Minister’s decision to regulate counsellors and psychotherapists is welcome

Neville welcomes Minister’s decision to regulate counsellors and psychotherapists

Fine Gael TD for Limerick Dan Neville has said that Minister for Health Dr James Reilly’s decision to regulate all counsellors and psychotherapists is a crucial step in ensuring that vulnerable people are counselled only by qualified professionals.

He said : ”Minister Reilly TD has informed me that he has decided, in the public interest, to designate by regulation the profession(s) of Counsellor and Psychotherapist under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act, 2005. Minister Reilly has written to the Chairman of the Health and Social Care Professionals Council Chairman, Mr. Tom Jordan, informing of this.

“I welcome the decision of the Minister, as there has been extreme concern that unqualified persons or those with qualifications from a weekend course have been allowed to deal with people in a very sensitive situation.The Minister under the act is obliged to consult with the Council in the first instance and to give interested persons, organisations and bodies an opportunity to make representations to him concerning the proposed designation. He has requested his officials to put the necessary arrangements in place to initiate this consultation process as soon as possible.

“The Minister is also awaiting the report of the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) on the academic standards necessary for accreditation of courses in Counselling and Psychotherapy. This is an essential element as it will inform, for the purpose of registration, the assessment by the Health and Social Care Professionals Council of the qualifications of those currently in practice. QQI has now advised that this Report will be available in May 2014“Once the outcome of the consultation process has been assessed, Minister Reilly will then be in a position to make the decisions necessary to proceed with regulations designating the profession(s) to be regulated and prescribing the title(s) to be protected. The Registration Board will then be established by Statutory Instrument and the Public Appointments Service will be requested to advertise for expressions of interest in being appointed to the Registration Board