Minister for Health, Simon Harris has appointed the thirteen members of the Counsellors and Psychotherapists Registration Board, under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005.
The Counsellors and Psychotherapists Registration Board will seek to protect the public by fostering high standards of professional conduct, education, training, and competence amongst counsellors and psychotherapists.
The Board will also advise the Minister on the professional titles which should be protected.
Minister Harris said “It is absolutely vital that users can have confidence in the service they receive. We have seen the impact of rogue operations in undermining faith in the profession. It is absolutely vital this area is regulated to ensure adequate supervision of the profession and to ensure its users are protected.”
The Health and Social Care Professionals Council (CORU) will arrange for the first meeting of the Board in the coming months.
The Board will then begin the substantial body of work which must be undertaken before it is in a position to open its registers.
It is envisaged that this process will take a minimum of two years to complete.
When the Board has opened the registers and the transitional period to allow existing practitioners to register is completed, a person who does not meet the standards necessary will not be able to register with CORU.
It will be an offence, punishable by a class A fine or imprisonment of up to six months, for a person not registered to use any of the titles protected, such as ‘counsellor’ or ‘psychotherapist’.
Those who have been appointed to the Board are, Patrick Benson, Ann Delaney, Dr Marcella Finnerty, Brian Gillen, Jennifer Griffin, Dr Brian Hallahan, Patricia Jordan, Oliver A Kelly, Jean Manahan, Rachel Mooney, Dr Gillian O’Brien, Dr Colin O’Driscoll and Fidelma Twomey.