Assessing Mental Capacity

This training programme guides you through the process of assessing a person's mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. It looks at the Mental Capacity Act and the 5 key principles involved in assessing mental capacity.

Key Features & Benefits of this Course

  • Complete this online course in just 45 minutes
  • Particularly suited to those working in the Care industry
  • Comply with Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • End of course test and printable certificate
  • Free trial, online demo and bulk discounts available

Assessing Mental Capacity Course Contents

1. The Mental Capacity Act

Mental capacity is the ability to understand and make a decision when it needs to be made. The Mental Capacity Act protects people who can't do this, those who can't make decisions for themselves.

In this section we look at The Mental Capacity Act, who it applies to and its relevance when assessing someone's mental capacity.

2. The Five Principles

The Mental Capacity Act is based on five key principles which protect people who may lack capacity. These principles ensure people are given the help they need to take part as much as possible in decisions that affect them.

This section looks at these principles. Following them makes sure that the appropriate action is taken. They can also help you find solutions in difficult or uncertain situations.

3. Helping People Make Decisions

It's important to use a person-centred approach when there is a decision to be made:

  • Make the person feel at ease
  • Consider what they need to know in order to make the decision
  • Think about the best way of presenting the information to them

This section is about providing the right information and communicating it clearly. It's about supporting a person and giving them all the help you can to make a decision for themselves.

4. Capacity Assessment

You may have tried to help someone make a decision for themselves, but still be concerned that they are unable to do so. Before you make a decision for them you need proof that it's more likely than not that they lack the capacity to make the decision.

This section explains the two-stage test you need to complete. It also looks at using restraint, emergency situations and court approval.

5. Disagreements and Complaints

Sometimes a mental capacity assessment might be challenged. You then need to be able to provide objective reasons as to why you believe a person does or does not lack capacity.

In this final section we look at ways challenges can be resolved, making a complaint and dealing with a complaint made against you.

 Test & Certificate

This Assessing Mental Capacity course concludes with a 20 question multiple choice test with printable certificate. In addition, brief in-course questionnaires guide the user through the sections of the training, and are designed to reinforce learning and ensure maximum user engagement throughout. As well as printable user certificates, training progress and results are all stored centrally in your LMS (Learning Management System) and can be accessed any time to re-print certificates, check and set pass marks and act as proof of a commitment to ongoing legal compliance.


Familiarising yourself or your staff with The Mental Capacity Act 2005 is essential for anyone working in Care, Education, or any other profession in which it is likely that you may have to make judgements about the mental capacity of a person in your care.

The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) is designed to protect and empower individuals who may lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions about their care and treatment. It is a law that applies to individuals aged 16 and over. Examples of people who may lack capacity include those with: 

  • dementia
  • a severe learning disability
  • a brain injury
  • a mental health condition
  • a stroke
  • unconsciousness caused by an anaesthetic or sudden accident

 If you can’t make decisions for yourself because you don’t have the mental capacity to make them, the Mental Capacity Act 2005 tells you what you can do to plan ahead, how you can ask someone else to make decisions for you and who can make decisions for you if you haven't planned ahead.

For the purposes of this Act, a person lacks capacity in relation to a matter if at the material time he is unable to make a decision for himself in relation to the matter because of an impairment of, or a disturbance in the functioning of, the mind or brain

Mental Capacity Act 2005, Section 2 (1)

In the case of an act done, or a decision made, by a person other than the court, there is sufficient compliance with this section if (having complied with the requirements of subsections (1) to (7)) he reasonably believes that what he does or decides is in the best interests of the person concerned

Mental Capacity Act 2005, Section 2 (9)

If there is a disagreement about whether a decision is in your best interests, you or someone helping you can go to the Court of Protection to settle the disagreement.

This kind of training helps to ensure that decision makers are well-versed in the appropriate legislation - as well as understanding their duty of care - and are therefore better-equipped to assess the mental capacity of those for whom they are responsible. 

In Scotland, the legislation relating to assessing mental capacity falls under the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000.

There is currently no equivalent law on mental capacity in Northern Ireland. The Bamford Review of Mental Health and Learning Disability is looking at how current law affects people with mental health needs or a learning disability in Northern Ireland.

 Reviews More reviews

Excellent easy todo

By on March 21, 2017
Found it interesting and easily explained. Wasn't too long either. Good quality also. I passed with 100%.

excellent course well detailed.

By on February 18, 2017
I sincerely appreciate this course namely Mental Capacity Act. I ve been in this business in the healthcare sector for almost 12 years. I believe this will enhance more my knowlege regarding this particular topic.

easy to follow

By on December 30, 2016
No summary provided.