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. Its 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 groups of about 17 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.

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 SHEPs 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


Courses are run in Cork, Mallow, Kerry, Limerick and Online

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 €850. If paid in full before the start of the course the fee is €790 (€60 discount). Subject to funding, reduced fees are available in certain circumstances, see application form for details.

All payments to be completed within 5 months. As there is a very limited amount of money available in the SHEP Bursary Fund for reduced fees, 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. For Limerick and the Mid- West prices please check the Limerick and Mid- West application form.

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.

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

Contact Details:

What Some Participants Have Said:

  • SHEP is life-changing! Go for it – take the plunge – believe me it will be worth it!!

  • Gentle approach to expanding and developing into the person that you truly are , guided and nourished each week on a journey of self discovery .

  • SHEP Cert in Personal Development is an amazing course for anyone to do. I’d go as far as saying it should be integrated into the education system. Everyone can improve their life and wellbeing by knowing themselves better and having an understanding of their emotions and feelings. Best thing I have done for myself in a long time. Thank you SHEP.

  • The Personal Development Course with Shep has changed my whole outlook on life. I have a strength within that I always knew was there, I just needed the right help to access it.

  • This course gave me a space to fall, flourish, learn about me and others in a reflective and safe environment. I am so much better able to manage life on lifes terms having done it. I met the most amazing people and reconnected with me in a meaningful way for the first time in a long time. I loved it

  • I met myself in the mirror on this course and greeted myself with a warm smile for the first time in a long time



To apply online for the Cert in Personal Development please click the link below. 

If you have issues with computers please contact our office on or (021) 466 6180

and we can post or email out you a paper form.