Best Interests Assessor

Best Interests Assessor Page Main Image

Best Interests Assessor 15 credits at level 7 (Postgraduate/Master's)

Course Overview

This module provides the opportunity to acquire the qualification required for to carry out the duties of Best Interests Assessors, as required by the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) regulations. It is open to professionals from social work, nursing, occupational therapy and psychology who have at least two years post-qualifying experience.

On completion of this module students are expected to be able to:

  • Demonstrate the critical ability to keep appropriate records and to provide clear and reasoned report in accordance with legal requirements and good practice
  • Demonstrate the professional knowledge and skills necessary to obtain, evaluate and analyse complex evidence and differing views and to weigh them appropriately in decision making
  • Critically apply knowledge of relevant legislation and codes of practice (including the Mental Health and Mental Capacity acts and the DOLS regulations).


For this module there is a minimum post qualification experience requirement of two years.


Teaching and Learning

The teaching and learning strategy for this course involves a mixture of classroom based activities (including lectures from several different expert persons with the requisite knowledge of relevant legislation and guidance); class discussions, and small group work on relevant case studies; extensive reading, and some practice based activities.

As part of this module there is a requirement to shadow a Best Interests Assessor for a minimum of one case, which is designed to provide the material for one of the assessment items within the portfolio. Students are required to negotiate access for this.



Assessment is comprised of two elements:

  • A 45 minute unseen multiple choice exam, worth 25% of the overall module marks
  • A written portfolio, equivalent to 3,000 words, comprised of a detailed case study involving a best interests assessment scenario (60%) and a critical reflective piece (40%), which makes up the remaining 75% of the overall module marks

To pass students must achieve a minimum of 50% in each assessment element.


Course Dates and Costs

The next delivery of this course will take place in the 2022/23 academic year, please register your interest at

For enquiries, please contact the post registration team at


Closing Date for Applications

Applications will close once we have reached our maximum cohort size. Subsequent applications received will be added to a waiting list for the next available cohort. You are therefore advised to submit an application as soon as possible for your chosen cohort, and to ensure to include all necessary supporting documentation, as applications are considered in the order they are received by the Course Administrator.