Best Interests Assessor

Best Interests Assessor

This module will enable students to:

  • undertake the statutory role of the Best Interests Assessor in applying the principles and provisions of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Deprivation Of Liberty Safeguards in practice;
  • keep appropriate records and to provide clear and reasoned reports in accordance with legal requirements and best practice; and
  • develop the skills necessary to undertake the Best Interests Assessor role in a person centred manner that promotes human rights and recognises the capabilities and strengths of vulnerable people within a rights-based approach.

Successful completion of the module will prepare students to undertake the statutory role of Best Interests Assessor (BIA). The BIA is responsible for deciding whether a person is being deprived of their liberty, whether it is in their best interests and for how long an authorisation should last.

On successful completion of this module students will have the opportunity to return to the university to attend a one day ‘Mental Capacity Act 2005, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards in Action’ workshop that is included as part of the course. This will enable newly qualified Best Interest Assessors to share their experiences, gain peer support and enable a reflection of practice alongside an identification of future learning and support needs.

Learning outcomes:

  1. Apply an extended knowledge and critical analysis of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and the related code of practice and relevant case law.
  2. Justify that they have the skills necessary to obtain, evaluate and analyse complex evidence and differing views.
  3. Construct a critical analysis of the application of law in practice.
  4. Analyse the complexity of the ethical issues arising from power and cultural issues involved in Best Interests Assessments.

Who is the module for? As outlined in the Mental Capacity Regulations (2008) this module is only available for those in the following professional groups, who must have at least two years post registration experience at the point of commencing the module;

  1. approved mental health professionals;
  2. social workers registered with the HCPC;
  3. first level nurses, registered in Sub-Part 1 of the Nurses’ Part of the Register maintained under article 5 of the Nursing and Midwifery Order 2001 (e);
  4. occupational therapists registered in Part 6 of the register maintained under article 5 of the Health Professions Order 2001(c); or
  5. 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 (d).

Those who are suspended from the register or list relevant to the person’s profession mentioned above are not eligible to undertake this module.

Module code: SW7035

Number of credits and level of study: 30 credits at level 7

Assessment: An essay based on a case study evidencing application of the legislative framework, Code of Practice and case law related to the Mental Capacity Act (2005) and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. Third party testimony from the student’s employer that the student is able to keep appropriate records, provide clear and reasoned reports and is competent to practice with people who lack mental capacity is also required. The professional responsible to complete the required ‘Third Party Testimony’ must be approved by the programme as having relevant knowledge of the Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards to provide such a testimony.

Location: Kingston University

Pattern of Delivery: 5 days

Module dates

  • We run two cohorts per year, in February and October

Fee: £1,480

For social workers – This module is part of Advanced Social Work MA.
For other professionals – a free standing module which students can apply, via Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), to be included in other programmes of study.