Frequently Asked Questions - General
CORU's role is to protect the public through regulating the health and social care professions listed in the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 (as amended).
To regulate the professions, CORU will:
- Set the standards that health and social care professionals must meet
- Ensure that the relevant educational bodies deliver qualifications that prepare professionals to provide safe and appropriate care
- Maintain and publish a Register of health and social care professionals who meet our standards
- Ensure that registered professionals keep their skills up to date by promoting Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
- Run Fitness to Practise hearings into the conduct and competence of a Registrant
CORU is made up of the Health and Social Care Professionals Council and 14 Registration Boards, one for each profession named in our Act.
The professions to be regulated are:
- Clinical Biochemists
- Counsellors and Psychotherapists
CORU currently has registers open for the following professions:
- Dietitians / Dieticians
- Medical Scientists
- Occupational Therapists
- Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians
- Radiographers and Radiation Therapists
- Social Workers
- Speech and Language Therapists / Speech Therapists
- Social Care Workers
Registers for the other professions will follow on a phased basis.
The Council's role is to:
- Oversee and coordinate the Registration Boards
- Make rules
- Provide guidelines on bye-laws
- Provide support to Registration Boards
- Encourage collaboration between Registration Boards
- Serve as an appeals body for those refused registration
- Enforce standards of practice through the Fitness to Practise regime
- Handle complaints
- Ensure the protection of titles
- Advise the Minister or other functions assigned by the Minister
A separate Registration Board will be established for each of the professions. The objective of each Registration Board is to protect the public by fostering high standards of professional conduct, education, training and competence among those registered.
Each Registration Board will consist of 13 voluntary members with a lay majority as follows: 6 will be elected by registrants of their profession (3 engaged in the practice of that profession, 2 engaged in the management of services provided by it and one in the education and training of it). The remaining 7 will be appointed by the Minister (one from the management of the public health sector, the social care sector or both, one from a voluntary or private sector organisation concerned with health or social care, one involved in the training of that profession and 4 representing the interest of the general public).
Each Registration Board will:
- Establish and maintain the Register for that designated profession
- Issue certificates of registration
- Give guidance regarding ethical conduct, practice of the profession and continuous professional development
- Approve education and training programmes
- Monitor the continuing suitability of programmes approved for the education and training of applicants for registration
The Register of Physiotherapists opened on 30 September 2016. The two-year transitional period (known as grand parenting) provided for by Section 91 of the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 Act (as amended) ended on 30 September 2018. Applications for registration were accepted via two routes: existing practitioners under Section 91 (also known as the transition/grand parenting route) and new graduates (Section 38). The title “Physiotherapist” became a legally protected professional title upon the close of the grand parenting period.
Physiotherapists who submitted an application under Section 91 can continue to use the protected title “Physiotherapist” whilst their application remains under consideration by the Physiotherapists Registration Board.
In such instances, the physiotherapist may inform their patients/clients that they are entitled to use the protected title “Physiotherapist” while their application is being processed. Once a physiotherapist is granted registration, their name and CORU Registration Number will appear on the Register of Physiotherapists.
CORU's role is public protection and one of the ways this is achieved is through the system that is in place to verify qualifications. Only professional qualifications awarded within the State can be accredited by CORU for access to CORU regulated professions. Professional qualifications awarded outside the State are assessed through a process of ‘recognition’ which involves expert assessment of a qualification's alignment with the standard of proficiency required in Ireland. Professional experience and lifelong learning must also be taken into account where required. There is a maximum of four months allowed for this process, it usually takes much less time. The average time required for a decision for recognition of a qualification in Dietetics from the UK in 2020 was 9 weeks.
CORU advises applicants of the possible timeframes, when an initial application is received applicants are encouraged to prepare their documentation for registration while waiting on their recognition approval.
The CORU website advises applicants that the timeline for processing registration applications is 14 weeks. However, a recent analysis of processing times have shown that the majority of standard applications are processed in less than 10 weeks upon CORU's receipt of a completed application.
Each applicant's timeframe is dependent on a number of variables individual to their own application. Professionals seeking registration with CORU are strongly advised to undertake the recognition and/or registration processes as required as soon as possible and certainly before accepting any job offer.
CORU through the Registration Board must be satisfied that the individual applicant has met all the criteria to grant registration. This is to ensure public confidence in registered professions.