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.
There are several reasons why programs might apply for IRCEP approval, includng the following:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for determining the best method of payment.
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:
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.
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.
The program has a written mission statement, goals, curriculum, and criteria for student selection.
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.
The program has a designated individual responsible for the oversight of courses offered.
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).
The program employs counsellor educators and trainers and has other resources of appropriate quality and sufficiency to achieve its mission and goals.
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.).
The program has procedures for assessing students.
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.
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.
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.
The program can provide documentation of legitimacy to operate.
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.
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.
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
Non CACREP-ACCREDITED counselling programs interested in joining the Registry of Approved Programs must complete two key sections of the IRCEP application.
CACREP-accredited programs interested in joining the Registry of Approved Programs must complete the IRCEP application.