AMHP and approved mental capacity professional training standards launched for consultation

When approved, Social Work England will use standards to approve and reapprove courses training AMHPs and AMCPs - who will carry out statutory role under the Liberty Protection Safeguards

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Story updated 15 May 2022

Social Work England has issued proposed training standards for approved mental health professionals (AMHPs) and the new role of approved mental capacity professional (AMCP) for consultation.

The standards – when agreed – will be used to approve and reapprove AMHP training courses and approve programmes to train up AMCPs once these are up and running. The AMCP role is being brought in under the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS), which are due to replace the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), potentially in 2023, though a date has not been set. It will, in effect, replace the existing best interests assessor (BIA) role, though will have different functions.

Though AMHPs and AMCPs can come from multiple professions – social workers, nurses, occupational therapists and psychologists, in both cases, and speech and language therapists as well, in the case of AMCPs – Social Work England is the regulator assigned to oversee the training of both roles.

What the proposed standards say

Both standards set the following requirements for providers of AMHP and AMCP courses:

  • Admissions: to ensure that applicants have “suitable prior experience” of applying appropriate legislation and policy, including in relation to mental health, mental capacity and human rights, and an “advanced level of legal literacy”.
  • Course management: to ensure there is adequate provision of appropriately qualified and experienced teaching staff, and that they are supported to maintain their knowledge and understanding.
  • Supporting students: to ensure that students have access to resources to support their health and wellbeing, including through confidential counselling services and careers advice.

There are also several standards specific to each role, for example:

  • AMCP: to ensure the student has at least two opportunities to carry out AMCP tasks under observation by a suitably qualified professional.
  • AMHP: to ensure practice placements are integral to the course, their number, duration and range are appropriate to meeting learning outcomes and, through collaboration with providers, that they provide a safe and supportive environment and have an adequate number of appropriately trained and qualified staff.

Both consultations will run for 12 weeks, until 1 August, with the AMHP standards due to be agreed in the autumn. Social Work England said it would publish guidance to help course providers meet the standards, which will replace existing guidance.

It will also publish guidance to help providers meet the AMCP standards, though the implementation of these will depend on the government’s plans for introducing the LPS.

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3 Responses to AMHP and approved mental capacity professional training standards launched for consultation

  1. Cynthia May 13, 2022 at 9:41 am #

    My suggestion would be that training includes a one month placement on a mental health ward with trainees there for the whole of an early, late and week end shift to really understand what an “admission” actually means. This is the opportunity to once and for all to get rid of the ‘handing over’ culture. People have had their distress compartmentalised for the convenience of professionals, me included, for far too long. If SWE is really committed to empowering peoples lived experience of mental health experiences, it can make a start at eroding the silo mentality of professionals.

    • Anony May 14, 2022 at 7:46 pm #

      I don’t understand what actual benefit spending a month on the ward would achieve, home treatment teams would be far more beneficial. Mental health wards are fake environments and it’s far better to see people in their own environment. As part of the training for AMHP qualification you’d be visiting MH wards to speak to people or attend ward rounds or MDT meetings .. you’d see all you need on the ward there.

      • Mavs May 15, 2022 at 9:25 pm #

        So as an AMHP you get some insight in to the violent abusive settings we are sent to? And the impact of the professional bystander culture ?

        Personally wouldn’t let the trainee go home or have food or communation devices or bathroom doors. And of course don’t forget the routine threats of all male prone restraint – especially if you are a woman. Let’s ensure no sexual safety in line with the norm.

        And the obligatory 83 hr wait in the MH suite of the local ED manned only by security guards with no enhanced DBS checks who in any other arena would be arrested for assault. Before sending the would be AMHP hundreds of miles away to an out of area private placement for well over 28 days and at least long enough to ensure you lose uour income and in turn your housing .

        Can’t see the problem really…..

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