Membership Qualifying Program: Credentialed Special Needs Community Practitioner (ONLINE)

This 1-year course aims to qualify any candidate who has passed all the program’s requirements of International Association of Counselors & Therapists (IACT) and be admitted as a licensed & practising special needs community practitioner at credentialed membership level. Special Needs Community Practitioner’s (SNCP) is a specialty program that covers special needs community services (SNCS) based on a participatory community-based trans-disciplinary 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. 

IACT is a prestigious professional body based in the USA that admit members who have fulfilled the rigorous requirements of the professional qualification programs to obtain practising memberships as counselors and therapists. The membership with IACT is a mark of high standard and excellence. Practising members are not only knowledgeable and bound by 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 level of IACT’s membership are CredentialedRegistered and Board Certified. A Board Certified member holds the highest status of the membership.

As a requirement of IACT, all coursework, assignments and essays of a candidate must be supervised and verified by an approved instructor of IACT. All works of the candidate are required to be submitted by the instructor to the IACT’s Assessment Board based in the USA for final assessment. A candidate must complete all 5 modules and fulfill the program’s requirements before being awarded practising membership. Only upon completion of the Credentialed level modules, will the candidate be allowed to proceed to the Registered level modules.

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

The modules are:

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


1. Assessment is based on coursework, assignments and essays.
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).

Entry Requirements:


21 years and above

Minimum qualification

Diploma graduate in special education, psychoeducational therapy, speech & language therapy, occupational therapy or psychology

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 (Pearson Versant English Test). Students can attend Pearson Online English (POE) to brush up on English.

Course Fees:

(Non-refundable one-time application fee of SGD 95.00 is payable upon application)
Course FeeSGD 1,500.00 per module
Marking FeeSGD 50.00 per module
TotalSGD 1,550.00 per module
Payment modeStripe / Credit card / Alipay
Refund Terms for Course Fee only

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