Providing behavioural support, either alone or in combination with pharmacological interventions, increases the chances of long-term smoking cessation and should continue to be provided to all smokers who would like to avail of this option to help them quit (HIQA, 2017).

The HSE provides an online training and assessment programme designed to develop the competencies (knowledge & skills) required by specialist tobacco cessation practitioners. The training programme provides staff with a good understanding of the factors involved in smoking and smoking cessation and will link this theoretical understanding to professional practice. The training programme includes the information required to pass the practitioner assessment and receive full HSE/NCSCT certification as a tobacco cessation specialist practitioner. Practitioners accessing this intensive smoking cessation training programme are recommended to firstly complete the level 1 Making Every Contact Count online training.

The HSE intensive smoking cessation training and assessment programme was developed by the National Centre for Smoking Cessation Training UK (NCSCT) and is based on research into what competencies (skills and knowledge) are required by smoking cessation specialists. NCSCT carried out research to identify a set of behaviour change techniques (BCTs) that are used when providing behavioural support for smoking cessation. This research established which of these techniques has the strongest evidence. The research was supplemented by a systematic analysis of guidance documents on competences required for the role of smoking cessation specialists/counsellors.

The link to the Irish online intensive tobacco cessation training course is at: 

The training can also be accessed via the ‘Ireland’ button on our training homepage:

Guide to the training itself and the registration process (PDF)

Application form (PDF)

Completed forms can be sent to

The pass code is IRL2020 which needs to be entered in the relevant field on the registration page.

There is approximately six to eight hours of study materials which can be accessed in as many sittings as required.

You can choose your own path through the course and review materials as needed depending on your prior knowledge and experience. There are video clips explaining and demonstrating important components of behavioural support as well as additional information and links to other resources throughout. These are hosted on a website called ‘vimeo’ which may be blocked by your respective IT departments if you are accessing same from within the HSE. The video clips commence in the second half of the training (from page 41 onwards). If you are accessing the training from a HSE PC or laptop you may need to complete an IT Content filter exemption request form.

You will need to tick the Bandwidth PG, internet Radio and TV and streaming media boxes on page 3 of this HSE internet access form and enter the relevant email address or on the bottom section of the form.

We wish you all the very best with your studies.