualified from a core Counselling/Psychotherapy course - IACP Accredited Counselling/Psychotherapy Course or equivalent. The criteria for non-IACP Accredited courses are listed below.

4. Have completed 450 hours of client contact work with an Accredited Supervisor (IACP, BACP* or IAHIP) post 100 trainee hours required on the course (post 120 trainee hours if the course began September 2020 or later). 

As of 26th May 2017:

Students can start counting the 450 client hours towards accreditation after full completion of the currently required minimum 100 student placement hours (120 trainee hours if the course began September 2020 or later), even if still in training on an accredited course. Students are not required to change their Supervisor while in training, but they must change their Supervisor after qualifying/graduating from the course. The supervision ratio remains 1:5 for the duration of the core course. 

Students must have completed a minimum of 2 academic years on the course and finished the required 50 hours of personal therapy before they start counting the 450 hours. It is Course's responsibility to manage all client work while in training. IACP recognise supervision with IACP, BACP* or IAHIP Accredited Supervisors only.

A) The 450 hours of client contact work must cover a variety of presenting issues.

B) Complete one hour of supervision for every 10 hours of client contact work. Please see the Supervision Requirements page for full details on the supervision criteria for those working towards accreditation.

Frequency: Individual Supervision must take place at least once a month when the Counsellor/Psychotherapist actively sees or available to see clients

C) IACP's requirement is that applications for First Time Accreditation are accepted between the period of 1 year and 5 years following successfully qualifying from a core course. 

In special circumstances, an applicant may apply in writing to have their application for Accreditation considered outside the normal timeframe, but this will be at the discretion of the Accreditation Committee. If you are seeking this discretion, please submit a letter with your application explaining why you have not submitted an application within the above timeframe. 

D) Client work for the purpose of first-time accreditation may consist of couple, family or group Counselling/Psychotherapy hours as 25% of the required 450 post-trainee hours. The other 75% of hours must be individual Adult Counselling/Psychotherapy.

(Client Work refers here to specific one-to-one Counselling/Psychotherapy sessions with clients over 18 years of age – i.e. not minors)

E) Working remotely towards accreditation: Important Information re Maximum Amount of Remote Hours 

From June 1st, 2022, 50% of the 450 hours post 1st June 2022 may be completed online/remotely. Any hours completed online before this date will be honoured. Please see IACP Criteria for Remote / Online Counselling & Psychotherapy.
Example 1. Mary
Mary is a Pre-accredited Member and has completed 50 hours face-to-face and 200 hours remotely in 2020 and 2021.
It is June 2022 and she has left 200 hours towards her full accreditation (450). At least 50% of these hours must be completed face-to-face (100).
Example 2. John
John started working towards the IACP accreditation in 2021 and completed so far 120 hours remotely.
It is June 2022 and he needs additional 330 hours before he can apply for full accreditation.
At least 165 hours of the 330 hours must be completed face to face (50% of the remaining 330) towards his full accreditation. The other 165 hours can be completed remotely or face to face depending on his and his clients’ preference.

Remote supervision is accepted for Pre-accredited Members who work with clients both face to face and remotely.

Members who wish to work with clients via telephone or online must follow the IACP Code of Ethics and Practice and IACP guidance and criteria for the 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.

F) Up to 25% of the 450 hours required for the purpose of First Time Accreditation can be with clients who are under 18 if all the criteria and competencies listed in the Standards for Working with Under 18s are met. There must be proof provided of completion of a minimum certificate level additional qualification to work with children & adolescents that encompasses the following modules/themes:


·         Child Development

·         Atypical psychology

·         Neurodevelopment of the brain

·         Play skills for the therapist and techniques for working with children

·         Legal Training/Children’s Rights/Child Protection Policy/Child Welfare/Consent/Report

·         Writing

·         Systemic issues/working with parents/guardians/care-givers

·         Personal therapy/Group process

·         Working with disabilities/special needs clients

·         Practical element in training required under strict supervision


The onus is on the applicant to comply with the Standards for Working with Under 18s if the applicant counts such hours towards IACP Accreditation. A copy of the certificate will be required from an applicant at the time of applying for First Time Accreditation as proof of holding an additional qualification to conduct this type of work.  


G) Provide a Supervisors Report from all Supervisors listed on the application form.

H) Have been in ongoing supervision with the same Accredited Supervisor (IACP, BACP* or IAHIP) for at least 12 months immediately prior to applying. See the Supervision Requirements page for full details.

I) In the Pre-Accreditation period, a minimum of 45 hours of supervision is required to comply with the ratio of 1-hour supervision to 10 counselling hours. Within these 45 hours, 11 supervision hours can be met by group supervision.

*BACP Senior Accredited status plus supervisor qualification. These requirements are due to the BACP reconfiguring membership categories (16/10/2023) – if contracting with a BACP Accredited Supervisor, please ensure that the above criteria are met. If you have any queries regarding a pre-existing contract, please contact the IACP).

Non-IACP Accredited Course

If the core course you have completed is not an IACP Accredited Course, you may still apply for accreditation. However, it is at the discretion of the Accreditation Committee to evaluate whether it meets the criteria.

The main elements of the Core Course Criteria are as follows:

(Applications submitted prior to September 1st 2024) 

A) Minimum a professional diploma level course (min 450 class contact hours)

B) Minimum of 100 hours of supervised individual client work. The student’s external supervisor must not be a member of the course staff. 

C) Minimum ratio of 1-5 individual external supervision hours to client hours. In addition, the course must include group supervision once students begin client practice hours (please check Course Accreditation Criteria for the details of external individual and internal group supervision requirements). 

