The SHEP Certificate in Social Awareness and Community Empowerment a journey to transformation… understanding yourself… transforming your world.

social awareness and community empowermentThis course offers you ongoing personal development towards becoming more involved in community. In a supportive, friendly, non-judgmental learning environment, you can grow in awareness of how we relate and co-operate in groups.  It’s a place to explore how we are shaped by the society we grow up in and how we, in turn, shape society through our lives and actions.


In 2019 two courses will be offered in Cork City and subject to funding, a further course will be offered in Limerick. 

Time Commitment

The course involves a total of 78 hours including breaks. In 2019 there will be two different schedule types:

Cork Group 1 (Five Weekends in Ballincolig or Ardfoyle)

Consisting of five non-residential weekend workshops between October and December 2019, with one Friday night on the first weekend. The course will run in SHEP Training Centre either in Ballincolig or Ardfoyle.

Cork Group 2 (Weeknights and a number of Weekend Days in Farranferris)       □

Consisting of 13 weeknights (Wednesdays, but one being a Friday night to commence the course) and Five Weekend Days between September and December 2019. The course will run in SHEP Training Room in Farranferris, Farranree, Cork.

Themes explored

  • roles and behaviours
  • development education
  • dealing with conflict constructively
  • styles, skills and strengths in leadership
  • intercultural relationships
  • why society is the way it is now
  • understanding the ‘systems’ we live with (economical, political etc.)
  • power
  • social justice
  • caring for the earth
  • what the important issues are in our community and what we can do

Approach used

Personal, supportive, non-academic…  through listening, reflecting and sharing, participants find meaning and gain knowledge from their own experience and the group becomes a learning community.  This helps people to learn new skills, new attitudes or even entirely new ways of thinking. There are no exams!

Entry Requirements

No special prior qualifications are needed, just an interest in community, a willingness to use critical thinking and to interact with others. People on the course come from all sorts of backgrounds, meet as equals, learn from each other, become empowered and begin to dissolve social and cultural barriers.

Progression to further training

This course along with the SHEP Certificate in Personal Development, together comprise SHEP’s Foundation level of training. Graduates of the foundation level can go on to do further training with the Social and Health Education Project, including training courses in Group Facilitation, and other SHEP’s practitioner trainings.

To Apply: Cork

Course fee Cork: €450. There are also a number of Reduced fee rate: €250, supported through the SHEP Bursary fund.; A very limited number of reduced fee places of €250 will be available.  Fees may be paid in installments over the duration of the course. Download application form here

Combined SACE Cork Application Form, Reduced Fee Form, FAQ & Important Fee Info 2019 (PDF)

Combined SACE Cork Application Form, Reduced Fee Form, FAQ & Important Fee Info 2019 (WORD)

Post your completed application form to: The Social and Health Education Project, Village Centre, Ballincollig, Co. Cork. You can also contact SHEP for an application form

  • Cork Phone Number:     (021) 466 6180
  • Kerry Phone Number     (087) 772 8089
  • Limerick Phone Number  (085) 8626844

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