What is Accreditation?

The formal evaluation of an organisation or programme against criteria set out in legislation. In the context of adoption accreditation means the formal evaluation by the Adoption Authority of Ireland of certain bodies or persons, specifically bodies or persons who are involved in making arrangements for the adoption of a child or the provision of services such as tracing, counselling or mediation for adopted persons or relatives of adopted persons.

The legislation governing the accreditation process is Statutory Instrument No. 524 of 2010 Adoption Act 2010 (Accredited Bodies) Regulations 2010.

Who must be accredited?

Any body or person who is involved in any of the activities listed below must be accredited by the Adoption Authority of Ireland in order to continue these activities in line with the law. Activities include:

  • making any agreement or arrangement for, or facilitating, the adoption or maintenance of the child by any person;
  • initiating or taking part in any negotiations the purpose or effect of which is the making of any such agreement or arrangement;
  • causing another person to initiate or take part in any such negotiations;
  • offering to enter into negotiations on behalf of the child’s parents or prospective adopters for the purpose of arranging an adoption;
  • carrying out or making any arrangement for the carrying out of an assessment of eligibility and suitability;
  • preparing reports on assessments of eligibility and suitability;
  • providing information, advice and counselling concerning adoption to any prospective adopters;
  • providing information, advice and counselling concerning adoption to a mother or guardian who proposes to place a child for adoption;
  • providing information and advice concerning the child’s medical or other status in connection with adoption;
  • placing a child with any prospective adopters;
  • one or more of the following three activities:
    • assisting -
      • adopted persons (18 years of age or over) in tracing their birth parents or other relatives, and
      • birth parents or other relatives (18 years of age or over) of adopted persons in tracing the adopted persons;
    • counselling the persons described above;
    • mediating between adopted persons and birth parents or other relatives as described above.

For a list of currently approved Accredited Bodies click here.

How is accreditation obtained?

To obtain the status of accredited body, a body or person must make an application to the Adoption Authority of Ireland.  They must meet criteria set down in legislation, including providing information to the Adoption Authority regarding their finances, governance etc. For more detailed information you can write to the Adoption Authority of Ireland, Corporate Services and Accreditation Unit, Shelbourne House, Shelbourne Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 D04 H6F6.

Value of Accreditation

Accreditation signifies that an organisation or program is effectively managing its resources and providing the best possible services to all of its stakeholders.

Service Users

  • Services meet best practice standards
  • Services are delivered by appropriately trained staff
  • Clients participate in the decision-making process of service delivery
  • Services are provided in a safe and respectful environment
  • Privacy is protected
  • Services support positive outcomes
  • Services are culturally competent


  • Health and safety are protected
  • Risk and liability are minimised
  • Service environments are efficient, effective, and supported by a quality improvement-oriented culture
  • Professional staff qualifications are defined
  • Whistleblower Policy is in place
  • Performance evaluation system is in place


  • Sound financial management practices are in place
  • Practices are ethical
  • Strategic plan is current, relevant, and monitored
  • Effective performance quality improvement and risk management systems in place
  • Policies and procedures address conflict of interests, preferential treatment, accountability, and delegation of authority

Arrangements for the monitoring and inspection of accredited bodies - AAI Circular 01/2016 Regulation

Inspection Reports


Published: Wednesday, 03 February 2016 15:36
Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 June 2019 16:12