Genetic Counsellor for National Centre for Inherited Metabolic Disorders

There is flexibility associated in terms of working arrangements and even opportunity for part time working arrangements. For informal enquiries

Job Title / Grade:

Genetic Counsellor

Department / Division:

National Centre for Inherited Metabolic Disorders (Adult Centre)


Mater Misericordiae University Hospital

Reporting Relationship:

Consultants/ Clinical Geneticists at the National Centre for Inherited Metabolic Disorders (Adult Centre)

Job Purpose:

To contribute to the provision of a comprehensive, high quality, specialist genetic counselling service for the National Centre for Inherited Metabolic Disorders (Adult Centre).

To carry out the duties and responsibilities of a Genetic Counsellor with the aim of helping patients and families:

– Comprehend the medical facts, including the diagnosis, probable course of the disorder and the available management

– Appreciate the way heredity contributes to the disorder, and the risk of recurrence in specified relatives

– Understand the options (including genetic testing) for dealing with the risk;

– Choose the course of action most appropriate for them

– Make the best possible adjustment to the disorder / risk of the disorder

– To contribute to professional education and training.

Key Responsibilities & Accountabilities:

Principal Duties:

  • See patients and their families in clinics at the National Centre for Inherited Metabolic Disorders (Adult Centre) and at some transition clinics at the National Centre for Inherited Metabolic Disorders (Paediatric Centre)
  • Provide genetic counselling clinics, conferring with consultants in the National Centre for Inherited Metabolic Disorders (as appropriate)
  • Contribute to joint consultant and Genetic Counselling clinics to ensure their effectiveness and efficiency as well as continuity of care for families referred.
  • Endeavour to achieve for all families seen in clinic, a good understanding of the genetics information and the best possible adjustment to the presence of a genetic condition in their family.
  • Maintain confidentiality of information about patients, staff and other health service users.
  • Liaise with laboratory colleagues to communicate clinical information necessary to ensure appropriate genetic testing is carried out and to discuss complex test results that are difficult to interpret.
  • Prioritise work, particularly assessing the urgency of clinical work.
  • Maintain a full and accurate record of clinical workload undertaken in both manual and computerised records and preserve their confidentiality.
  • Arrange relevant prenatal diagnostic tests with assigned Consultant approval.
  • Order genetic tests as clinically appropriate and according to agreed guidelines with assigned Consultant knowledge.
  • Undertake any other duties within the context of this job description and appropriate grade of the post, necessary for the changing needs of an effective and efficient patient service.

Specific Duties:

  • Communicate highly sensitive and potentially distressing information to patients and relatives about their genetic status with implications for biological and social family relationships.
  • Use counselling skills to facilitate decision making and promote adjustments in patient and family members.
  • Engage with a Genetic Patient Management System e.g. Progeny and log cases seen with the NCIMD Registry
  • Ensure the best possible standard of work by applying scientific and clinical understanding and counselling expertise to unique clinical situations.
  • Attend weekly departmental clinical meetings and teaching sessions to participate in discussion and feedback on clinical cases.
  • Attend regular Genetic Counsellor and service meetings.
  • Discuss cases with ethical complexity with colleagues at the weekly clinical meeting.
  • Share in fulfilling the departmental teaching and educational commitments.
  • Assist in the training of less experienced staff and students as appropriate.
  • Contribute to departmental research and audit.
  • Promote ideas and initiative developments within the team
  • Attend to yearly CPD attainment in the related discipline.

Leadership & Direction

  • Develops networks and communications systems to ensure that they are fully informed in a dynamic and challenging environment.
  • Is an effective leader and a positive driver for change; transforms the vision into a framework and structures for moving forward.
  • Understands the challenges of leading complex systems change.
  • Balances change with continuity – continually strives to improve service delivery, to create a work environment that encourages creative thinking and to maintain focus, intensity and persistence even under increasingly complex and demanding conditions.

Working With & Through Others – Influencing to Achieve

  • Has significant experience in engaging with healthcare organisations.
  • Demonstrates the ability to work independently as well as work with a wider multidisciplinary / multi-agency team in a complex and changing environment.
  • Is persuasive and effectively sells the vision; commands attention and inspires confidence.
  • Sets high standards for the team and puts their work and the work of the organisation into meaningful context.
  • Has excellent influencing and negotiation skills.

