Information for SLTs

This page provides information for SLTs considering work in Ireland (see Overseas applicants section).
For Irish SLTs who are considering working overseas, see the information on the Mutual Recognition of Credentials (MRA).

Overseas Applicants

Speech and Language Therapists seeking to work in their professional capacity in the publicly funded health sector in Ireland must have their qualifications recognised under Directive 2005/36/EC. Non-Irish qualification in Speech and Language are assessed under Directive 2005/36/EC. The Minister for Health and Children is the competent authority for the assessment of such professional qualifications; the process is administered by the Health Service Executive (HSE) (National Validation Office (NVO)). The HSE/Minister for Health and Children is advised in this function by the Overseas Committee of the Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists.

General Information for Applicants seeking Recognition of Professional Qualifications in
Speech and Language Therapy obtained outside the Republic of Ireland

Validation is the process whereby qualifications obtained outside the Republic of Ireland are assessed for their equivalence to the Irish entry level qualifications.

The qualifications of EEA-nationals are assessed under Directive 2005/36/EC. Please see Appendix 1 on National Validation Office (NVO) main page.

A separate but similar process exists for non-EEA nationals who wish to have their qualifications recognized in order to work in Ireland. Please see Appendix 2 on NVO main page.In certain circumstances, non-EEA nationals who are legally resident in Ireland can benefit from the provisions of the Directive and a note on Irish residency is at Appendix 3 on NVO main page.

The NVO main page may be accessed via the following links: Link for External Users :: Link for users within the HSE.

The Minister for Health and Children is the competent authority with responsibility for validating non-Irish qualifications. The Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists (IASLT) has been requested by the Department of Health and Children to provide advice on applications. The application process is administered by the National Validation Office (NVO) to which any queries should be addressed. The NVO may get in touch with applicants during the application process. The final decision will issue from the Department of Health and Children. Full details of the application process may be obtained from the HSE.

There are two routes within the Speech and Language Therapy application process:

  • (i) the standard route and
  • (ii) where the benefits of a mutual recognition agreement (MRA) between the IASLT and professional associations in certain countries can be applied.

Applicants from the UK, Australia, Canada, USA & New Zealand.

The IASLT has a mutual recognition agreement (MRA) in place with each of these countries. This agreement provides a faster route to professional association membership but eligibility under the agreement can facilitate the qualification recognition application process.

You are eligible to apply for professional validation and full membership of IASLT to practise in Ireland under the Agreement for the Mutual Recognition of Professional Association Credentials (MRA) 2008 if you are a certified member of ASHA, RCSLT or Speech Pathology Australia, a clinically certified member of CASLPA or a full member of NZSTA. Please complete the application form for the ‘MRA’ route.

All other applicants should complete the standard application form.

Candidates trained in a language other than English

Where a candidate trained through a language other than English or where English is not the recognised language they are required to complete the International English Language Testing System. A Grade 8.0 or above (with no element below 7.5) is required on the I.E.L.T.S. (academic version). It is important to note that there will not be automatic validation on the basis of this exam alone. Applicants who have studied and/or work through a language other than English will most likely be required to take the Clinical English Competence Examination if their qualification is deemed potentially equivalent.

Following IELTS results additional information or clarification may be required or a teleconference may be set up prior to sitting the Clinical English Competence Examination.

Employment Situation in Ireland

All applicants for qualification recognition should be aware that there is now a Government moratorium to the end of the year 2010 on recruitment /replacement of staff in the publicly–funded health sector in Ireland. This means that positions in Ireland for health professionals are very scarce.

Moreover, the assessment of qualifications is without prejudice to any right to work or to residency in Ireland. It is a matter for each individual to satisfy work permit/visa requirements. Non-EEA nationals should access the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment website ( for information on Work Permits and the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform website ( in relation to residency. The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment requires Working Permit Visa/Green Card applicants from non-EEA countries to have their professional qualifications recognised. Non-EEA nationals should be aware that certain health professionals, including and Speech and Language Therapists, have recently been removed from category (ii) of the Green Card scheme which had been put in place to facilitate non-EEA nationals who wished to work in Ireland and who were qualified in a restricted number of strategically important occupations.

Contact Details:

All queries regarding validation should be addressed to:
Annette Lyons
National Validation Office,
HSE, HR Directorate,
Merlin Park,
Galway, Ireland.

email: Annette Lyons

Mutual Recognition of Professional Association Credentials (MRA)

Agreement for the Mutual Recognition of Professional Association Credentials (MRA)

‘In November 2008, IASLT signed an international agreement on the mutual recognition of professional association credentials (MRA) with the following associations:

  • The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
  • The Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA)
  • The New Zealand Speech-Language Therapists Association (NZSTA)
  • The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT)
  • The Speech Pathology Association of Australia (Speech Pathology Australia)

This agreement came into effect on 1st January 2009. If applying for membership of an association who has signed the agreement, there are now 2 routes to membership; the standard route and the MRA route. The MRA route is open to full members of IASLT who have one full year of continuous membership. The attached documents provide more information on the MRA agreement and the process to follow if the MRA route for membership of another association is being considered.’

MRA Documents

IASLT MRA Agreement
Information for IASLT members on the Agreement for the Mutual Recognition of Professional Association Credentials | View document
Letter of Good Standing
Guidelines and Application Form Guidelines and application form for an official Letter of Good Standing from the IASLT | View document

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