For Educators

The education and training of counsellors varies greatly across the world, ranging from certification to graduate-level education. Some countries have quality assurance systems in the form of government regulations or independent accreditation requirements where other countries have neither training standards, accreditation systems nor other mechanisms to determine the quality of educational programs. As a result, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) received a growing number of requests from counsellor education programs outside the United States for review and recognition. Recognizing that the CACREP Standards are based on the culture, educational system, and regulations in the United States, CACREP created IRCEP to develop standards that would cross cultures. As an international quality assurance agency, IRCEP was purposefully designed to recognize and empower programs for developing counsellor-training curricula appropriate to their country, region and/or culture, while also recognizing the broad tenets of education and training common to the practice of counselling, regardless of location.

IRCEP can provide support for developing and recognizing excellence in counselor preparation at a global level by recognizing outstanding programs and creating new and unique opportunities for programs, faculty, and students. The IRCEP registration process has elevated the counselling profession by increasing recognition at the global level and by building a stronger professional counsellor identity for programs and their graduates. As IRCEP continues to grow, we hope to foster new avenues for student and faculty exchanges, research, real life multicultural learning opportunities, global classrooms, and other learning experiences. We have begun to create networks of counselors from every region of the world who advocate for recognition of the profession.

  • Benefits of IRCEP


    There are several reasons why programs might apply for IRCEP approval, includng the following:

    1. IRCEP provides the program with an opportunity to measure itself against a set of internationally created standards for educating and training counsellors in various settings.
    2. IRCEP’s application process includes an external review of the applicant program by an international group of counsellor educators.
    3. Inclusion in the IRCEP Registry provides programs with a special and prestigious recognition.
    4. IRCEP assists the public in recognizing quality programs.
    5. IRCEP programs may attract the attention of prospective students and may increase international student interest.
    6. The IRCEP Standards will encourage and build stronger professional counsellor identity within programs and their graduates.
    7. IRCEP programs will be a part of a network of programs that can share information across borders and advance the knowledge base of the profession worldwide.
    8. Graduating from an IRCEP approved program may facilitate students’ entry and mobility into advanced degree programs.

  • Applying For IRCEP Registration

    The Application Process

    All application materials must be submitted in English on a CD or DVD disk that is readable on all computer platforms. The disks should be clearly labeled to include the program’s name, the date the disk was created, and the disk content. Please see the standards and application packet.

    Please forward the disks to:

    c/o the CACREP office

    1001 North Fairfax Street, Suite 510
    Alexandria, VA 22314

    The non-refundable application fee of $1,000 US must also be submitted at the time application is made to IRCEP. No application will be reviewed until the application fee is received. Please contact IRCEP at for determining the best method of payment.

  • The Review Process

    The review process is designed to insure that multiple reviewers have examined the application for compliance with the requirements. One member of the IRCEP Steering Committee will be appointed to chair the review of each application. Once this assignment is made, the application materials will be made available to all members of the Committee to examine and discuss.

    Application reviews are to be completed within six (6) weeks. At the end of this six week period, the review committee chair will collate all review comments, questions, concerns and recommendations for action. The committee chair will determine the appropriate next steps based on the feedback received from all reviewers. The committee chair may choose one of four options:

    1. If there is consensus by the reviewers to accept and approve the application for registry, the chair may develop a recommendation that the program be approved by the CACREP Board for listing in the Registry.
    2. If the reviewers have questions or concerns that may be clarified by submission of additional information and/or documentation, the chair may direct the IRCEP staff to contact the applicant program with a request for the additional information.
    3. If the reviewers expressed concerns in understanding the context in which the program operates, the chair may determine that there is a need to seek consultation from the local experts identified on the application form.
    4. If the reviewers believe that the applicant program insufficiently meets the IRCEP Requirements, the chair may direct staff to write to the program and ask if it desires to withdraw its application from further review. The written request will outline the areas found to be deficient in the application.
    5. If a program chooses to continue in the process and supply additional information to address the concerns outlined from the initial review, the supplemental information must be submitted to IRCEP within 12 weeks of receipt of the request. Any and all information submitted by the program and/or expert local consultants to address and clarify the questions, concerns, or deficiencies will then be forwarded to the IRCEP Steering Committee for a second review. This 2nd review may take up to six weeks to complete.

