SHEP Certificate in Continuing Personal Development


The Continuing Personal Development Course is intended for those who wish to continue with personal development work in a group setting. It is one of the key offerings of our On-going Personal Development Programme. The course aims to enable participants to develop the awareness, life-skills and confidence they need to move forward constructively with their lives. Working at both the personal and interpersonal level, the intention is to  support participants to bring the learning out into their lives and relationships.

Who may apply?

Those applying for the training course should normally have satisfactorily completed the SHEP Certificate in Personal Development (or its equivalent).

How are places allocated?

Priority will be given to those who have completed the SHEP Foundation Programme (i.e. both Part 1 – the SHEP Certificate in Personal Development and Part 2 – The SHEP Certificate in Social Awareness and Community Empowerment).

‘The date of receipt of applications will be taken into account (therefore applying early is advantageous) . The quality of the application will also be taken into account (and it is important the applications forms are completed fully).

How is the course structured?

This course is a personal development programme, facilitated to support deep exploration of personal issues.  The programme is not a therapy group. It is less structured than the SHEP Certificate in Personal Development, but it still uses structured exercises to support personal learning.

The course  normally runs over c. 28 weeks with weekly 2½ -hour sessions. In addition to the weekly sessions, the course entails participation in 6 day-long workshops. The course begins in late January/early February and ends in November/early December.   There is a break over the summer months.

The number of participants is usually around fourteen.

Indicative Course Elements:

  • Group building
  • Better communication
  • Deepening relationships
  • Strengthening my sense of self
  • Confidence-building
  • Relating healthily to my feelings and emotions
  • Understanding other people better
  • Developing trust
  • Exploring my blocks to fuller living
  • Understanding and healing old wounds
  • Freeing up old unhelpful patterns
  • Caring for my well-being
  • Developing my emotional intelligence
  • Envisioning of life possibilities for myself
  • Taking responsibility for my life
  • Review of learning – future learning and support needs

SHEP stresses the importance of tailoring its courses to the specific needs of different participant groups so the programme outlined here would therefore be necessary to modify once the distinct needs of those participating are known. These topics will not be addressed in a pre-structured manner, but as they arise from group participants’ exploration of their personal and interpersonal experience, both in the group and in their lives generally.

What is the cost of the course?

The Continuing Personal Development Course fee is  €800. This fee is payable before taking up a place, although SHEP is willing to make payment plans with participants to spread the payments over the duration of the course. Depending on grant funding, a limited number of bursaries (usually €300) may be available.

Do participants receive a certificate?

A certificate will be awarded to those who complete the course satisfactorily. Except in the most exceptional circumstances, attendance at a minimum of 80% of both the evening sessions and of the workshop sessions will be considered essential for satisfactory completion of the course.

Next Course: Autumn 2022 In-Person in Limerick City

The next course will start in late September 2022.  This course is now open for applications.

Two 2022 (Cork) courses are currently underway. (One online and one in-person).