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Study information

Programme Specification for the 2023/4 academic year

PGCert Professional Practice in Mental Health Law (Trainee MPAC)

1. Programme Details

Programme namePGCert Professional Practice in Mental Health Law (Trainee MPAC) Programme codePCT2PSYLAW02
Study mode(s) Academic year2023/4
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
NQF Level of the Final Award7 (Masters)

2. Description of the Programme

You will study within a vibrant, stimulating and internationally-recognised research environment, where members of your teaching team have first-hand experience relevant to the trainee MPAC role. Your learning experience will be enriched by nationally-recognised, innovative, clinical teaching approaches.

An approved clinician (AC) is “a person approved by the appropriate national authority to act as an approved clinician for the purposes of the Mental Health Act 1983” while a responsible clinician is the “AC who has been given overall responsibility for a patient’s case”. The 2007 amendments to the Mental Health Act 1983 introduced the roles of approved clinician and responsible clinician, enabling mental health professionals other than psychiatrists to carry out duties previously performed by psychiatrists.  This has enabled non-medics to take on this role for the overall care and treatment of service users detained under the Act. This allows mental health or LD nurses, Psychologists, Occupational Therapists and Social Workers to become multi-disciplinary approved clinicians.

The introduction of these roles was intended to deliver enhanced quality of care while also ensuring the best use of our skilled and professionally diverse workforce. It is therefore important to ensure that the approved clinician is the clinician with the right set of skills to address the patient’s main treatment needs. The adoption of this role will allow patients to benefit from the unique perspectives of nurses, social workers, Occupational Therapists and psychologists.

This programme has been designed with reference to the Mental Health Act 1983, Instructions with Respect to the Exercise of An Approval Function in Relation to Approved Clinicians 2015 and the Mental Health Act New Roles Guidance (NIMHE, October 2008). The programme will provide you with a systematic academic and work-based means to enable eligible professionals to prepare for the Approved Clinician (AC) role (Mental Health Act 1983). On successful completion of the programme students will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Practice in Mental Health Law. A strong emphasis throughout the programme will be placed upon your personal and professional development.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

The programme aims to help you develop specialist knowledge in mental health law and apply that knowledge in to practice relevant to trainee multi professional approved clinicians. It will be particularly relevant if you are a registered psychologist, first level nurse whose practice field is mental health or learning disability or a registered social worker and you are interested in becoming an Approved Clinician for the purposes of the Mental Health Act 1983. The programme is therefore designed to support students to develop the knowledge and competencies that they need to acquire if they wish to obtain approval as an Approved Clinician.

The programme aims to support you to develop a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the MPAC role, legal responsibilities and key functions of an Approved Clinician and the Responsible Clinician including an applied knowledge of mental health legislation, related codes of practice and national and local policy and guidance.  The programme will enable you to identify learning needs, develop reflective skills and draw on work-based experience and training to demonstrate knowledge and competencies for the Approved Clinician role.

4. Programme Structure

5. Programme Modules

The PGCert Professional Practice in Mental Health Law (trainee MPAC) programme is a seventeen month part-time programme of study at National Qualification Framework (NQF) level 7 (as confirmed against the FHEQ). This programme is offered in a single stage.

Stage 1


Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
PYCM130 Mental Health Law: Underpinning Knowledge and Context 30Yes
PYCM131 Trainee Approved Clinician Practice 30Yes

6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the role, legal responsibilities and key function of an Approved clinician and Responsible Clinician
2. Demonstrate an applied knowledge of mental health legislations, related codes of practice and national and local policy and guidance in relation to the trainee MPAC role
3. Ability to explain and reflect upon ethical, legal and commercial issues which may arise in mental health context in relation to the trainee MPAC role
4. Ability to analyse complex situations and problems in mental health field with specific reference to the Trainee MPAC role
5. Ability to use supervision and personal reflection as a means to improve your personal effectiveness as demonstrated in the reflective assessments in relation to the Trainee MPAC role

Knowledge and detailed informationare developed through lectures, tutorials, Action Learning Sets, supported by directed research of texts.

Clinical competency is developed through clinical skills modelling, case studies, role play, practice-based experience, service-based supervision and mentoring and self-practice/self-reflection, supported by directed research of texts and journals.

Independent study and practice also form a major part of our teaching and learning methods.

The ILOs are assessed by the following individual methods or a combination of these.

ILOs 1-5:

Learning Needs Plan/proposal (formative):

  • learning proposal in which you will reflect upon your existing knowledge and experience, and the organisational, personal and professional needs that have led you to undertake this programme.
  • You will identify your learning objectives and be able to discuss those learning objectives with your tutor.

 Training Reflective Log (3000 words):

  •  A record and evidence of CPD activities undertaken including evidence of attendance and information gathered.
  • To include a reflective commentary evaluating the learning activities undertaken and how the knowledge and skills developed on the module have been used in the workplace and for personal and professional development. 
  • Record of action learning sets summaries

A 360-degree appraisal report

  • as a minimum, include your immediate line manager/supervisor, multi-disciplinary team colleagues, an AC and, if practicable, a service user, carer or advocate (IMHA).

