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TUS Social Care Work programmes approved by CORU

TUS Social Care Work programmes approved by CORU


23 March 2023

All Social Care Work programmes at Technological University of the Shannon (TUS) have been approved by CORU, the national multi-profession health regulator. This ensures that the university’s social care graduates will be eligible for registration with the new Social Care Workers Register which comes into being this November. 

Social Care Work is in the process of becoming a regulated profession for the first time. The title Social Care Worker will become a protected title and can only be used by persons registered with the Social Care Workers Registration Board.

As a result of graduating with a CORU approved degree, TUS Social Care Work graduates can apply for entry to the Social Care Workers Register, becoming registered Social Care Workers.

Past social care graduates of TUS social care programmes will also be able to apply to CORU to enter the register, through a process called ‘grand-parenting’.

Welcoming the approval of all TUS Social Care Work programmes President of TUS Professor Vincent Cunnane said, “Social Care Workers have always been frontline workers and were essential personnel during the pandemic. It is only fitting that this profession is now recognised through the Social Care Workers Register. However, as with any profession professional standards must be set and adhered to, and TUS is proud to be at the forefront of training Social Care Workers to these high standards. CORU approval also recognises the quality of education our social care graduates have received, which is a further seal of approval of our legacy as well as our future potential in this important area.”

Dr Maura Clancy, Dean, Faculty of Applied Sciences and Technology, TUS Midwest said, “This is an essential and worthy pronouncement for TUS Social Care Work programmes. It is a proud day for all concerned, an affirmation of the standard of education on offer and the quality of our TUS Social Care work graduates. It secures the provision of high calibre employees for the health and social care sector in the wide region we serve. TUS delivers CORU-approved Social Care Work programmes on its Ennis, Thurles, Moylish and Athlone campuses.”

“This approval is great news for our students, our graduates and our programmes. Social Care work involves working with the most vulnerable people in our society, it is right and fitting that our graduates will have professional recognition as they traverse their social care work careers. The need to continue and grow the pipeline of social care workers is well documented. For example, in the period between 2015 and 2019, TUSLA experienced a 30% increase in referrals, but only a 1% increase in the social care workforce.”

Dean of the Faculty of Science and Health, TUS Midlands Campus Dr Don Faller welcomed news of the CORU approval calling it “excellent news” for students and graduates alike.

“CORU’s primary remit is to protect the public via a number of roles, one of which is to ensure educational bodies deliver qualifications that prepare social care workers to provide safe and appropriate care to the public.”

Calling it a “badge of honour”, Ollie Hegarty, head of the Department of Social Sciences at TUS Midlands, said the accreditation validates the quality of the social care programmes and the calibre of academic staff who ensure students meet “the exacting quality standards the social care profession demands”. Mr Hegarty went on to say he is hugely proud of the “significant work” put in by staff over a five-year period to secure CORU accreditation.

“I am so proud and appreciative of the way those individual staff members collaborated, and I know the team will continue to aspire to deliver the highest quality standards in social care education in Ireland,” Mr Hegarty said.             

TUS Athlone campus has a history of providing social care education, with graduates working with a range of service providers including the HSE, Tusla, Brothers of Charity, St Hilda’s, Simon Community, Peter McVerry Trust, Merchants Quay, and Esker House.

Dr Melinda Gushwa, Head of Department, Applied Social Sciences at TUS Mid West said, “Social care workers hold the fabric of society together. They hear those who have not been heard, they care for those who have not been seen and give voice to the voiceless. With CORU approval, our students are now eligible to move forward with title recognition. TUS graduates have been leading the way in social care work in the region for more than 20 years. It’s exciting to see the ways in which our next generation of graduates will make their impact on the profession.”

Dr Caroline Cullen, Regional Chief Officer, Tusla Mid-West said, “On behalf of Tusla – Child and Family Agency, I wish to extend congratulations to TUS on gaining accreditation of their Social Care Degrees with CORU. Social Care work plays an instrumental role in supporting children and families in our society. We look forward to supporting future Social Care workers in their chosen career path and will continue to provide professional social care placements for undergraduates and career opportunities for graduates from TUS in the Mid-West region.”

TUS graduates in the Mid West have gone on to work with organsiations such as the HSE, Tusla, Mid West Simon Community, Brothers of Charity, Novas, Rehabcare, Enable Ireland, Limerick Youth Service.

Note on CORU

CORU was set up as the regulator for health and social care professionals under The Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005. CORU’s role is to protect the public by promoting high standards of professional conduct, education, training and competence through statutory registration of health and social care professionals. 

The objective of the statutory registration system is to protect, guide and inform the public by ensuring that social care professionals are properly regulated and qualified for the job whether they work in the public or private sectors or are self-employed. The Social Care Workers Register will open on 30 November 2023. 

To receive CORU approval, social care work programmes must demonstrate that they meet the requirements of The Social Care Workers’ Registration Board. The requirements set by the Registration Board relate to how a professional education and training programme is designed and managed. The criteria used is to ensure that a programme has a system in place to consistently and effectively produce graduates who meet the standards of proficiency for the profession.