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 Registered Centre

Sonas apc runs a registration 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 Registered Centre (SPRC):

  • 10% discount* on all of our training services. This includes, the International Dementia Care Conference, training events, and the Activities Audit Services.
  • A stamp of approval by Engaging Dementia for the care centre of the quality of its implementation of the Sonas programme.
  • Certificate of Registration.
  • The Sonas Registered Centre (SRC) can display the Sonas Quality Standard (SQS) mark on its website if it wishes.
  • Membership of a network of care centres that display best practice in the Sonas Programme, a therapeutic intervention for those 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

A care centre which has 40+ beds must have a minimum of 3 Sonas Licensed Practitioners (SLP) on its team in order to apply. For centres with less than 40 beds, the minimum SLP number is 2.

Application Process

The Sonas Registered Centre (SRC) application process involves an on-site assessment of the quality of delivery of the Sonas programme in a care centre. The assessment includes a review of Sonas programme documentation, discussion with the centre’s SLPs, discussion with a member of the management team, and observation of a Sonas Group Session. The care centre receives a written report from Sonas apc following the assessment, informing it whether it has reached the standard necessary for SRC Certification. If a centre has not reached a high enough standard, the report will set out the areas for improvement, and a tutor will give a follow-up call to the Director of Nursing/SLP if they wish further feedback/guidance on it.

Sonas Registered Centres

At present, six care centres have been approved by Engaging Dementia as Sonas Registered 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)

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)


And welcome to our new website. We are excited to announce that Sonas apc has changed its name to Engaging Dementia