CORU warns against working without registering

Misuse of job title a criminal offence
  • Deborah Condon

The organisation tasked with regulating certain health and social care professions has said that it will take enforcement action against anyone who uses a protected title, but is not registered to do so.

CORU is currently responsible for regulating a number of professions, including speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, dietitians, medical scientists and social workers.

As a result, these are protected job titles and only those registered with CORU can use them.

The organisation highlighted a recent case, which saw it bring High Court proceedings against two people who were using particular job titles without being registered to do so.

The High Court proceedings were brought against Lisa O'Driscoll, 26 Ardcahon way, Coolkellure, Legenaghmore, Cork and Emma Power, 99 Clonlea, Mount Oval, Rochestown, Cork. Both were listed as directors of Bright Speech and Occupational Therapy Services Limited, which trades under the name ‘Bright SPOTS'. It offers speech, language and occupational therapy services for children.

Ms O'Driscoll had been using the title speech and language therapist, while Ms Power had been using the title occupational therapist, when neither was entitled to do so.

Following on from complaints from members of the public, CORU conducted an investigation and was satisfied that Ms O'Driscoll and Ms Power were using these job titles despite not being registered to do so.

This constitutes a criminal offence.

CORU sought an injunction from the High Court requiring both individuals to cease and desist from using the titles. Earlier this week, both Ms O'Driscoll and Ms Power provided undertakings to the High Court confirming that that they would cease and desist from using the titles while not registered with CORU.

They also provided various other undertakings, including that they would, within 14 days, inform all previous and existing clients that they are not entitled to use the titles, and that at no time while providing services in the State were they registered to do so, as they have never been registered with CORU.

The organisation insisted that it "will take enforcement action against any person who uses a protected title in circumstances where he/she is not registered with CORU".

"In such cases, CORU may also institute criminal proceedings," it added.

Anyone who wishes to inform CORU about a person who is using a protected title, but who is not registered with CORU, click here for further information or call (01) 293 3160.


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