Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice and Other Resources

The legal framework provided by the Act is supported by Codes of Practice which provide practical information for how the Act works. These Codes support Phase 1 of the implementation and commencement of the Act only.

It is important to note that Section 288 of the Act requires the Department of Health to prepare one or more Codes of Practice which must be laid before the Assembly. The joint Code coveringMoney and Valuables and Research was laid before the Assembly on 2 September 2019.  The Code in relation to Deprivation of Liberty was laid before the Assembly on 25 November 2019.

It should also be noted that Section 289 of the Act provides that the Codes have a statutory force, meaning that certain people have a legal obligation to have regard to the relevant Code when working with people who lack, or may lack, capacity to make decisions for himself or herself. Further information is contained in the Codes.

Codes of Practice

Deprivation of Liberty Code of Practice

The following Code focusses on how the provisions relating to Deprivation of Liberty work:

Hard copies of the Deprivation of liberty safeguards: code of practice are available from The Stationery Office (TSO)

Please note that TSO charge a fee for hard copies (£18)


Money & Valuables and Research Code of Practice

The following Code is provided in relation to money and valuables for residents or inpatients and research:

Other Key Documents


In addition to the Code, there is also a set of statutory Forms available to use in relation to deprivation of liberty. These can be found in the Forms section of the website.

Information Leaflet

The following leaflet provides a summary of the key information in relation to deprivation of liberty processes:

Process Maps

The following process maps provide short summaries of a number of key aspects in relation to deprivation of liberty processes:


The following document details scenarios which provide examples of how the processes around deprivation of liberty, as required by the Act operate in practice:


The following document is a presentation that delivers an overview of the Act and Phase 1 of implementation:

MCA(NI) 2016 – Policy papers

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