Mental Capacity Act Training

Specific training must be undertaken in order to carry out certain functions under the Act (such as carrying out a Formal Assessment of Capacity, sitting on a Trust Panel etc.).

To support the implementation of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) procedures in December 2019, the Department commissioned the Clinical Education Centre to develop and coordinate the delivery of DoLS training from 2 September to 13 December 2019.

The training material and courses developed during this period were as follows:

  • Level 1 – Forms Manual – this is instructional guidance on completing forms.
  • Level 2 – General overview of Deprivation of Liberty (E-learning only)
  • Level 3 – Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (Classroom and E-learning)
  • Level 4a – Formal Assessment of Capacity – Theory (Classroom and E-learning)
  • Level 4b – OPTIONAL – Formal Assessment of Capacity – Practical (Classroom only)
  • Level 5 – Trust Panels (Classroom only)

The classroom-based training provided by the Department and delivered by CEC is now completed.  However, Levels 2, 3 and 4a are still available as e-learning.  These are provided at the following links:

In order to be suitably qualified under the Act individuals must complete Levels 2, 3 and 4a. 

In order to act as a panel member on a Trust Panel, individuals must also have completed Level 5 training.  There is no e-learning version of Level 5 training – individuals requiring training to become members of Trust Panels should contact their own Trust for details on how to access Level 5 training.

Further detail on what is included in each module is available to view.

Since January 2020, individual organisations have been responsible for delivering their own DoLS training.  Trust staff should contact their Trust’s MCA Team for details on available DoLS training.

The 'Maintaining Competence and Confidence' document sets out the required mandatory training and the additional Trust training available to fulfil the relevant DoLS functions.  It also provides contact details for each Trust’s MCA Team.

All training must be approved by the Department

The Department will make the material developed for this initial training available on request.

Who should complete the training?

Organisations should give careful consideration to the training needs of their staff. It is important that the right staff, and number of staff, are trained to carry out the specific roles under the Act, but also that all relevant staff have awareness and knowledge of the legislation in general.

Generally speaking, it is recommended that all relevant staff complete the Level 2 e-learning module so that they are aware of what deprivation of liberty is, and what safeguards should be in place if someone is deprived of their liberty. Level 3 will be useful for anyone who will be more involved in ensuring that the specific requirements under the Act are met, for example, those in charge of teams caring for people who may be deprived of their liberty.

Level 4a is relevant to those who will carry out specific functions under the Act, such as formal assessments of capacity, medical reports or completing applications for authorisations. These staff must also be designated by their employer to carry out such functions. If you are not a staff member who will be involved at this level then you are not required to complete this training.

Level 5 is only relevant to those staff who will act as HSC Trust Panel members.

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