Key Info
  • Type: Unit
  • Level: 7
  • Credits: 30


The aim of this unit is to provide the necessary legislative frameworks and accompanying principles required for practitioners to undertake the statutory role of Best Interest Assessor (BIA). The BIA is responsible for deciding whether a person is deprived of their liberty as defined by Article 5 of the ECtHRs, whether it is in their best interests and for how long an authorisation should last. In order for practitioners to be qualified as BIAs their respective Supervisory bodies will need to be satisfied that they are able to undertake assessments at the standard set in the Mental Capacity (Deprivation of Liberty: Standard Authorisations, Assessments and Ordinary Residence) Regulations 2008. Similarly, practitioners will need to demonstrate the six areas of capability as defined by the College of Social Workers.

Unit Contents

The content will allow practitioners to cover the law and policy requirements for the Best Interest Assessor role under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (Mental Capacity Act 2005). The course will focus on the core skills and knowledge required, as defined by the appropriate regulations, in order for a supervisory body to be satisfied that the candidate is competent to perform the role and to ensure practitioners remain research minded in their application. The unit will also allow the study of organisational cultures and their impact upon decision making and inter professional practice.

The curriculum will address a number of specific areas. Underpinning these areas will be the key themes of mental capacity, best interest decision making and law relating to the European Court of Human Rights.

The curriculum will include:

For detailed information about this unit, please download the specification document.

Study requirements

Students need to meet the eligibility requirements set by the Mental Capacity (Deprivation of Liberty: Standard Authorisations, Assessments and Ordinary Residence) Regulations 2008.

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Units and Short Courses: What’s the difference?

You can study single CPD units to develop your professional skills or combine a number of units to form a degree course, such as a Master’s.

Short courses tend to be standalone courses that are designed to help you develop your expertise but which you can’t put towards a degree course.

Please note: There are different requirements for each unit/short course, for example, you may need accreditation by a professional body to join a course. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss the requirements for the unit/short course you are considering.


When you take a CPD unit, you’ll study at a specific level of learning and cover a specific topic.

Level 5 units are the academic equivalent of diploma level, level 6 units are at Bachelor’s degree level, and level 7 units are at Master’s degree level.

Hours of learning

Each CPD unit you study covers a particular number of learning hours. A 10-credit unit equates to 100 hours of student effort.

These hours include face-to-face contact with a tutor in a one-to-one or group setting, reading and researching time, completing study tasks, online learning, and preparation and completion of an assessment.

Awarded credits

For each unit of study you complete, you’ll receive a number of credits. These credits relate to the length and depth of study involved.

You’ll need 60 credits to achieve a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert), 120 credits to achieve a Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip), and 180 credits for a Master’s degree.

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If you have undertaken prior learning, you may be exempt from aspects of the course you wish to study. This is subject to the University’s RPL policy. Please get in touch to discuss requirements and the types of learning recognised.

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