    At the conclusion of the 2nd review period, the review chair will determine if the program can be recommended for program approval and listing in the Registry. The program will then be notified that a recommendation will be forwarded to the CACREP Board for a final decision at its next meeting – either January or July. All decisions made by the CACREP Board will be final and applicant programs will be notified of the decision within one month following the conclusion of the CACREP Board meeting.

    Click here for a visual outline of the IRCEP review process

  • The IRCEP Standards


    Listed below are the six (6) IRCEP Standards. Under each standard is a description of information that should be included in the discussion of how a program meets the IRCEP Standards. In addition, suggestions for possible documentation are also included in the guidelines.

    Standard I

    The program has a written mission statement, goals, curriculum, and criteria for student selection.

    Guidelines for Meeting Standard I

    Please describe the mission and goals of the program, the required curriculum, and how students are selected for the program. In addition to the narrative description, please also provide links to an official website and/or a set of documents demonstrating that student, faculty, and the public have access to this information.

    Standard II

    The program has a designated individual responsible for the oversight of courses offered.

    Guidelines for Meeting Standard II

    Please provide the name, title, and contact information of the individual who is responsible for insuring that the program’s curriculum is adequate and appropriately delivered to students. Please also provide links to any documents that support this individual’s authority to coordinate the program (e.g., official position description, letter of appointment).

    Standard III

    The program employs counsellor educators and trainers and has other resources of appropriate quality and sufficiency to achieve its mission and goals.

    Guidelines for Meeting Standard III

    Please provide information on the number of individuals teaching in the program, along with information regarding their qualifications to teach in the program. Provide links to teacher resumes. Also, describe any other resources available to the program that assist in the education and training of counsellors (e.g., classrooms with recording facilities, partnerships with local schools, etc.).

    Standard IV

    The program has procedures for assessing students.

    Guidelines for Meeting Standard IV

    Describe how student learning and skill development is evaluated. Describe how the faculty and teachers determine that a student has the appropriate attitudes, skills, and knowledge to be a counsellor. Indicate what degrees and/or certificates are provided to students who successfully complete the counselling program.

    Standard V

    The program offers curricular experiences that broaden the knowledge base and skill development of all students in the program based on the following domains. These two domains are considered necessary to the training of competent counsellors regardless of culture, country, region, work setting, or educational system.

    Domain A – Counselling Skills and Practice

    • Communication/Counselling Skills
    • Theories and Techniques
    • Human Development
    • Supervised Field Practice

    Domain B – Understanding the Social Context and Norms of Working as a Counsellor

    • Ethical Principles
    • Societal Norms
    • Diversity and Differences
    • Professional Identity
    • Research and Assessment
    • Guidelines for Meeting Standard V

    Please describe where, how, and when students are provided with the knowledge and skills appropriate to each domain. Provide links to any documents that describe the curricular requirements or show how students progress through the program.

    Standard VI

    The program can provide documentation of legitimacy to operate.

    Guidelines for Meeting Standard VI

    Please provide information on requirements that must be met in your country, region and local area before an educational program can be offered to students. Describe any special permission or licenses that are required for operating the program. Please also provide a link to where these documents may be found.

  • IRCEP Policies

    1. All application materials are treated as confidential. No information will be released regarding the application status of a program during the review process.
    2. No application will be reviewed until the nonrefundable application fee is received.
    3. No application will be reviewed until the application fee has been received.
    4. Applicant programs may withdraw from the review process at any time prior to a final registry decision being made.
    5. Final registry decisions are made by the CACREP Board of Directors. One of two decisions can be made – 1) to approve, or 2) to not approve. These decisions are not subject to appeal.
    6. Programs will be notified of their Registry decision within one month following the CACREP Board meeting. Notification of the decision can only be released by the IRCEP staff in an official letter to the program representatives listed on the application form.
    7. Only decisions to approve are made public. No information is released about applicant programs not approved.
    8. Programs that are not approved for the Registry may reapply one year following the date of their notification letter.
    9. Only “approved” programs will be listed in the Registry of IRCEP Approved Programs.
    10. Programs may be approved for a period up to seven (7) years.
    11. Programs must submit annual sustaining fees and an annual progress report to maintain their approval status on the Registry.
    12. Failure to submit any fees or reports may result in a withdrawal of a program’s registry listing.

