Assessing Mental Capacity


This online training course helps the user understand the process of assessing a person’s mental capacity to make decisions for themselves.

It covers UK law, specifically the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the 5 key principles involved in assessing mental capacity. The course also shows the user capacity assessment examples and how to deal with disagreements and complaints.

Learning Outcomes

In this course you will learn:

  • The five principles used to assess mental capacity.
  • The details of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, and your responsibilities towards compliance.
  • What is meant by a ‘person-centred approach’, why this is important, and how to apply it to help people in your care make their own decisions.

Course Contents

This course consists of five sections:

Section 1: the Mental Capacity Act 2005

The Mental Capacity Act protects people who find it difficult, or who are unable, to make decisions for themselves. Section 1 of this course breaks down the legislation to explain what it means, to whom it applies, and how it should be included as part of an assessment of a person’s mental capacity.

Section 2: the five principles of the Mental Capacity Act

Section 2 looks at the five key principles that are the foundation of the Mental Capacity Act and how they can be used to ensure compliance with the legislation.

Section 3: helping people make decisions

Helping people who struggle with making decisions requires patience and understanding of that person’s individual needs and difficulties. This section explains how you can approach the communication of important information in a way that is clear and neutral and allows the individual to reach their own conclusions through your support.

Section 4: capacity assessment

If you believe that someone is unable to make their own decisions, you are required to provide evidence that it is ‘more likely than not’ that they have the mental capacity to make a decision at this time. Section 4 details the two-stage test required to obtain this evidence, in addition to court approval and emergency situations where restraint may be required.

Section 5: disagreements and complaints

Section 5 goes into further detail about the processes that may occur after you have completed a capacity assessment, including challenges to your judgement, complaints, and examples of reasons that a person may or may not lack the mental capacity for decision-making.

About the Course


The Assessing Mental Capacity Training course promotes a person-centred approach to judging whether or not someone has the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. Separated into five key sections, it details the procedures required to make that judgement, while keeping the person in question and their individual needs and desires, at the centre of the process.

Capacity assessment is based on the five principles of the Mental Capacity Act. This course explains the legislation and these foundational principles in order to demonstrate why each step in mental capacity assessment procedures are necessary and how they should be completed.

While put in place to protect vulnerable people who may not be able to make decisions for themselves at the time, the legislation also protects carers and medical professionals, by ensuring procedures that are defensible if challenged. The final section of the course explains how to demonstrate your objective reasoning for judging a person to be lacking capacity, so that you can evidence the support you have provided as well as justify your processes.

Available in 31 languages, the course takes around 40 minutes to complete.


    All courses translated into over 30 languages.