A statutory report (4000 words)

  • in relation to anonymised/hypothetical case studies (e.g. a First Tier Tribunal, or Managers hearing) which you have prepared. The statutory reports may be hypothetical (i.e. they may have been prepared solely for the purposes of the AC application and as though for a statutory purpose), but must be based on your actual personal contact with a patient.

An anonymised, concise, case commentary

  • relating to your involvement in the care of a detained patient, which should demonstrate your awareness, understanding and reflection on key areas of applied AC competence, and the guiding principles of the Code of Practice. These commentaries could relate to the same cases as the statutory reports.

Supervision and Mentoring Log

  • providing a reflective log of service-based supervision and mentoring throughout the programme

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

6. Demonstrate skills of scientific writing and presenting results.
7. Review and critically evaluate empirical evidence, published work as well as your own work, using a range of defined techniques.
8. Ability to analyse complex situations and problems in mental health field and the ability to reflect on your own knowledge and practice and your current and future role within the workplace

All ILOs are developed through lectures, tutorials, Action Learning and supported by directed research of texts and.

Independent but directed and prescribed study and practice also forms a major part of our teaching and learning methods.

The ILOs are assessed by the following individual methods or a combination of these.

ILOs 6-8

Learning Needs Plan/proposal (formative)

Training Reflective Log (3000 words)

A 360 degree appraisal report

A statutory report

Mock Tribunal role play (formative)

An anonymised, concise, case commentary

Supervision and mentoring Log

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

9. Think critically, creatively and independently.
10. Identify and solve complex problems demonstrating confidence and flexibility
11. Use electronic information retrieval and management tools proficiently and access information from a variety of sources.
12. Work effectively on your own and as part of a team / group.
13. Manage your own learning (autonomy, time management, self-teaching, self-reflection, seeking and using feedback, personal responsibility, self-criticism).
14. Ability to make effective use of feedback in order to enhance your existing knowledge and skills and to make appropriate recommendations for improved workplace practice

All ILOs are developed through lectures, tutorials, Action Learning and supported by directed research of texts and.

Independent but directed and prescribed study and practice also forms a major part of our teaching and learning methods.

The ILOs are assessed by the following individual methods or a combination of these.

ILOs 9-14

Learning Needs Plan/proposal (formative)

Training Reflective Log (3000 words)

A 360 degree appraisal report

A statutory report

Mock Tribunal role play (formative)

An anonymised, concise, case commentary

Supervision and mentoring Log

7. Programme Regulations

Full details of assessment regulations for all taught programmes can be found in the TQA Manual, specifically in the Credit and Qualifications Framework, and the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook.

Additional information, including Generic Marking Criteria, can be found in the Learning and Teaching Support Handbook.

Programme-specific Progression Rules

You must pass all modules in the table above. The pass mark for these modules is 50% with an additional requirement to pass all individual assessments within individual modules. You must pass these assessments as described in the individual module descriptors. If you fail any compulsory assessments your registration as a student will be terminated with immediate effect.

There is a 100% attendance requirement. Should your attendance fall below 80%, you and your tutor will create and implement an action plan.

Classification

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

Within Psychology there is a well-equipped suite of PCs dedicated for postgraduate use, with further support provided by a dedicated IT and statistics helpdesk.

A range of services is available to support your study both from within Psychology. These include:

  • Team development programme.
  • Personal and professional development planning.
  • Student handbooks and programme guides
  • Range of specialist advisors, including for: women students, non-school leavers, and overseas students.
  • Computing and Statistics Help Desk.
  • Virtual Resource Room and other web-based learning materials.
  • Clinically focused seminars, the ‘Think Tank’, provided by the Mood Disorders Centre.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

10. Admissions Criteria

Postgraduate applicants must satisfy the Postgraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Specific requirements required to enrol on this programme are available at the respective Undergraduate or Postgraduate Study Site webpages.

  • A qualified mental health professional eligible for MPAC with extensive experience post core professional training.
  • Motivation to work towards MPAC application
  • Protected role / time within service and service support to attend the PG Cert and clinical practice related to MPAC practice
  • Service based supervisor and MPAC Mentor willing to provide regular support throughout training to towards application
  • Ability to study at PG level 7 (level 6 qualification in relevant mental health profession or equivalent

Candidates will need to provide evidence of a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check via their employing service.

To undertake the PGCert students must be employed on a paid or voluntary basis within a healthcare setting that has access to patients with severe mental health problems, and be in receipt of weekly case management supervision and fortnightly clinical skills supervision by a suitably qualified practitioner.

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

12. Indicators of Quality and Standards

No accreditation of the programme currently exists. The training programme is determined by the ‘National Curriculum for Mental Health and Wellbeing Practitioners – Specialist Adult Mental Health’.

13. Methods for Evaluating and Improving Quality and Standards

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

N/A

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by

0

18. Final Award

PGCert Professional Practice in Mental Health Law (Trainee MPAC)

19. UCAS Code

N/A

20. NQF Level of Final Award

7 (Masters)

21. Credit

CATS credits ECTS credits

22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

23. Dates

Origin Date

30/11/2021

Date of last revision

07/06/2022