The SHEP Certificate in Personal Development course …

offers you a chance to get to know yourself better in a supportive, friendly, non-judgemental environment.

It is part one of the SHEP Foundation Programme. Part 2 is the SHEP Certificate in Social Awareness and Community Empowerment.

Here, you can grow in awareness on a journey of self-discovery and learn about how you relate to yourself, and to others. It’s a place to explore your life, your choices, your responsibilities, a place where you can learn to accept yourself and others more, and increase your self-confidence and well-being.

The approach is

  • personal …

Learning to listen better to ourselves and each other, feeling, relating, building self-confidence, managing stress… all of these topics are explored in a personal way, so that people can become more aware of how they are living, of how they are with their feelings, including the feelings which individual people may find difficult to identify or accept, whether sadness, anger, gratitude, shame or love.

  • non-academic …

The course involves an approach quite unlike the kind of teaching and learning experienced in school.  Most of it is run in small groups of about 14 people, and each group has two group leaders or facilitators.  Participants are recognised as adults who have a lot of life experience, and are helped to learn from their own experience and from each other.  Skills are taught in an interactive, enjoyable way.

  • supportive …

The facilitators have extensive training and experience in creating a supportive atmosphere and in helping personal learning.

Please click Testimonial (2015) Daphne Bracken to read a testimonial form one of our participants.

Is This Course for Me?

People on the course come from all sorts of backgrounds.  This is a special strength of the course.  No special prior qualifications are needed, just a willingness to be personally involved and to interact with others.  In this approach, people meet as equals, learn from each other and begin to dissolve social and cultural barriers.

Does the Course Lead On to Further Training?

This course is one of two foundation courses in SHEP’s Core Training Programme. Graduates of the foundation courses can go on to do further courses with The Social and Health Education Project, including training courses in group facilitation. Many people who complete specialised practitioner training courses become active as community tutors, community facilitators or community advocates with SHEP.

Time Commitment

One evening a week  7.00pm-9.30pm or a morning session 10.00am to 12.30pm


Due to public health considerations all courses starting on zoom Autumn 2021.

Course Certificate

A certificate will be awarded to those who complete the course satisfactorily. A high level of commitment and of attendance is expected from participants.  Except in the most exceptional circumstances attendance at a minimum of 80% of both the evening sessions and of the day-long workshops will be considered essential for satisfactory completion of the course.


The course fee is normally €590. Subject to funding, a concession/bursary of €300 may be available. As there is a very limited amount of money available in the SHEP Bursary Fund for reduced fee we cannot guarantee that all applicants will be successful. We will therefore prioritise applications from those in greatest need of assistance. All applications are treated confidentially. Fees may be paid in installments over the duration of the course.

To make our courses accessible to those in receipt of specific Social Welfare allowances  we offer a reduced fee on some SHEP courses offered in Cork, Kerry, Limerick. Such reduced fees are funded by the SHEP Bursary Fund (to which people and companies have made donations) – or by state grants, when available. On some occasions, through state funding or other grants, we are able to offer a small number of people funded places. This is very exceptional. 

For Information on SHEP Data Protection (Under GDPR) please click Here

Contact Details:

What Some Participants Have Said:

  • SHEP has been a valuable learning experience, a truly unique course that has helped me grow so much! I have met wonderful people, and I will carry the effects of this Personal Development journey with me for life… Thank you SHEP!

  • Everyone from every walk of life would benefit from doing this course.

  • The awareness that this course has afforded me has been invaluable to my way of living. It has given me the opportunity to know who I am and know I am not alone in not being perfect , And knowing that’s ok too.

  • SHEP is a lifechanging experiential journey which invites you into a deeper relationship with yourself, your family and friends and the Natural World.

  • I would highly recommend this course as I learned so much about myself ,gave time for Me and I have been blossoming like a flower during it and I continue to do so. I loved this course .

  • I found the course to be both insightful and empowering. The facilitators were excellent and their capacity to hold space (especially on zoom) was truly inspiring. I learn’t so much, not only about myself but also about the art of facilitation.

  • I thoroughly enjoyed doing this course. From the get go it was about keeping an open mind and being curious about my inner world. I gained so much awareness that I can take into my every day life, from relationships with myself, my family, my work life, friendships and so on. I really found it so interesting and beneficial. I would highly recommend and encourage everyone to do this Personal Development course.

  • After this course I am a much better version of myself on all levels, I managed to find a place in me where I can just sit with any emotion, any state, any feeling and just live through it without panicking. I felt seen, heard, listened to and being given unconditional positive regard at all times, which actually is an experience of love.

  • Thank you for the life changing experience. I have found so much personal benefit in attending the course and have grown so much as a person.

  • This is the best course I have ever done. It’s a pity we were not taught this stuff in sec school or college or in the workplace.

  • I’ve started a lovely Journey of discovery for myself and enjoying every moment, its been a life saver during Covid, meeting lovely likeminded people every  night. Looking forward to continuing my journey with SHEP.. Thanks

  • Life changing! Made a significant improvement to my mental health.

Next Courses

  • Open for application from July 1st 2021. All courses starting on zoom with the option for two of the courses  blended / in person in Spring 2022 if public health considerations allow.

To download application form for the Certificate in Personal Development see below.

>> Click here for application form <<

To download application form for the Certificate in Personal Development (Mid-West Region, Limerick/ Clare / Tipperary)  see below.

>> CLlick here for application form <<