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Approved Mental Health Professional PGCert

Course Description

The only course of its kind in Wales, the Approved Mental Health Professional programme of study is for those intending to become Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHPs). The Approved Mental Health Professional PGCert has been introduced to meet the new roles and responsibilities for professionals working with individuals who are considered for, and who become subject to compulsory hospital admission and/or treatment and aftercare introduced in the Mental Health Act 2007. One of these changes included the introduction of Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHPs) who will take on the functions that hitherto have been those of the Approved Social Worker (Mental Health Act 1983).

The Approved Mental Health Professional PGCert is validated by the Care Council for Wales and is designed to meet the key competencies required by the Welsh Assembly Government and the Key Skills considered by the Care Council for Wales to be appropriate for the role.


Modules on the Approved Mental Health Professional PGCert typically include:

• Values Based Practice and Ethical Decision Making in Mental Health Services
• Policy and Law in Mental Health Services
• Understanding Mental Health and Mental Distress
• Professional Decision Making and Partnership in the Mental Health Services

Course Structure

There are four core modules for the Approved Mental Health Professional programme taught between October and April, following two induction days in September. Students study over one academic year with an arranged placement to gain practical experience.

Assessment: students of the Approved Mental Health Professional programme are assessed throughout their coursework (written assignments and a practice portfolio). The programme has a 50% pass mark for all modules.

Placements: all students the Approved Mental Health Professional programme are sponsored by their employers who have responsibility for arranging placements.

Staff Expertise

Co-Director, Dr Susan Carnes Chichlowska, is a chartered psychologist. She was awarded her PhD from Aberystwyth University (2011). Sue has been a mental health practitioner for many years and also takes a keen interest in mental health research with a special interest in older people’s health care.

Co-Director Margaret Lougher has a wealth of experience in mental health service practice and management in both the public and private sectors. She is still a practising Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) (and previously an ASW) and has proven experience in teaching and supporting students at Master’s level study. Her current specialist areas of interest are links between Mental Health Act 1983 (2007) with other relevant legislation, national and local policy and guidance, in particular the Children Acts 1989 and 2004, the Human Rights Act and Mental Capacity Act. The service user experience and developing updated methods to integrate those key messages into service delivery are central to her perspective.

Who should take this programme?

Social workers, registered mental health nurses, occupational therapists and clinical psychologists who must demonstrate that they have the support of an employer who will ensure they are provided with the necessary context within which to develop Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) skills and meet the requirements of programme’s approach to assessment; written assignments and a practice portfolio, observation of Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) practice and opportunity to carry out supported Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) assessments. For practical purposes this will almost invariably be within Local Social Service Authorities (LSSAs).

Visit the Approved Mental Health Professional PGCert page on the Swansea University website for more details!

All Available Videos:

Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

The requirements for Approved Mental Health Professional programme include that all candidates be registered within their professional body, have at least two years’ post qualifying experience, have relevant experience of working with people with mental disorders, have the support of their employer and access to appropriate learning opportunities, and have either a Bachelor or Master’s Degree. Please visit our website for more details. This programme is not open to international applicants.

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Recipient: Swansea University

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