Last reviewed 17 May 2022

Social Work England has launched consultations on training standards for approved mental health professionals (AMHPs) and the new role of approved mental capacity professional (AMCP).

The Consultation on New Education and Training Approval Standards for Approved Mental Health Professionals relates to the role of AMHPs, and the Consultation on New Education and Training Approval Standards for Approved Mental Capacity Professionals relates to the role of AMCPs, which replaces the best interests assessor qualification.

Following consultation and approval, Social Work England will use the standards to approve and re-approve AMHP training courses and approve programmes, once these are running, to train AMCPs as they carry out their statutory role under the new Liberty Protection Safeguards.

AMHPs and AMCPs can train up from a number of professions such as social workers, nurses, occupational therapists and psychologists, as well as speech and language therapists in the case of AMCPs. Social Work England is the assigned regulator to oversee the training of both roles.

There are several standards specific to each role. For the AMCP course the student has to have at least two opportunities to carry out AMCP tasks under observation by a suitably qualified professional.

For AMHPs, practice placements must be integral to the course, and their number, duration and range appropriate to meeting learning outcomes; and, through collaboration with providers, they must provide a safe and supportive environment and have an adequate number of appropriately trained and qualified staff.

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

Both the consultation relating to AMHPs and that for AMCPs are available at www.socialworkengland.org.uk.