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


The Student section of the IACP website is concerned with addressing the role of a Counsellor / Psychotherapist, the benefits of Student Membership, and Frequently Asked Questions.

To become a Student Member with the IACP please click this link for a list of membership benefits and to download the Student Membership application form


Raising Course Accreditation to Degree in Counselling & Psychotherapy Level 8 on NFQ. 

The IACP would like to notify you of the following plan to increase the minimum educational requirement for Counselling & Psychotherapy (for the purpose of accreditation and course accreditation) to Degree Level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications. This change will be implemented on 1st September 2018. 

Any Degree programmes in Counselling & Psychotherapy Level 8 applying for IACP course accreditation must be validated by QQI/ University and meet other IACP clinical requirements (as per IACP course criteria 2015). 

This requirement would apply to all IACP accredited courses which are commencing on and from 1st September 2018. 

Also, as of 1st September 2024, the minimum qualification requirement regarding applicants presenting for First Time Accreditation would be a Degree in Counselling & Psychotherapy Level 8 on NFQ. 


The role of a Counsellor or Psychotherapist.

Counselling and Psychotherapy is a caring profession whereby individuals are encouraged to explore difficulties that they may have. The individual is supported by a Counsellor / Psychotherapist to progress through and beyond these difficulties.

A counselling / psychotherapy session consists of a Counsellor / Psychotherapist seeing a client in a private and confidential setting to explore a difficulty the client is having, distress they may be experiencing or perhaps their dissatisfaction with life, or a lost sense of direction and purpose.

These difficulties are explored on a one to one basis or in a group situation in a confidential environment that encourages and supports the individual to express their difficulties. The Counsellor / Psychotherapist does not give advice or direct a client to take a particular course of action, instead the client is encouraged to find their own way to cope with their presenting difficulty. 


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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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