Engaging Dementia has developed a set of Sonas Quality Standards (SQS) to provide high quality training to those who wish to deliver Sonas Group and Individual Sessions, and maintain high standards of delivery of the Sonas Programme nationwide.

The Sonas Licence

A Sonas Licence is required to undertake the Sonas Programme. It can be obtained by completing the 3-day Sonas Course and must be renewed every two years. There are currently 800+ SLPs in Ireland. The majority work in nursing homes while others are employed in day centres or hospitals.

Initial certification is given upon successful completion of the Sonas Course. A person is then certified by Engaging Dementia as a Sonas Licensed Practitioner (SLP).

The first Sonas Licence renewal is done through an eModule and the second renewal on completion of a Sonas Licence Renewal Training Day.

Engaging Dementia is committed to supporting Sonas Licensed Practitioners (SLPs) to carry out Sonas sessions to a high standard and to integrate the programme into care planning to maximise the benefits for Sonas Session participants.

Sonas Programme – Certification of Centres

Engaging Dementia runs a certification system to recognise care centres that demonstrate a high standard of implementation of the Sonas programme.

The benefits of being successfully approved as a Sonas Programme Certified Centre (SPCC):

  • 10% discount* on all of our training events
  • Recognition by Engaging Dementia for the care centre of the quality of its implementation of the Sonas Programme
  • Receipt of a Sonas Programme Certified Centre certificate that can be publicly displayed in the care centre
  • The Sonas Programme Certified Centre (SPCC) can display the Sonas Programme Quality Standards (SPQS) mark on its website
  • Demonstration of best practice delivery of a therapeutic intervention for people with dementia who have high care needs and are often unable to participate in other activities, whether therapeutic or recreational.


*Discount can’t be used in conjunction with any other offers.

Application Criteria

Any care centre which has 2 or more Sonas Programme Licensed Practitioners (SPLPs) may apply for certification.

Application and Assessment

The assessment process considers all aspects of the delivery of the Sonas Programme and includes an on-site visit by an Engaging Dementia trainer. The assessment includes a review of:

  • Sonas Group and Individual Sessions
  • Selection of Sonas session participants
  • Health and safety considerations
  • Logistics of delivery of Sonas sessions
  • Support of Sonas Licensed Practitioners by management 

The standard expected of a Sonas Programme Certified Centre is set out in the Sonas Programme Quality Standards Booklet (click here for SPQS booklet).

If awarded certification, the care centre will be issued with an SPCC Certificate, which is valid for 2 years.

To apply to become a Sonas Programme Certified Centre please call the office on 01 260 8138 or email training@engagingdementia.ie

Sonas Programme Certified Centres

At present, nine care centres have been approved by Engaging Dementia as Sonas Programme Certified Centres, in recognition of their high quality of delivery of the Sonas Programme:

Aras Chois Fharraige (Spideal, Co Galway)

Cúil Dídin Residential and Nursing Care Centre (Tralee, Co Kerry)

Foxrock Nursing Home  (Foxrock, Dublin 18)

Gormanston Wood Nursing Home (Gormanston, Co Meath)

Our Lady of Fatima Home (Tralee, Co Kerry)

St Joseph’s Nursing Home (Chapelizod, Dublin 20)

St Martha’s Nursing Home (Cahir, Co Tipperary)

St Peter’s Nursing Home (Castlebellingham, Co Louth)

Suncroft Lodge Nursing Home (Suncroft, Co Kildare)

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