Enforcement FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions on Protection of Title

What professional titles are protected?

Section 4 of the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 (as amended)(“the Act”) gives the list of professional titles that are regulated by CORU.

Currently you may refer a person who is not registered with CORU but who is using one of the professional titles listed below:

  • Social Worker
  • Radiographer
  • Optometrist / Optician
  • Dispensing Optician
  • Dietitian / Dietician
  • Speech and Language Therapist / Speech Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physiotherapist

 

Who can use these professional titles?

Only a person whose name appears on the Register may use the associated title.

Only a person whose name appears on the Register of Optometrists can use the title “Optician”.

 

What happens if I have applied during the transitional period but my application is still being processed after the transitional period has ended?

If you applied under Section 91 of the Act (existing practitioner) then you can use the title while your application is still being processed after the transitional period has ended. This applies also if you have appealed against a refusal to grant registration and your appeal is still being processed.

If you applied under Section 38 of the Act (standard route applicants) then the law does not permit you to use the title which is protected from the end of the transitional period. That is why CORU recommends persons applying under Section 38 submit their applications well in advance of the ending of the transitional period.

 

How do I check if a person is registered?

Log onto on to www.coru.ie and click on “Check the Register”.

Select the Register for the profession you wish to check. Enter a last name for a list of all the people with that name who are registered with the Registration Board of that profession.

 

What if I can’t find a name on the Register?

A person’s name will not appear on this list until he or she has completed the registration process.

So anyone whose application has not yet been finalised will not appear on this list.

Please remember that names may be spelt a number of ways. If you input a different name the search may not find the person you are looking for.

 

What should do if I am concerned that someone isn’t registered?

If you have any concerns you may contact the Enforcement Team at CORU.

The Enforcement Team will take the name of the person so that we can check to make sure that the person is registered or that there is an application for registration received from that person.

When the Enforcement Team has completed the necessary checks, if it appears that CORU has not received an application for registration, then you will be contacted.

You will be asked for your contact details to allow us to do this. Please see question 10 below.

 

Is there another way to tell CORU about someone I think is unregistered?

If you want to tell CORU about a person who is using a protected title but who isn’t registered with CORU please fill in the Enforcement Referral Form.

You can return this form to CORU via email at enforcement@coru.ie or by posting it to:

Enforcement Unit, CORU, Infinity Building, George's Court, George's Lane, Smithfield, Dublin 7, D07 E98Y.

 

What is the least amount of information CORU needs to be told?

  • The name of an alleged unregistered individual. 
  • The professional title he or she is alleged to be using. 
  • The place of work of this alleged unregistered individual.

 

What information would be helpful to CORU?

Do you know the:

  • Full name of alleged unregistered individual.
  • Full contact details for the alleged unregistered individual, including work address.
  • The  name of the organisation the person works for.

Do you have any promotional material such as:

  • A brochure
  • A leaflet
  • An advertisement
  • A business card
  • An invoice
  • A letterhead
  • A directory entry
  • A website address

 

If I report someone will CORU tell them?

We understand that you may wish to remain anonymous however please be aware that CORU cannot give a guarantee that you can remain anonymous.

This particularly applies if CORU decides to prosecute the unregistered person. You may be required to give evidence in Court.

 

Are you reporting someone on behalf of another person?

If you are reporting this matter on behalf of another person, please make sure, that if you need it, you have the consent of that other person.

 

What can CORU do?

When CORU receives information that a protected title is potentially being misused, having conducted a preliminary examination, we may contact the alleged unregistered person concerned to provide them with information about CORU’s role in the protection of title for designated professions and that it is an offence to use a protected title if you are not registered.

 

What if the unregistered person doesn’t stop using the title?

In the event that the individual does not respond or there is evidence to indicate that the individual is continuing to use the protected title, CORU will send the individual a ‘cease and desist’ notice. This 'cease and desist' notice will set out what action CORU will take if the person continues to commit the offence, up to and including bringing a prosecution against the individual.

 

Will an unregistered person go to Court?

CORU may prosecute anyone who continues to misuse a protected title. It is a criminal offence and on conviction, they may be liable to a Class A fine and/or 6 months imprisonment.

 

What about the other professions whose registers have opened?

A title is not protected until immediately after the end of the transitional period (grandparenting).

