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Course content

This course is aimed at qualified experienced professionals in mental health who wish to become approved mental health professionals (AMHP).

You complete three modules to gain the postgraduate certificate, which are • values, ethics and evidence informed practice

  • mental health law and policy
  • AMHP practice (placement).

You study the application of values, ethics and dilemmas, mental health and wider associated law and policy. You also examine the current research that informs knowledge about mental health conditions and treatments. We encourage you to locate and evaluate research findings relevant to your practice.

Learning takes place in workshops, lectures, group and individual tasks and in practice as well as in private study.

During the course you develop

  • autonomous decision making and assessment skills in crisis situations
  • the ability to work with a range of professionals to promote recovery
  • the ability to work in a culturally competent way with a wide range of people in distress the skills and knowledge to apply the law in a way that reflects understanding of the impact on service users and carers

Placements are in your own agency, usually with an AMHP team. An allocated practice educator provides supervision while you shadow and then lead assessments with a range of AMHP colleagues.

Professional recognition

This course is approved by The Health and Care Professions Council.

You are eligible to be approved by your local Social Services Authority as an approved mental health professional.

Course structure

The postgraduate certificate (PgCert) is achieved by successfully completing 60 credits.

Core modules

  • Values, ethics and evidence informed practice (15 credits)

This module explores values, ethics and the research base of current interventions in mental health practice. You gain up to date knowledge from a range of experts on how practitioners can provide effective and safe interventions helping patients towards recovery. You learn to apply interventions in a way which reflects sound value base, service user and carer involvement within a multi-disciplinary arena.

  • Mental health law and policy (30 credits)

This module provides an opportunity to evaluate current law and policy initiatives in the field of mental health, explore ethical dilemmas and apply these to AMHP and other professional roles. You gain an in-depth knowledge of the AMHP role and law and policy issues as they pertain to multi-disciplinary working through the study of current law and policy, service user and carer perspectives and the roles of different professionals.

  • Approved mental health professional practice (15 credits)

This module is only open to those sponsored students who are going on to be approved as approved mental health professionals. It provides a five month placement with opportunities to demonstrate application of the law, policy, values and evidence from research when undertaking AMHP duties under supervision of an experienced, qualified AMHP practice educator. You meet the regulatory requirements for competent practice in a supported learning environment with university support from a placement tutor.


  • reflective essays
  • on-line law test
  • short presentation
  • case studies Practice is assessed during your placement.


Approved mental health professionals (AMHP) work in a variety of teams including

  • crisis teams
  • child and adolescent mental health team
  • recovery teams
  • care management teams
  • older peoples mental health teams
  • learning disability teams

There are a number of roles in management positions in agencies that AMHPs can apply such as lead AMHP roles and AMHP consultant roles.

Visit the Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) PgCert page on the Sheffield Hallam University website for more details!





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Recipient: Sheffield Hallam University

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