D) Minimum of 450-course hours of class contact, including skills, theory and self-development

E) A detailed study of one core theoretical model of Counselling/Psychotherapy with an introduction to other theoretical models of Counselling/Psychotherapy for comparison and contrast

F) Minimum of 50 hours of personal therapy during training (individual 1:1)

As of 12 June 2015: Where the applicant has completed a course or combination of two courses, which meet the IACP Core Course criteria in all respects except for the inclusion of 50 hours of personal therapy, then personal therapy taken in parallel with the course with an accredited IACP therapist (or therapist accredited by an organisation acceptable to IACP), will be accepted.

G) Assessment of applicants for suitability before being selected for the course

H) Certification of having satisfactorily completed the course

(Applications submitted after September 1st 2024)

A) Core course must be a minimum of NFQ Level 8 (or international equivalent) and a minimum of 4 years full or part time in duration and not less than 500 hours of student contact. The course must be awarded not less than 180 European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) for a Level 8 degree and not less than 120 credits for a Level 9 qualification.

B) Minimum of 120 hours of supervised individual client work. The student’s external supervisor must not be a member of the course staff.

C) At least one hour of Supervision from an external supervisor for every five hours of client contact. 

D) Minimum of 500 course hours of class contact, including skills, theory and self-development

E) A detailed study of one core theoretical model of Counselling/Psychotherapy with an introduction to other theoretical models of Counselling/Psychotherapy for comparison and contrast

F) Minimum of 50 hours of personal therapy during training

G) Assessment of applicants for suitability before being selected onto the course

N.B. As of 12 June 2015, courses may be combined to make up a core course. These two courses must be completed within 5 years of each other.

You must provide documentation, a detailed course brochure and a course outline for the following:

A) Name of the course and the training organisation
B) Start and end dates of the course
C) Entry requirements for the course
D) Qualifications of staff
E) Number of hours of theory and skills training
F) Number of class contact hours on the course
G) Number of supervised client hours as part of the course
H) For client work, a minimum of 1-5 ratio of supervision hours to client hours
I) Minimum of 50 hours of personal therapy as part of the course

It is the responsibility of the applicant to state wherein the documentation provided, shows this requirement was met and highlight accordingly.

What you will need to complete the application for First Time Accreditation 

1. IACP Membership Number if applicable

2. Name of your Insurance Company, your Professional Liability Insurance policy number and expiry date

3. Photocopy of your core course certificate signed by your supervisor

4. If your core course is non-IACP Accredited course then you will need documentation from the course provider as indicated above

5. The number of client contact hours done over a period of time, the place of practice and the nature of that client work

6. The number of supervision hours done over the same period of time, the name of the supervisor and whether supervision was a group or individual supervision

7. Your Philosophy of Counselling - an essay style question between 400 and 500 words. This should describe your personal and theoretical Counselling/Psychotherapy philosophy and show it is congruent with your current Counselling/Psychotherapy practice.

8. Name, address and qualification(s) of current Supervisor. (Your current Supervisor is the supervisor you have at the time you apply for accreditation)

9. Commitment to Professional Development. The applicant needs to submit a minimum of 10 hours CPD activities done 12 months prior applicaiton, as per IACP CPD Policy (3 hours could be Supervision received).

10. A Supervisors Report Form for each Supervisor listed on your application. This form can be downloaded from the Supervision page of this website.

11. Putting your application together
When putting your application together, you don’t need to provide it in any ‘fancy’ format – just a simple staple, paper clip or single plastic wallet is fine. Please don’t bind your application or put it in a heavy folder – we will only have to remove it. Similarly, please don’t put each individual sheet in a plastic wallet and please make sure the pages are in order. Thank you. 

The Accreditation Process

The application form for first-time accreditation can be requested using the 'Apply Now' box on this page.

The form will be emailed as an attachment to the email address entered.

Payment of the application processing fee is required prior to receiving the application form. Please note that the processing fee is not refundable. 

Once an application is received an email receipt is sent to the Applicant. Please make sure that the email address is correct on your application and it is an address that you check regularly.

Fully completed applications are assessed by the Accreditation Department and the Accreditation Committee, if necessary.

When approved- a confirmation email and a PDF version of the Certificate of Accreditation will be sent to you. 

Please note: As of January 2016 a hard copy of the certificate of accreditation will be issued only on request. 

Only fully completed applications will be processed. Incomplete applications will be rejected. 

Any inaccurate or false information or omission of information on an application form shall render that application invalid.

Application Processing Times

If there are no queries on the application this process will take approximately 3 months.

If there is a query on the application, you will be notified by email and the application will be reviewed by the Accreditation Committee. If this happens then it may take longer than 3 months to process.

If an application is not complete or additional information is required then the processing time may be longer.

At certain times of the year or if the volume of applications is high it may take longer for your application to be processed.

Post Accreditation

Accredited Members are required to:

A) Abide by the IACP Code of Ethics and Practice and are subject to the IACP Complaints Procedure

B) Meet IACP requirements for supervision for Accredited Members. See the Supervision Requirements page for full details.

C) Maintain a CPD log annually

D) IACP Accreditation is for a period of 1 year and is dependent on the annual membership fee being paid on time and obtaining the IACP Garda Vetting

E) After 1 year the IACP Accredited Member is required to make a formal application to renew their Accredited Membership

See the Renewal of Accreditation page for full details on the requirements for IACP Accredited Members.


Apply Now

Apply Now

Tick the box if you do not have IACP Garda Vetting

Processing Fee: €155.00
IACP Garda Vetting: €30.00

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