The transitional period for Dietitians and Speech and Language Therapists ended on 31 October 2016 and after that date an unregistered person using the protected title “Dietitian” or “Speech and Language Therapist” is subject to enforcement.

The transitional period for Occupational Therapists ended on 31 March 2017 and after that date an unregistered person using the protected title “Occupational Therapist” is subject to enforcement.

 

 

 Frequently Asked Questions on Spectacles

What are “spectacles”?

Under Section 3 of the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005, the term “spectacles” includes -

(a) contact lenses (“any device, designed to be worn in contact with the ocular surface, for the correction of vision, for the provision of a decorative or cosmetic effect, for a therapeutic purpose, or for any other reason, and regardless of the optical properties or the absence of optical properties of the device”)

(b) pince-nez, and

(c) monacles,

but does not include - 

(i) afocal goggles (i.e. goggles containing lenses with no optical power)or similar articles,

(ii) afocal sunglasses (i.e. sunglasses containing lenses with no optical power) or similar articles, or

(iii) ready-made reading spectacles (“spectacles that have 2 single vision lenses each of which has the same positive spherical power not exceeding 4 dioptres and the purpose of which is to relieve the condition known as presbyopia”).

 

Is the sale of cosmetic contact lenses regulated?

Yes.  The sale of cosmetic contact lenses is regulated in the same way as the sale of contact lenses which are used to correct vision.

 

Who can lawfully issue prescriptions for spectacles?

A person can issue a prescription for spectacles only if he or she is a registered medical practitioner or a registered optometrist.

 

Who can lawfully dispense prescriptions for spectacles?

A person can dispense prescriptions for spectacles only if he or she is a registered medical practitioner, optometrist or registered dispensing optician.

 

Who can lawfully sell spectacles?

An individual can sell spectacles only if he or she is a registered medical practitioner, a registered optometrist or a registered dispensing optician or if the sale is conducted on their behalf by such a registrant.

A body corporate can sell spectacles only if the sale is conducted by a registered medical practitioner, registered optometrist or registered dispensing optician.

 

How do I check if a person is registered?

Log onto on to www.coru.ie and click on “Search the Register”.

 

What is the least amount of information CORU needs to be told?

  • The name of the individual or company alleged to have committed an offence.
  • Details of the activity which has occurred.
  • The place where the suspected offence took place.

 

What information would be helpful to CORU?

  • Full name of the individual or company involved.
  • Full contact details for that individual or company.
  • Details as to how you are aware of the alleged offence.
  • Documentary evidence such as advertisements, invoices, website materials etc. 

 

If I report someone will CORU tell them?

We understand that you may wish to remain anonymous however please be aware that CORU cannot give a guarantee that you can remain anonymous.

This particularly applies if CORU decides to prosecute the individual or company involved. You may be required to give evidence in Court.

 

What initial steps can CORU take when a referral is received?

When CORU receives information that an offence may have been committed, having conducted a preliminary examination, we may contact the individual or company involved to provide them with information about CORU’s enforcement role and to warn them that they may be prosecuted if the situation is not rectified. 

 

What if the individual or company persists with the unlawful activity?

In the event that the individual or company does not respond or there is evidence to indicate that the activity in question is continuing, CORU will send a ‘cease and desist’ notice. This 'cease and desist' notice will set out what action CORU will take if the person continues to commit the offence, up to and including bringing a prosecution against them.

 

What other action can CORU take?

In cases where CORU has reasonable grounds to believe that an individual who has been investigated is guilty of an offence under the Act, CORU has power to seek an injunction in the High Court requiring the person to cease activities which contravene the Act.

This is in addition to CORU’s power to prosecute such an individual.  It is open to the Council to decide to use both powers in an appropriate case.

 

Can CORU carry out test purchasing of spectacles?

Yes.  CORU may carry out test purchases as part of an investigation into the supply of spectacles.  Any such purchases will be carried out in accordance with such protocols or polices as CORU may approve from time to time. 

Test purchasing involves a person acting on the instruction of CORU going online or visiting business or retail premises for the purposes of obtaining a prescription or purchasing spectacles. The intention is to ascertain if the entity operating the website or premises is complying with the legal provisions regarding the dispensing of prescriptions and the sale of spectacles.