Leaving Cert Results 2023: Careers in Health and Social Care and the “Regulation Factor”

- Ireland’s regulator highlights things to consider when planning to obtain an international qualification -

This August, more than 63,000 Leaving Certificate students will receive their exam results with many of them eager to establish what’s next in their study and career path.

Today, health and social care is understood to be of paramount importance in every country and these professionals play a vital and important role in society. There are a variety of study routes for students wishing to pursue a career in the health and social care professions. However, not all courses lead to the direct path of being able to practise in Ireland once qualified.

Regulation of health and social care professionals in Ireland

In Ireland, if you want to practise one of the following professions you must be registered with CORU, - Ireland’s regulator of health and social care professionals:

  • Dietitians
  • Medical Scientists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians
  • Physiotherapists
  • Podiatrists and Chiropodists
  • Radiographers
  • Radiation Therapists
  • Social Workers
  • Speech and Language Therapists

CORU regulates Ireland’s health and social care education and training programmes

One of the functions of the Registration Boards at CORU is to approve and monitor education and training programmes. The purpose of regulating education and training programmes is to ensure that all graduates entering the Register meet the necessary standards and have the knowledge and skills required for public protection. This ensures the delivery of safe and effective practice to the benefit of the service user.

What does this mean when selecting a course to study in Ireland?

This is the current list of Approved Qualifications by profession. If you achieve one of these qualifications, you are eligible to apply for CORU registration.

What about studying abroad, and practising in Ireland once qualified?

If your professional qualification is awarded outside of Ireland and you want to register and work in Ireland, the process is a little more complex. You must first apply to have that qualification “recognised” by the Registration Board for your profession.

This ensures that everyone providing health and social care services in Ireland meets the standards of proficiency for safe practice in Ireland. 

To be eligible to apply for recognition of your international qualification, you must have completed professional training, which gives you eligibility to practice your profession in the country where you were awarded the qualification.

The Registration Board will assess your qualification as well as any other relevant qualifications and work experience for compliance with the standards required for practising in Ireland.

If you are unsure about health and social care regulation, we are happy to help with any questions. You can contact us at