End of Year Message from the CEO - 2023


2023 Year in Review

As we approach the end of a pivotal year for CORU, I want to take a moment to share some of the significant milestones that have been reached.

At the outset, it is essential to pay tribute to our registrants, who now number over 26,000, for their dedication to providing excellent care. We have among the world’s most dedicated and passionate health and social care professionals. They do amazing work, that every person in Ireland will benefit from through their own lives, and those of their loved ones.

At CORU, our role is to protect the public, by ensuring that our registrants are equipped and enabled to consistently deliver the highest level of care. I am immensely proud of the ways we supported the public and of our achievements over the past 12 months.

Milestones in regulation

In March the titles of 'podiatrist' and 'chiropodist' became protected by CORU with the ending of a grandparenting period for these professions. This should be a source of pride to the registrants and of comfort to their patients as each registration is a commitment to maintaining the highest standards.

November saw the opening of the Social Care Workers Register. Social Care Workers provide a range of vital services across many communities, supporting some of our most vulnerable citizens. Statutory regulation will enhance the development of this profession and support the public’s confidence in the profession.

This has been among the most complex professional registers for CORU to open and I want to thank all the stakeholders who helped us reach this point. Lessons learned through the opening of the Social Care Workers register will help us open others. In this regard I am pleased to report significant progress is being made towards the introduction of regulation to the psychology, psychotherapy, and counselling professions.

Protecting the public

At CORU our responsibility to protect the public is our number one priority. We have continued to discharge this duty to ensure the best possible care for those who require the support and care of our registrants.

Throughout 2023 we continued to administer fitness to practice hearings. Our work resulted in definitive action being taken against the small number of individuals involved when poor standards of care are identified.

Ensuring that all CORU registrants have the appropriate qualifications is one of our essential functions. Where qualifications are obtained overseas, this requires diligence to ensure that standards are met and the public is protected. In recent years we have experienced a significant increase in the numbers of people seeking recognition of international qualifications. Over 1,500 applications have been received this year and I am pleased that these continue to be processed as efficiently and effectively as possible.

One of the fundamental aspects of modern Health and Social Care practise is the requirement to engage in continued professional development (CPD). All of our CORU registrants are required to engage in CPD so they can continue to adhere to international best practice. As part of our role to monitor CPD CORU conducted over 400 audits in the past year and will continue this in 2024.

Widespread Support

CORU plays a vital role in Irish society and achieves its results thanks to support from a wide range of stakeholders. I was appointed to the role of interim CEO and Registrar in June of this year; since day one I have been struck by the breadth of support and genuine good will that CORU receives. I am deeply grateful to everyone who in any small way has supported our work in the past year.

The members of our Council, Registration Boards and our Committees generously give their time to ensure CORU can protect the public. This is a remarkable public service, and every Council, Committee and Board member deserves our deepest thanks.

Education providers, employers, individual professionals and patient advocacy groups as well as professional bodies and unions are a constant support to our work. 

The Department of Health, most notably the Professional Regulatory Unit enable us to progress our work and I would like to thank in particular Alessandra Fantini, Chief Nursing Officer Rachel Kenna and the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly TD who has provided important guidance and been a constant support.

Our Chairperson, Ms. Mo Flynn, is our staunchest supporter and drives CORU forward with vision and energy, and I want to offer her the warmest thanks for her leadership of the Council and for her support to me as I settled into the role.

I must reserve a special tribute to Ginny Hanrahan, CEO of CORU from 2008 until her retirement in May. Ginny has a passion for public protection and regulation that has enriched CORU.

A final thanks is due to the CORU team. It has been my pleasure to lead CORU since May, and I have been supported by a truly exceptional team who impress me each and every day with their commitment, innovation and collegiality.

Seasons greetings to you, your family, and friends. May the holidays and events you celebrate at this time of year bring you joy and peace.