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  • 17 November 2017
  • 5 min read

CORU registration process for non-Irish qualifications

  • Alice O'Mahony
    Radiographer

Alice O'Mahony guides us through the CORU registration process necessary for health professionals that graduate outside of Ireland.

It is popular for Irish students to study third level university courses in the UK, particularly health courses. It’s important these students 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 and 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:

● Radiographers and radiation therapists

● Speech and language therapists

● Occupational therapists

● Optometrists

● Social workers

● Dieticians

● Dispensing opticians

● Physiotherapists

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.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.

Recognition Process

There are two processes that need to be completed before you are registered and can work in Ireland; the recognition process and the subsequent registration process.

Both processes MUST be completed before you can work.The recognition process can take up to four months to complete:

CORU aims to issue an acknowledgement in writing within seven days after submitting your application to confirm that the application has been received.

Within one month, candidates should hear from CORU again to confirm if the application is complete or if there is any outstanding documentation required for assessment.

It then takes up to four months to hear from CORU to advise as to whether your application has been successful and that your qualifications have been recognised.

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.Applicants are currently required to pay CORU €410 for the recognition process.

Registration 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.

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.

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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About the author

  • Alice O'Mahony
    Radiographer

First graduating in 2015, I work as a radiographer. I've rotated throughout general X-ray, theatre, mobiles, fluoroscopy, also interventional radiology and CT.

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