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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness


Mental Health Act 


Mental Health Act Training

Eligibility criteria for S22 Approval and how to become Section 22 Certified

To be eligible for S22 approval you must be a registered medical practitioner who is either:

  • a member or fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, or
  • have four years continuous experience in the speciality of psychiatry and are sponsored by your local medical director.

To complete your training under the Mental Health Act 2003 follow these instructions:



Step 1 – Part 1 (Self-assessment)

Go to NES website and read the materials and then complete the online MCQ self-assessment test. You must get 100% on the exam but you may have as many attempts as needed.

Once you have passed your self-assessment, the College will contact you within 10 working days to send you a certificate and register your details with Walkgrove Ltd for Part 2 of the training.


On occasion, there can be a delay in receiving notification from NES of your completion of Part 1.  Consequently, to avoid any delay, it is asked that you retain any confirmation of successfully completing the self-assessment (i.e screenshot) and send on to Susan Richardson


Step 2 – Part 2 (Training Day)

In order to be Section 22 certified you must attend a 1-day MHA Training Day. You will receive an invitation to the course from Walkgrove Ltd as soon as we have verified your eligibility.

Walkgrove will only issue certificates for completion of training when the course fee has been paid in full. However see below under Refresher training for an update regarding initial training and providers.

Please note that the next Part 2 training day has not been scheduled.  These are arranged on a demand basis and when sufficient numbers of candidates are available.  The website will be updated once a date is known.

Please contact Susan Richardson or Walkgrove Ltd if you have any further questions.


Step 3 – Contact your local Medical Manager & register with your local Health Board

Completion of training does not mean you are automatically approved under the Act, as the College is not responsible for approval this is a Health Board responsibility. You still need to show your two certificates to your local Medical Manager and ensure that they have registered you with the local Health Board. Once you are registered, your approval is transferable throughout Scotland (i.e. if you register with one Board and then move to a different area your approval moves with you). Approval is valid for 5 years at which point it is recommended that you attend a refresher training course (however see below for the current situation regarding Refresher training).


Mental Health Act Initial and Refresher Training

Important Message for Members about Mental Health Act Training


AMP training as required under Section 22 of the Mental Health (Care & Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 has, since September 2006, been provided by Walkgrove Ltd. Walkgrove Ltd also maintain and update the training materials as required.


Following discussions with the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the Scottish Government commissioned the production of a package of AMP Refresher Training.   Walkgrove Ltd successfully tendered for and was awarded the contract to develop these training materials. This work is now complete and the new refresher training material, along with the initial training materials, will shortly be made available to the NHS for delivery of the training in-house or by another provider on their behalf.


The refresher training consists of two half day modules – one mandatory and one elective, details below: -


Refresher Training - Core module – Mandatory Module

The aim of this module is to provide an overview and an update of some of the more controversial or problematic issues relating to the day to day use of mental health legislation by AMPs.  Topics covered are (1) Reviewing best practice and other experiences, (2) Reviewing experiences that would benefit from a best practice approach, (3) The Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland, and (4) The interface of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 and Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 with the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003.


Refresher Training – There are three Elective Modules

1. Decision Making capacity

The aim of this module is to help participants understand relevant changes to the legal framework that have occurred since they first undertook s22 approval training and refresh knowledge concerning capacity; incapacity; and SIDMA.  The module aims to clarify issues relating to patients’ decision making capacity; autonomy; and when to use differing statute.


2. Forensic and restricted cases

The aim of this module is to help participants understand aspects of the legal framework that they need to take account of when they are dealing with forensic and restricted cases.  In addition to those who work in forensic sciences the target audience includes both non-forensic AMPs and those who work in intensive psychiatric care units.


3. Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

The aim of this module is to provide an overview and an update of the aspects of mental health legislation which relate to children and adolescents.  The target audience includes both non-CAMHS AMPs and those who deal exclusively with children and adolescents.


Current Position - AMP Refresher Training

Currently there is no legal requirement for AMPs to undertake Refresher Training.   However, Scottish Ministers intend to issue a Direction making it mandatory for all AMPs to undergo refresher training.


All NHS Boards were contacted by letter on 26 November 2012 advising of the current state of play and seeking their views on when Refresher Training should be undertaken.  The Scottish Government view is that this should be no later than 5 years after initial training.  Contained within the letter of 26 November 2012 were suggested transitional arrangements to cover those AMPs who would be outwith the 5 year refresher training requirement, should that be the agreed period.  These transitional arrangements are shown below:

Year of initial training

Refresher training must be completed by:


31 December 2013


31 December 2013


30 June 2014


31 December 2014

2009 onwards

Within 5 years from original training

The Refresher Training modules will therefore be available in advance of any Direction coming into force.  This will provide an opportunity for AMPs to undertake the training in advance of it becoming mandatory.


Current position - AMP Initial Training

This training is currently provided by Walkgrove Ltd.


Future Position

When the AMP Refresher Training modules are available, the initial training modules will also be available to the NHS for delivery of training either in house or by another training provider on their behalf.



The Scottish Government Directorate for Health and Social Care will write to all NHS Boards advising them of (a) the new arrangements for Initial Training, (b) the new arrangements for Refresher Training; and (c) informing them of when the packages will available to them for use. 


In the interim NHS Boards should note:

  • that there is currently no requirement for any AMP to undertake Refresher Training.
  • both the Initial Training package and the Refresher Training package will be available to the NHS for delivery of training either in-house or by another training provider on their behalf, and
  • that is proposed that special arrangements as detailed in the table above be made to cover any AMPs who will have already passed whatever period is agreed for undertaking Refresher Training. 

If you have any further questions with regards to any of the above then please contact Susan Richardson at the RCPsych in Scotland or telephone 0131 344 4965.

  MWC Advice Notes - March 2014 Please click here to read the latest advice notes on some of the legal and ethical aspects of mental health care and treatment in Scotland.

RMO Forum 

The Forum had been organised with a purpose of sharing information on relevant legal and procedural matters in connection with the Tribunal. The aim is to share information and discuss any particular problems or difficulties.

Any RMO who wishes to join the forum should contact Karen Addie at

To see notes following forum meetings click here

How to become DMP/Second Opinion Doctor in Scotland for the MWC

For full details on this and how to apply see here.

New MWC Guidance Publication 'Right to Treat'

The MWC has published new guidance on situations where adults without capacity actively resist or refuse treatment for physical illness.

It had been found that many health and social care staff were unsure of what to do for people in these situations, and that people suffered because they did not get necessary treatment. There were also cases where people had treatment imposed on them that may not have been necessary.

It is hoped this guidance will be helpful in deciding on appropriate and humane treatment for people who lack capacity and refuse to be treated. The guidance will not cover every situation but the general pointers should be helpful. MWC are always willing to give advice on specific situations.

New Mental Welfare Commission report into the use of compulsory community treatment in Scotland

See full report called "Lives less restricted"

Restricted patient Standing Tribunal process

The new restricted patient Standing Tribunal process came into effect on 8 August 2012. You can access the Motion for Adjournment Intimation letter here, and the motion for adjournment form will be available on the MHTCoroTeam website but is attached here for convenience.



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