Occupational Therapists’ Legally Protected Title

“Occupational Therapist” is now a legally protected title in Ireland and only those who have applied to, or registered with, CORU, Ireland’s multi-profession health regulator are entitled to practise using this title.

Ginny Hanrahan CEO CORU and Professor Bernard McCartan, Chairperson of the Health and Social Care Professionals Council.
Ginny Hanrahan CEO CORU and Professor Bernard McCartan, Chairperson of the Health and Social Care Professionals Council.

The register for occupational therapists first opened in 2015 and registration was subject to a two-year transition period. This period has now expired meaning that the profession is now subject to statutory regulation for the first time.

To date over 2,000 occupational therapists have applied for registration with CORU.

Speaking about regulation of the profession Ginny Hanrahan, CEO of CORU said, “This is a positive development for the occupational therapy profession. Restricting the use of the title enables CORU to protect the public by promoting high standards of professional conduct, education, training and competence. We look forward to working with the registrants, to ensure the highest standards of patient care are consistently delivered.

“The protection of the title also sends a powerful message to patients and service users, about the quality and consistency of care they can expect. Members of the public can now ensure that their occupational therapist meets these high standards. The register for occupational therapists is available on our website www.coru.ie

The new regulations apply to anyone practising in Ireland with the title ‘Occupational Therapist’.

The requirements to register include:

  • Completing formal registration with CORU
  • Meeting the required education standards
  • Satisfying the Registration Board that they are a ‘fit and proper’ person to engage in the practice including undergoing the Garda Vetting process
  • Complying with a Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics
  • Engaging in continuous professional development

The protection of the title is provided for in the Health and Social Care Act 2005.

CORU may prosecute anyone who continues to misuse a protected title. It is a criminal offence and, on conviction, they may be liable to a Class A fine and/or six months’ imprisonment.