Best Interests Assessor (BIA)

Course overview

The Mental Capacity Act provides a frameworks for decision making for people aged over 16 years who may lack capacity to make some decisions for themselves. 

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards provides additional safeguards for people in care homes and hospitals, who need to be there for the purpose of receiving care and/or treatment but who lack capacity to consent to these arrangements.

Successful completion of this course will enable students to fulfil the statutory requirements of the Best Interests Assessor (BIA) role. Students will have a clear understanding of relevant legislation, an ability to record and report the decision making process and a full appreciation of the need for a person centred and rights based approach to Best Interests decision making.

Experienced practitioners and educators will deliver the module syllabus via presentations and seminars. 

Over six days there will be a mix of lectures and seminars. Lectures are delivered to the full student group with work discussion and observation style seminars in smaller groups (of five or six students). 

Students will arrange to shadow 2 BIA assessments during the time of the course and will also undertake three hour-long observations in a group care setting of either a hospital ward or care home. Reflecting on the observation and shadowing experience is a key learning activity on this course. 

Education and training at the Tavistock and Portman is distinctive.  We are one of very few providers in the UK that can offer education within an NHS mental health clinical setting.  

This programme offers a reflective approach to understanding of the statutory BIA role. Regular work reflection groups enable students to explore the boundary between their professional and personal self as well as to understand the values and ethical principles that drive the BIA process. 

This course is for practitioners wishing to become Best Interests Assessors.

"The BIA course is very comprehensive, thought–evoking, creative and gave me an opportunity to evaluate my own practice"

"The course covered a substantial amount of information which followed a sequence that was easily picked up on. Information and materials were very structured and created good team working"

"A brilliant mixture of taught sessions, group discussion, observations, written work and reflection. The law test was challenging but useful"

"Excellent! I can honestly say the teaching has been the best I have experienced since starting my social work career, including the teaching during my degree! The passion of the trainers is inspiring and was obvious throughout." 


Candidates must be from one of the following professional groups

  • Nurses
  • Social workers
  • Occupational therapists
  • Chartered or registered psychologists

You must be registered with your professional registration body and must have a minimum of two years post qualification experience. Knowledge of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 is also required.

In preparation for the course, students need to arrange to arrange shadow 2 BIA assessments during the time of the course and to undertake three hour-long observations in a group care setting of either a hospital ward or care home. These opportunities all need to be arranged in advance of the start of the course  

Each day runs from 9.15am - 4.45pm, on the following dates:

  • Tuesday 25 February 2020
  • Tuesday 3 March
  • Tuesday 10 March
  • Tuesday 17 March
  • Tuesday 24 March
  • Tuesday 31 March

To book onto this course, please fill in the following background form and return it to Max Fendrich at

Successful candidates will be notified of their place on the within 2 weeks of submitting the form above.  If you are successful you will then be sent a link to complete your application online.

The fee for this course is £1300.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

Included in your course fee, you will receive full membership of the Tavistock’s internationally-renowned library for the duration of your course.

Our friendly and knowledgeable library team will help to support you through your specialist CPD course, whatever your level of professional or academic experience. You will have access to an extensive range of eBooks, online journals, all the relevant key databases and our specialist audio-visual collection plus reference access to all our print books. Our Information Skills Trainer has made lots of material available on Moodle to help you to navigate our comprehensive electronic collections.  PCs and photocopiers are also available for your use.

Library staff curate various online resources, such as Audio/Video Playlists and Subject Updates, to help you stay on top of latest developments, as well as regularly sharing helpful news and research on Twitter and Facebook. Find out more on the Library website:

Certificate of attendance
The Tavistock Centre, London
Admission status:
February 2020 to March 2020

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