  • Registry Decisions

    Final registry decisions are made by the CACREP Board of Directors only after the review process has been complete and recommendations have been made by the IRCEP Steering Committee. Applicant programs have no status with IRCEP or CACREP until the review process is complete and a registry decision has been made. There will be no publication of information about programs that have submitted applications and are “in process.” Applicant programs may withdraw from the review process at any time prior to a final registry decision being made. The CACREP Board decisions are to approve or not approve. All Board decisions are final and are not subject to appeal. The final registry decision will be presented to the applicant program, in writing, within four (4) weeks following the Board’s decision-making meeting.

    If a program’s application is approved, the approval is granted for a period of up to seven (7) years. Once approved, a program may state that it is “Approved by IRCEP, an international affiliate of CACREP.” All information supplied by the program in it application materials is considered part of the public domain unless otherwise requested by the program.

    Only “approved” programs will be listed in the Registry of Approved Programs.

    If a program is “not approved,” it will be notified, in writing, with an explanation of the reason. No public announcement about the decision will be made. If the program believes it can address the deficiencies, it will be welcome to reapply at the end of 12 months following receipt of the initial decision letter.

  • IRCEP Fees

    As international quality assurance review process offered by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, IRCEP is solely supported by the fees paid by programs wishing to become registered as approved programs. Because IRCEP’s review process must operate within the parameters of US non profit organization requirements, every effort is made to be fiscally responsible and to provide a responsive quality service to the educational programs that apply for the Registry. Fees may be adjusted from time to time to assure that a quality review process can be maintained. It is important to note, however, than none of the members of the IRCEP Steering Committee or the CACREP Board of Directors receive any monetary compensation for the service that they provide to IRCEP. They only receive reimbursement for the periodic meetings they attend.

    The following fees apply to the IRCEP review and registry process:


    The application fee must be paid when the application is submitted to IRCEP for review. If more than three (3) months lapses between receipt of the application fee and the arrival of the application documents, the program will be required to submit an additional application fee. No application will be reviewed until the application fee has been received.


    The annual sustaining fee is due on January 31st of every year. Approved programs will receive an electronic invoice at least 3 months prior to the due date. Failure to pay this fee by the due date will result in the assessment of a late fee equal to ½ the cost of the original fee. Once a late fee is assessed, failure to pay the original fee and late fee by the date provided with the late fee notice will result in immediate withdrawal of the program’s listing on the Registry.

    Current Fees as of October 1, 2012

    International Applicant Application Fee
    $1,000 USD
    CACREP-Accredited Application Fee
    In addition to the CACREP annual maintenance fees CACREP- accredited programs can join the IRCEP Registry for $200 USD
    Annual Sustaining Fee
    $200 USD

  • Apply for the IRCEP Registry


    Non CACREP-ACCREDITED counselling programs interested in joining the Registry of Approved Programs must complete two key sections of the IRCEP application.

    • Application Form: Programs must submit a completed copy of the application form that includes signatures of key representatives from the program.
    • IRCEP Standards: The IRCEP application process requires programs to respond to six (6) standards. For each standard, the program must submit a narrative description of how the standard is being met, along with supporting documentation that verifies the information included in the narrative description.


    CACREP-accredited programs interested in joining the Registry of Approved Programs must complete the IRCEP application.

    • Application Form: Programs must submit a completed copy of the application form that includes signatures of key representatives from the program. Please contact the IRCEP Office to receive a link to complete the online application.