CORU: Responsibility And Regulation

Author:Ms Rebecca Ryan

With the ever increasing media focus on the responsibilities and duties of health and social care professionals, Rebecca Ryan and Grace Keegan review the processes to be put in place by Ireland's first multi-profession regulator

At present, if a member of the public wishes to complain about the conduct of a social worker or a psychologist, limited recourse is available. CORU was established to change this. CORU is the regulator for Health and Social Care professionals. the name CORU derives from the Irish word "cóir" which means fair, just and proper. CORU has responsibility for protecting the public by regulating 12 different health and social care professions, involving over 20,000 professionals.

It is also intended that two other agencies will also come within CORU's remit, once appropriate legislation has been passed: the Opticians Board - which registers optometrists and dispensing opticians; and the prehospital emergency Care Council - which regulates emergency medical technicians, paramedics and advanced paramedics.

The Council

The Council was established in 2007, and has a lay majority within its 25 members. Its aim is to protect the public by promoting high standards of professional conduct and education throughout each of the 12 professions. The Council is also responsible for developing the complaints mechanism and will ultimately have responsibility for conducting disciplinary inquiries.

Fitness to practise framework

The fitness to practise framework within CORU is currently being developed. However, it is anticipated that its approach will mirror that employed by the Medical Council and other healthcare regulators who have recently undergone legislative reform.

Registration boards and professional registers

A registration board and a professional register will be established for each of the 12 professions. each board will have responsibility for approving and monitoring training courses, establishing the code of conduct and ethics, and the standards of performance, to which all registrants must adhere. In order to ensure consistency, the Council will supervise and co-ordinate the...

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