Managing & Delivering Results

  • Places strong emphasis on achieving high standards of excellence.
  • Commits a high degree of energy to well directed activities and looks for and seizes opportunities that is beneficial to achieving organisation goals.
  • Perseveres and sees tasks through.
  • Champions measurement on delivery of results and is willing to take personal responsibility to initiate activities and drive objectives through to a conclusion.

Quality, Risk & Safety Responsibilities

  • Participate and cooperate with legislative and regulatory requirements with regard to Quality, Risk and Safety.
  • Participate and cooperate with Children’s Health Ireland Quality and Risk and Safety initiatives as required.
  • Participate and cooperate with internal and external evaluations of hospital structures, services and processes as required
  • To initiate, support and implement quality improvement initiatives in their area which are in keeping with the hospitals continuous quality improvement programme.

The above is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all duties involved and consequently, the post holder may be required to perform other duties as appropriate to the post which may be assigned to him/her from time to time and to contribute to the development of the post while in office.

General Responsibilities & Accountabilities:

  • Health and Safety

Ensure that effective safety procedures are in place to comply not only with the Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Act but also within the spirit of the Hospital’s mission, vision and values, and they are known and followed by staff. You are also required to familiarise yourself with the requirements of employees under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005

  • Confidentiality

You will be aware of the confidential nature of Hospital work and in particular, the right of patients to confidentiality.

  • Policies & Procedures

You are required to familiarise yourself with and adhere to all policy and procedural documents relevant to your position.

  • Hygiene Standards

It is the responsibility of all staff to have a fundamental understanding of individual responsibility in maintaining departmental and site hygiene standards.

  • Information Technology

Ensure the most effective and efficient use of developments in information technology for administrative support in a manner, which integrates well with systems throughout the organisation.

  • Business Continuity Management

Business Continuity Management (BCM) is a holistic management process that identifies potential impacts that threaten an organisation and provides a framework for building resilience and the capability for an effective response that safeguards the interests of its key stakeholders and reputation” (BS 25999) All Staff employed in the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital are obliged to:

  • make themselves familiar with the Organisational Business Continuity Plan
  • attend BCM education sessions provided for them
  • make themselves familiar with their individual roles as set out in their departmental business continuity plan if applicable and or the Organisational business continuity plan


The extent and speed of change in the delivery of health care is such that adaptability is essential. The incumbent will be required to maintain, enhance and develop their knowledge, skills and aptitudes necessary to respond to a changing situation. The job description must be regarded as an outline of the major areas of accountability at the present time,which will be reviewed and assessed on an ongoing basis.


Job requirementsEssentialDesirable
An Approved Master of Science degree in Genetic/Genomic Counselling. OR Attainment of the NHS Scientific Training Programme (STP) Genomic Counselling and registration with the HCPC OR Professional qualification and registration as a Nurse or Midwife with training in counselling skills of at least 90 guided learning hours and an academically accredited course in the science of human genetics of no less than 30 guided learning hours AND Registration as a Genetic Counsellor. Candidates are expected to be registered with the Genetic Counsellor Registration Board (GCRB) or an equivalent overseas Genetic Counselling Board.
ExperienceThree years full time (or equivalent) years post-qualification clinical experience in the area of clinical geneticsExperience in genetics of Inherited Metabolic Disorders
Experience in Transition Clinics (ie patients from paediatric care to adult care)
Organisational knowledgeKnowledge of performance management systems / key performance indicatorsFamiliarity with Irish and European Clinical Genetics health structures, ERNs and services and processes

Demonstrate evidence of recent formal continuing professional development relevant to the required area of specialism, in the form of post-graduate qualifications or relevant courses.
Core CompetenciesExcellent analytical, planning and organising skills. A strong commitment to continuous improvement. Ability to network and build and maintain relationships. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills Ability to work as part of a team and to establish good working relationships with personnel at all levels. Committed to protecting personal privacy and confidentiality of personal information Excellent knowledge of Microsoft (including Excel).Strong leadership and influencing skills
CommunicationExcellent oral and written language skills Proficient in the use of MS Word, Excel, Power Point