Professional Certificate in Children and Loss

Applications for our  2019/2020 class intake are now open. The course is delivered by the Irish Hospice Foundation and accredited by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI).
Applications will be accepted online via the RCSI applications site from March 1st until May 3rd.

Download Course brochure here>>> 

Course Details

The course aims to equip practitioners with skills to understand and support grieving children. When a child experiences loss, either through death or a parental separation, their needs are often misunderstood or overlooked. Children may express their grief in ways that are different to adults their reactions can go unrecognised.
This Professional Certificate in Children and Loss aims to equip professionals who work with children with an informed understanding of bereavement and loss in children and adolescents.

Specific educational objectives

The programme aims to equip students with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values to:
  • Develop a critical understanding of the theory underpinning childhood loss and bereavement.
  • Evaluate the different types of loss issues experienced by children at different stages in their development e.g. younger children and adolescents, loss through separation and divorce.
  • Critically appraise therapeutic interventions – including art and clay.
  • Analyse the role of resilience in bereaved children and an ability to incorporate resilience into care plans.
  • Assess support systems for working with children and loss.
  • Integrate new knowledge and skill into professional practice.
  • Exhibit an integrated value-based and evidence-based approach to the support of bereaved children.

Course Structure

This is a part-time course it runs from September to March each year. It comprises of two modules:



On successful completion of module 1 participants will be able to:
  • Debate the merits of theoretical frameworks for children’s loss experiences.
  • Apply aspects of theories and models to explain individual children’s grief experiences.
  • Assess the moderators in responses to loss, including stage of development and nature of death and relationship lost.
  • Critique contemporary understanding of bereavement and loss from a life-cycle perspective.
  • Demonstrate critical, reflective practice and self-awareness.
  • Locate and critique current knowledge on a loss related topic.



On successful completion of module 2 participants will be able to:
  • Evaluate appropriate interventions for working with children experiencing loss.
  • Locate and appraise intervention strategies for working with children experiencing loss.
  • Assess formal support services and resources available for children facing loss and bereavement.


Each module consists of approximately 200 hours of learning including lecture time, self-directed learning, assignment preparation and integrative sessions. Registration will take place in the RCSI in September/October (date to be confirmed). There are eleven full day inputs (on Thursdays and Fridays) over a seven-month period. All the course presenters are skilled practitioners who work with bereaved children. The course also includes two integrative sessions. These integrative sessions facilitate the integration of course learning in a small group setting and are led by our senior Facilitators.


Applications are invited from professionals whose work brings them into contact with children who are bereaved through a family death or parental separation. The course will be of interest to teachers, chaplains, social workers, social care workers, psychologists, counsellors, nurses and others who meet bereaved children in their work.
Participants must possess a Level 8 degree in a relevant area or equivalent demonstrated through a defined Recognition of Prior Learning Process (RPL).  RPL requires demonstration of significant experience in working with children in a professional capacity or through formal volunteering; completion of CPD or other training in a relevant area and; relevance of course to career/opportunity to apply learning.
An academic transcript of your Level 8 degree (or higher if applicable) will be requested.  An academic transcript lists your academic history: programme attended, a breakdown of marks/grades achieved, the degree awarded, your overall grade and conferring date.
International degrees’ equivalency are to be verified by using the NARIC service from QQI here.


Prospective students applying for the Professional Certificate in Children and Loss for whom English is not their native language may need to arrange a test to confirm proficiency in English with the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).  For more detailed information on requirements, exceptions and test centres, click here.


Applicants MUST APPLY ON-LINE. Application forms can be accessed and completed on the RCSI website at  Applications will be processed through the Irish Hospice Foundation. Closing date for receipt of completed applications is Friday, 3rd May 2019.


This course design supports the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). RCSI and NUI have awarded the course 20 credits. The programme is designed around Level 9 outcomes as identified in the National Framework of Qualifications.


The fee for the Professional Certificate is €1650.  The fee may be paid by cheque/postal order, EFT or credit/debit card.  Cheques/postal orders should be made payable to the Irish Hospice Foundation and forwarded to Iris Murray, Irish Hospice Foundation, Morrison Chambers, 32 Nassau Street, Dublin 2, D02 YE06.  A non-refundable deposit of €250 is required on acceptance of a course place.  Fees are eligible for tax relief.


Cancellations up to three weeks prior to the course commencing will be given a full refund, minus a cancellation fee of €200 after this time no refunds will be made.


All classes are held in the training rooms of the Irish Hospice Foundation, 4th Floor, Morrison Chambers, 32 Nassau Street, Dublin 2, D02 YE06 and will run from 9.15am – 4.15pm.


Iris Murray, Course Administrator, Irish Hospice Foundation, Morrison Chambers, 32 Nassau Street, Dublin 2, D02 YE06. Tel: (01) 679 3188 Fax: (01) 673 0040 Email:
Back to the Top