Professional Regulation Unit


The Professional Regulation Unit is responsible for:

  1. regulatory policy and legislation in respect of health and social care professionals, nurses and midwives, medical practitioners and dentists;
  2. coordinating Departmental policy on the recognition of non-Irish health professional qualifications, including the implementation of EU Directive 2005/36/EC in respect of certain health and social care professions;
  3. oversight of the Health & Social Care Professionals Council
  4. managing the Department’s position in the area of Complementary and Alternative Therapies.

Summary of Responsibilities


Drafting and Processing through the Houses of the Oireachtas of:

  • Health & Social Care Professionals (Amendment) Bill 2013

Preparation of Legislation:

  • Dentists Act – scope requirements of new dental legislation
  • Medical Practitioners Act - scope requirement of amending legislation

The Health & Social Care Professionals Council

  • CORU is the umbrella body responsible for protecting the public by regulating health and social care professionals. It includes the Health and Social Care Professionals Council and the 12 registration boards being established under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 (as amended 2012). The designated professions are:
    • Clinical Biochemists
    • Dietitians
    • Medical Scientists
    • Occupational Therapists
    • Orthoptists
    • Physiotherapists
    • Podiatrists
    • Psychologists
    • Radiographers
    • Social Care Workers
    • Social Workers
    • Speech and Language Therapists

    For further information visit

  • Ongoing implementation of the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 as amended 2012 (statutory registration and the establishment of the Health and Social Care Professionals Council & twelve Registration Boards under the Act).
  • This Unit is responsible for holding the Health and Social Care Professionals Council to account in terms of funding, governance and employment control framework.

Recognition of non-Irish Professional Qualifications

  • Competent Authority for certain health and social care professions under Directive 2005/36/EC
  • Co-ordination of Department’s position on Directive 2005/36/EC.

Information on the recognition process is available on a dedicated page of the Department’s website at where the contact details of the various competent authorities are listed.

Complementary Therapies

  • While there is no regulation of the Complimentary Therapies in Ireland, the Unit manages the Department’s position in this area.

Current Issues

  • The Department of Health is developing new legislation to replace the Dentists Act, 1985. The new legislation will legislate for the regulation of dentists and dental auxiliary professionals in Ireland. The Department would like to ensure that the viewpoints of all those who have an interest in dental services, including service users and those involved in service delivery are heard and considered.

    The Department is currently conducting a public consultation and invites members of the public and interested stakeholders to express their views on key issues relating to the development of the new legislation through the completion of an online questionnaire. Hard copy questionnaires/submissions are also being accepted. The closing date for receipt of completed questionnaires/submissions is Friday, 26th July 2013.

    More information is available on our ‘Public Consultations’ page. Please click here to access this page.

  • Health & Social Care Professionals (Amendment) Act 2012
    • The Act, which included necessary technical amendments to the 2005 Act, was passed by the Oireachtas and signed into law by the President on 26 December 2012. See link to Act at 4. below.
  • Registration Boards
    • Registration Boards for the twelve designated professions being established on a phased basis under ongoing implementation of Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 (as amended 2012). Five Boards established to date (Dietitians, Occupational Therapists, Radiographers, Social Workers, and Speech and Language Therapists) with a further six to be established in 2013.
  • Health and Social Care Professionals (Amendment) Bill 2013
    • This is to provide for the dissolution of the Opticians Board and its integration into the Health and Social Care Professionals Council. Department currently engaged in consultation process with stakeholders with draft scheme of a Bill to be submitted to Government for approval completed by mid 2013.
  • Directive 2005/36/EC
    • Department’s input into European Commission proposals on the Modernisation of the Directive;
    • Ongoing processing of applications for qualifications recognition of certain health and social care professions.

Contact this Unit

Principal Officer Deirdre Walsh
Assistant Principal Officers Kieran Duffy
Geraldine Kelly
Catherine McManus
  • Telephone: 01 - 635 4000
  • Fax: 01 - 635 4579

Section 15 (Freedom of Information)

Record Classes

Non Personal - The main classes of records held by this Unit relate to our functions outlined above including correspondence, memoranda, briefing, minutes and submissions;

Personal - Ministerial Representations, individual correspondence (including applications for recognition of professional qualifications) and legal cases.

Significant Systems


Personal Information Holdings

Representations sent in by, or on behalf of, individuals to the Minister may contain personal information.


HSE, Oireachtas, CORU (representations etc.)

Notes: including information on admin access practice, Ebriefs etc.: Administrative access to any records considered on a case by case basis. Legal privilege/confidentiality requirements will be applied.