Clinical Psychologists in Ireland currently obtain registration through the Psychological Society of Ireland. A list of registered psychologists can be obtained from their website www.psihq.ie in the 'Find a Psychologist' section.
Only registered members of the society with the necessary qualifications and experience can use this title. Members who do not fulfil these requirements and who use the title are liable to sanction by the Board of Professional Conduct of the Society.
The criteria for registered membership stated in the PSI Memorandum and Articles of Association are:
For a person to be included to the register, an applicant must:
- be a graduate Member of the Society, and
- satisfy Council that he / she has at least four years relevant wholetime experience, or an equivalent period part-time, in work in psychology, and is professionally competent therein
As this is the criteria to register as a "Psychologist" rather than as a "Clinical Psychologist", most clinical psychologists have obtained significantly more training and experience than that set out in the minimum criteria.
The Council will examine a Psychologists training and accreditation of their courses, along with evidence of the level of supervision received while training and working in the field.
In October 2004, the Irish Government approved the publication of the Health and Social Care Professionals Bill 2004. This Bill provides for the Statutory Registration of 12 professions, including psychologists.
Under this Bill, a Health and Social Care Professional Council was established. The aim of the council being to protect the public by promoting high standards of professional conduct and professional education, training and competence among registrants of the designated professions. The council have been named Coru and further details on registration under this legislation is available on www.coru.ie
The purpose of this legislation is to protect the term 'psychologist' amongst other professional terms, thereby making it an offence for an individual who does not satisfy the criteria for registration to use the term. This is to ensure that unqualified individuals will not be permitted to refer to themselves as psychologists therefore protecting the public and maintaining standards.
If you are attending a psychologist it may be helpful to check if they are registered with the Psychological Society of Ireland. Most psychologists are open to discussing their qualifications with clients and you could address this directly with them if you are concerned. Clinical Psychologists employed by the HSE will have to have met the following criteria:
- Hold a recognised University degree or diploma obtained with First or Second class Honours in which Psychology was taken as a major subject and honours obtained in that subject, and
- Hold a recognised Postgraduate qualification in Clinical Psychology