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Alice O'Mahony guides us through the CORU Registration process necessary for health professionals that graduate outside of Ireland.
17th November 2017
Written by Alice O'Mahony
It is popular for Irish students to study third level university courses in the UK, particularly health courses. It is important students who are currently studying or approaching the end of their undergraduate university allied health course in the UK, intending to work in Ireland, are aware of CORU requirements.
CORU is the Health and Social Professions Council in Ireland, and are responsible for validating qualifications outside of Ireland and regulating health professions. They're the equivalent to the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC) in the UK. They are responsible for public protection and the maintenance of the register of the regulated health professionals.
Currently, they are responsible for the validation of foreign qualifications of applicants from the following professions:
Currently, other allied health professionals such as Clinical Biochemists, Medical Scientists, Orthoptists, Podiatrists, Psychologists, and Social Care Workers do not have to apply for CORU validation of non-Irish qualifications, though this is likely to change in the future.
CORU advises those applying for validation of qualifications in these professions to contact the Competent Authority of each profession individually where they can advise.
I completed the process myself as a Diagnostic Radiographer graduating from the UK, and my best advice is to be as organised as possible, and keep in mind that the process can take a long time and be expensive to complete.
CORU considers each application on a case-by-case basis and at the time of application, I contacted CORU as a graduate from my university in the year above me had completed the exact same process of recognition. They were successful and subsequently gained registration.
As CORU had already assessed the same degree as the one I held from the same university in the UK, I wondered whether there was a need for me to individually apply as it was deemed equivalent to the Irish qualification already. CORU advises that each application is assessed individually.
This is important for people to bear in mind.
In my case, my application could not be considered until CORU had received a certified copy of both the graduation certificate and transcript of results. So, whilst I had qualified in June with a letter being issued from my university confirming that I was successful and detailing my degree classification, allowing me to register with HCPC in the UK, CORU required my graduation certificate.
My graduation was held in July, so I then had to send the graduation certificate for consideration.
It is important for candidates to enquire about this with CORU as it may have changed in the two years since I completed this process however this applied in my case and obviously for those with later graduation dates it is important.
There are two processes that need to be completed before you are registered and can work legally in Ireland; the recognition process and the subsequent registration process. Both processes MUST be completed before you can work.
The recognition process can be a lengthy process, and can take up to four months to complete:
The actual recognition process and application is a lengthy application.
Currently, to apply, candidates have to fill out the 27-page application form available online detailing their personal details, their course details and any relevant experience.
Certified copies of identification such as passport, birth certificate, certificate of qualification and transcript of qualification, and certified course handbooks must also be submitted. A certified copy is one that has been proven as a true copy, and CORU stipulates that only a Solicitor, a Commissioner for Oaths, a Notary Public, or a Peace Commissioner can complete this. These professionals may charge for this service.
Applicants are currently required to pay CORU €410 for the recognition process.
Once a candidate’s qualification has been successfully recognised, they are then eligible for the second process, the registration process.
New applicants will be applying as a Section 38 applicant.
This process costs a separate €100, and it is important to note the renewal date for the profession. For example in radiography, it is in October 31st each year so if you are registered in July, it will not last for a year. Instead, you will be required to pay another €100 on the date of the professional annual renewal date for that profession, and then each year thereafter.
These are the current CORU fees, and I would advise anyone applying to check this as these may change.
The registration process can take another 12-16 weeks and these include garda vetting. If you have lived outside of Ireland since the age of eighteen, you will also need to provide police clearance from each country that you have lived in.
It is not possible to complete the registration process until you have completed the recognition process and received the letter confirming that your qualifications have been validated, as you require this letter for registration.
Anyone applying for CORU recognition and registration needs to be organised and keep on top of their application.
If you have not heard from CORU by the timeframe outlined, send them an email to keep track of the status of your application as until you have CORU registration, you cannot legally work in the Republic of Ireland.
It is a lengthy and costly process but recognition only has to be completed once, and once you are registered as a health professional with CORU, the annual renewal process is fairly straightforward.
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