Practising Licence Programme: Special Needs Community Practitioner (ONLINE)

This programme aims to qualify any trainee who has passed all the programme’s requirements of the International Association of Counselors & Therapists (IACT) and be admitted as a licenced special needs community practitioner. Special Needs Community Practitioner’s (SNCP) is a specialty programme that covers special needs community services (SNCS) based on a participatory community-based transdisciplinary treatment. It involves intervention, rehabilitation & management that deals with acute & chronic cases related to intellectual-developmental disabilities within a residential home context. As children with disabilities grow up and enter into adulthood, most of them are more likely than not unable to lead an independent life. As a result, many would end up staying 24/7 in a community home. This is where the SNCPs come into play. In the SNCS approach, 3 key aspects of SNCP’s professional work are: (1) nursing care for people with disabilities living and working in a therapeutic community; (2) application of the principles of universal design in therapeutic community living & working; & (3) assessment, evaluation & profiling of people with disabilities to get them ready for living and working in a community home. 

The IACT is a prestigious professional body based in the USA that admits any person who have fulfilled the rigorous requirements of the practising licence programmes to obtain practising membership as a counsellor or a therapist. The membership with the IACT is a mark of high standard and excellence. Practising members are not only knowledgeable and bound by high ethical standards, but are also highly respected as well. They are eligible to work in many countries such as North American, Asian and European countries etc. 

The three tiers of the IACT’s practising licence are Credentialed, Registered and Board-Certified. Board-Certified members hold the highest status of the membership of the IACT.   

As a requirement of the IACT, all courseworks, assignments and essays of a trainee must be supervised and verified by an approved instructor of the IACT. All works of the trainee are required to be submitted by the instructor to the IACT’s Assessment Board based in the USA for final assessment. 

Merlion Academy is authorised to supervise and verify trainees’ work seeking to gain admission as an IACT member. Trainee will also be supported by both the IACT Singapore and Malaysia chapters.

Admissions for the programme are conducted on a rolling basis and can begin at any time.

Course Modules:

  • Module 1: Community Care Services for People with Special Needs
  • Module 2: Lifespan Human Development (Late Adolescence to Late Adulthood)
  • Module 3: Disabilities & Disorders in Adulthood
  • Module 4: Functionality, Disability & Health
  • Module 5: Treatment Planning in Community Care Service (with Case Studies)
  • Module 1: Disabled Elderly and Elderly Disabled
  • Module 2: Neurodegenerative Disorders: Assessment & Intervention
  • Module 3: Screening and Assessment for Adults with Special Needs
  • Module 4: Comprehensive Healthcare for Adults with Special Needs
  • Module 5: Sustainability of Special Needs Community Care Services
  • Module 1: Special Needs Community Care Service Management
  • Module 2: Current Challenges faced by Special Needs Community Practitioners
  • Module 3: Universal Design vs Inclusive Design
  • Module 4: Collaboration with Other Professionals
  • Module 5: A Comparative Study on Special Needs Community Programmes

Module exemptions will be granted based on individual’s merits and to the graduate of relevant diploma accredited by International Association of Therapists.


1. Assessments are assignments based, mainly submission of publishable journal articles and papers.
2. Guided learning hours to fulfil: 30 hours per module (150 hours in total).
3. Non-guided learning hours (reading time and journal papers writing for publishing): 30 hours per module (150 hours in total).


220 hours of internship under clinical supervision at a counseling center or therapy clinic or hospital.


8 months per tier 

Entry Requirements:


21 years and above

Minimum qualification

Minimum a bachelor’s degree in
i. special education, education, psychoeducational therapy, biology, medicine, counselling or psychology; or
ii. any discipline with postgraduate diploma in teaching, education, educational therapy, psychology etc.

English requirement

1.  Pearson Test of English (PTE) 53; or
2.  IELTS 6.0 (reading and writing must be at 6.0); or
3.  A pass in English Language paper at GCE Ordinary Level
4.  TOEFL 65 
5.  Equivalent (such as Pearson Versant English Test). 

Course Fees:

(Non-refundable one-time application fee of SGD 95.00 is payable upon application)

Program fee

SGD 1,500.00 per module

Marking fee

SGD 50.00 per module

Payment mode

Stripe / Credit card / Alipay

Refund Terms

90% – more than 28 days before course commencement

50% – less than 28 days before course commencement

10% – less than 3 days before course commencement

  0% – more than 3 days after the course commencement