Best Interest Assessor (SW4120) Short Course

Best Interest Assessor (SW4120) Short Course

This module offers an opportunity for interactive learning, facilitated by a knowledgeable and approachable teaching team. The emphasis is on shared and active learning which connects with professional practice.

A range of modules are available to enhance your knowledge, develop skills and further your CPD. Credits can be gained on a standalone modular basis or used to achieve one of the School of Social Work, Care and Community’s CPD target awards.

Entry and Admissions

AWARD TYPE: Short Course


LEVEL:Short Course / CPD

STUDY MODE: Part time


COURSE LENGTH: Part-time: Teaching over 5 or 6 days and includes workshops (36 hours contact time); one further day for assessed work.

SCHOOL: School of Social Work, Care and Community

PARTNER COLLEGES: No Partner College

CAMPUS: Preston

START DATE: October, February or July

Entry Requirements:

Candidates will usually be nominated by their employers, however, we also accept applications from independent practitioners who meet the entry requirements.

A person is eligible to carry out a best interests assessment if:

• They are either:

- A social worker registered with the Health Care Professions Council or

- A first level nurse, registered in Sub-Part 1 of the Nurses’ Part of the Register maintained under article 5 of the Nursing and Midwifery Order 2001 or

- An occupational therapist registered in Part 6 of the register maintained under article 5 of the Health Professions Order 2001 or

- A chartered psychologist who is listed in the British Psychological Society’s Register of Chartered Psychologists and who holds a relevant practising certificate issued by that Society

• They are not suspended from the register or list relevant to the person's profession and

• They have at least two years post-registration experience in that profession.

• They can demonstrate knowledge and experience of working with the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

Additional Requirements: The application form must include a statement regarding your current understanding and use of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and reasons for applying for this module. Candidates should ideally also indicate knowledge of the Mental Health Act 1983/2007.

Course Content

The Best Interest Assessor Training has been designed to provide the necessary training for relevant health and social care professionals who wish to take on the statutory role of Best Interest Assessor (BIA). This module enables participants to understand the key skills, knowledge and values underpinning the role of the BIA, which will enable them to satisfy Supervisory Bodies of their ability to undertake Best Interest assessments at the standard set in the Mental Capacity (Deprivation of Liberty: Standard Authorisations, Assessment and Ordinary Residence) Regulations 2008.

The curriculum reflects introduction via the Mental Health Act 2007 of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards into the Mental Capacity Act 2005. These safeguards provide a legal framework to protect the rights and liberties of people who lack the capacity to consent to the care or treatment they need where this care or treatment could amount to a deprivation of their liberty.

The training staff include:

Doug Feery: Barrister. Well known for his work in Mental Health, Public Law and Human Rights Law area. He delivers training on the Mental Health Act and also works in an advisory and consultative capacity with a range of local authorities nationally, notably with regard to their compliance with equality legislation and national policy.

Anita Lindon: MCA Co-ordinator and Best Interest Assessor, Lancashire County Council.

Stuart Parsons: Chief Executive & Independent Mental Capacity Advocate, Wigan Family Welfare.

The Mental Health Act 2007 introduced deprivation of liberty safeguards into the Mental Capacity Act 2005. These safeguards provide a legal framework to protect the rights and liberties of people who lack the capacity to consent to the care or treatment they need where this care or treatment could amount to a deprivation of their liberty. The module is targeted at practitioners who wish to undertake the role as a BIA accredited by the Secretary of State.

Relevant policy and legislation for example Mental Capacity Act 2005, Human Rights Act 1998 and Mental Health Act 1983 as amended by the 2007 Act; relevant case law; roles and responsibilities of the BIA, Independent Mental Capacity Advocate and Mental Health Assessors; The College of Social Work standards for BIA practice; models of mental capacity and the impact of incapacity on service users, carers and families; Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards procedures, including the six assessments. Risk issues, assessment and management within the context of mental capacity; range of relevant research.

20 Credit Module at Level 7

Learning Environment & Assessment

Students will be able to access module content and supplementary learning materials via Blackboard. The learning will take place in the classroom and a range of teaching/learning strategies will be utilised in order to provide the best possible learning environment. Workshops will be used to present theoretical concepts; case-studies, group work and reflections on practice will be utilised to build on knowledge gained through lectures.

Law exam (1 hour) and portfolio of reflection and case analysis (3500 words)

Academic Expertise

Debbie Brown, Module Leader

Learning outcome & aims

This module enables participants to understand the key skills, knowledge and values underpinning the role of the BIA.

On successful completion of the training and assessment participants will receive an official University transcript confirming they have passed the module. At this stage they will be eligible and available to supervisory bodies to undertake the BIA role.

Industry links & professional accreditation

This module will form part of the CPD standards for the HCPC for social workers and OTs; for nurses undertaking the course will ensure compliance with elements of the NMC's Post-registration education and practice.

Work experience and international opportunities

For further advice about work experience and international opportunities please speak to the module leader.


“Really clear information and lots of opportunities to double check understanding and get clarification. A 'top day' all round”

“Increased confidence; Less anxiety; More 'realistic' about the actual practicalities of doing BIA”

“Anita is excellent; Very knowledgeable and explains things well and reassuring”

Progression Routes

Under the School of Social Work, Care and Community’s Centre for CPD portfolio, this module can be completed as standalone or towards one of the following courses:

Postgraduate Certificate in Specialist Practice with Adults
Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Development and Practice
Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Practice and Mental Health Law
Masters in Professional Development and Practice

For full details of the Centre for CPD's offering and progression routes please visit

BIA Refresher Training:
We also provide 1 day BIA Refresher Training throughout the year. For further information please view the event details on


Fees & Funding

You can contact the Student Fees and Funding Team via phone, email, or post. If you are on the campus you can call into The 'i', for advice.
Tel: +44 (0)1772 892440
Student Fees and Funding Team, Foster Building 117, UCLan, Preston, PR1 2HE

Fees: £765 per 20 credits

For 2018/19 fees please refer to our fees page.

How to Apply

Please contact the CPD team for specific guidance to support you in completing an application and to ensure it is directed appropriately once submitted. You will be advised to apply through the University Online Application System.

Individuals should initially discuss their application with their employer as arrangements may be in place for financial and study leave support.

Should you have any further questions about the application or enrolment process please contact the CPD team on:
Tel: +44 (0)1772 894361/3408

This module can be delivered on site for groups of staff, to help meet your workforce development needs. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

About UCLan

Centre for CPD

School of Social Work, Care & Community

University of Central Lancashire,
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1772 894361