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Studying with us during coronavirus in 2021

Best Interest Assessors

Module code SWK4440
Level 7
Credits 30
Fees £1,200
Start dates November 2021
April 2022


Best Interest Assessor is an inter-professional module which aims to equip experienced practitioners in health and social care with the skills and knowledge required to enable them to undertake a Best Interest Assessment (BIA). A BIA is a specific task related to implementing the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (part of the Mental Capacity Act). On successful completion of the module, participants will be eligible to apply for approval to their Supervisory Board as a Best Interest Assessor having met in full the training requirements specified by the Department of Health. This is a one-week intensive course.

Students must be a qualified and registered Social Worker, Nurse, Mental Health Nurse, Approved Mental Health Practitioner, Chartered Psychologist or Occupational Therapist with a minimum of 2 years post-qualification experience at the point of application.

Course content

The syllabus is laid down in the requirements of the five professional capabilities for Best Interest Assessors (DoH) which are embedded within a series of 6 one-day workshops and practice learning opportunities.

  1. Mental capacity legislation and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS), their related codes of practice, national and local policy guidance
  2. Relevant parts of other legislation, codes of practice, national and local policy guidance, in particular the Human Rights Act 1998, the Mental Health Acts 1983 and 2007, and law/policy related to Adult Safeguarding
  3. The formal two-stage assessment of capacity
  4. The impact of mental disorder on mental capacity, including the effect of social, physical and developmental factors on a person’s ability to make decisions

Please note, the content of this course will be updated as and when specific details of the new requirements in line with the liberty protection safeguards are released.

Key features

  • Taught by qualified and experienced BIAs and mental health academics
  • Free e-book for every student
  • Interactive teaching live online

Teaching dates

November cohort

  • Monday 23 November to Friday 26 November 2021
  • Friday 7 January 2022 (recall day)

Teaching will be delivered online via Zoom.

April cohort

  • Monday 25 April to Friday 29 April 2022
  • Friday 6 June 2022 (recall day)

Teaching will be delivered online via Zoom.

How to apply

To apply for this course you must :

  • Have two years post-registration experience as either an approved mental health professional or social worker registered with Social Work England
  • Be a first level nurse registered in Part 1 of the Register, an occupational therapist registered in Part 6 of the Register or a chartered psychologist registered with the BPS
  • Provide a reference from a current or your most recent employer
  • Be able to organise to shadow a BIA conducting an assessment

Please email our CPD Social Work Administration team to express an interest in this programme.

BIA refresher

Subject to demand, we also run a one-day BIA refresher course (£125), please contact us for information on dates.

  • What our students say

"I was very excited to do this course and it did not disappoint…everything just came together beautifully. Thank you for your excellent teaching."
Shawndell, Nursing Home Registered Manager (April 2021)

"Thank you. I have learned so much."
Jerry (April 2021)

"Really enjoyable course, packed with information. I feel I learned a lot. Thank you to everyone."
Christine, NHS Continuing Healthcare Case Manager and Assessor (April 2021)

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