Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
Tel. 01 230 35 36

Supervision Requirements for Pre-Accredited Members and those working towards accreditation. 

Pre-Accredited Members must comply with IACP supervision requirements.

In order to ensure that the supervisor can be seen to be objective and have no conflict of interest with regard to the supervisee, supervision of the 450 hours post trainee work must not be undertaken with an Accredited Supervisor (IACP, BACP or IAHIP accredited) who

  1. Was directly involved as a core trainer or assessor on their Course/College/Institute or Organisation
  2. Was their supervisor at any stage of their training
  3. Was their personal therapist during training
  4. Had any involvement in the supervisee’s Course/College/Institute or Organisation during the student’s training. 

    Involvement of a supervisor with the Course/College/Institute or Organisation is deemed to extend for 2 years following the termination of a period of employment on or engagement with the Course/College/Institute or Organisation.

As of 26th May 2017, Students can start counting 450 hours towards accreditation after the full completion of the currently required 100 hours even if they are still in training on the accredited courses. All other current rules will apply regarding Supervision Ratio and required change of Supervisor after 100 hours required for the purpose of Student Client Hours (Course Accreditation Criteria 2015). Also, the students should have finished the required 50 hours of personal therapy before they start counting the 450 hours. The new Supervisor also must be IACP, BACP or IAHIP accredited. 

Frequency, Ratio and Forms of Supervision

Frequency: Individual Supervision must take place for at least hour per month when the Counsellor / Psychotherapist is actively seeing or available to see clients.

Ratio: The required minimum ratio of supervision for Pre-Accredited members is one hour of supervision for every 10 client contact hours.

Forms of Supervision: 

(a) One to one supervision 

Sitting in on the counselling session followed by a review of the session.

Viewing the Counsellor/Psychotherapist through a window or by video, followed by a review of the session. 

Using case-notes, verbatim notes or tape-recording of the session.

During the 450 hours of post-trainee counselling/psychotherapy practice, at least 75% of supervision time must be in individual supervision.

(b) Group supervision - where the Supervisor takes responsibility for the supervision of two or more Counsellors/Psychotherapists.

In order to include group supervision as part of a Pre-Accredited member’s supervision requirements for accreditation, it is required that:

The maximum number of supervisees in the supervision group is 6 (not including the group supervisor)


A group of 2 meet for a minimum of 1 hour a month (this would be counted as 1 hour supervision for each member)

A group of 3 meet for a minimum of 1.5 hours a month (this would be counted as 1.5 hours supervision for each member)

A group of 4 meet for a minimum of 2 hours a month (this would be counted as 2 hours supervision for each member)

A group of 5 meet for a minimum of 2.5 hours a month (this would be counted as 2.5 hours supervision for each member)

A group of 6 meet for a minimum of 3 hours a month (this would be counted as 3 hours supervision for each member)

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 this 45 hours, 11 supervision hours can be met by group supervision, where the group meets the above requirements.

When applying for Accreditation the applicant must be able to show a range of client experience. Supervisor and supervisee should discuss this in their contracting and at each review of the supervisory contract.

For IACP Members Working Towards Accreditation Outside of 32 counties:

To fulfil the IACP Supervision requirements, Audio (tele) or Videoconferencing (VC) Supervision can be accepted for the purpose of accreditation/ reaccreditation as long as it is done with the use of a safe medium. The onus is on the IACP Member/ Supervisor to make sure that the medium is secure and all aspects of confidentiality are protected. Also, the IACP Member/ Supervisor must have an appropriate insurance cover for such working arrangement and be aware of the legal requirements of the country that they are working in.


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Timeframe for statutory registration


Draft regulations to designate the professions of Counsellors and Psychotherapists and to establish a registration board will be ready for submission to the Houses of the Oireachtas for their approval during the present session, the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, has told the Dail.


The Minister recently concluded a public consultation on  his proposal to regulate counsellors generally under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005.


On foot of the consultation process, He has decided to proceed with the designation of two distinct professions under the Act, that of counsellor and psychotherapist. Each will have its own register under one registration board. This decision has been communicated to the Health and Social Care Professionals Council, the relevant professional bodies and all the respondents to the public consultation process.


Subject to the approval of the Houses, the next step will be the appointment of the 13 members of the registration board, following the submission of suitable candidates for the Minister's consideration, by the Public Appointments Service. The aim is that the registration board will be in a position early in the New Year to begin the task of drafting the various bye-laws to allow it to establish its registers.



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