Standards

Mental Health

Under the constitution, ‘those who have been approved to be members of the Law Society’s Mental Health Accreditation Scheme or are actively seeking membership of that Scheme’ are eligible for membership of the Association.

Mental Capacity

Additionally, ‘those who undertake mental capacity law matters under a Legal Aid contract and practise under supervisory criteria in mental capacity law as published by the Association’ are eligible to be members of the Association. The following are the standards to be met by a supervisor in this category:

1. 350 hours of casework in respect of proceedings in the Court of Protection in the last 12 months (we do not consider that it is appropriate at this stage to specify numbers of cases as one MCA case can take several hundred hours).

2. Of the 350 hours of casework, at least 235 hours must be personal casework and a maximum of 60 hours may be file reviews and supervision, with external training delivery at a maximum of 60 hours, research etc at a maximum of 60 hours, and other supervision at a maximum of 115 hours (this is to take account of the need to ensure that the standard can be achieved by suppliers over time with more supervision in the initial stages).

3. Ability to recognise the following types of cases or case issues:

– A dispute as to welfare, property and affairs or serious medical treatment where the COP has jurisdiction
– deprivation of liberty and compliance with the ECHR
– need for an IMCA
– need for community care advice
– the circumstances in which a Deputy may be appointed
– the interface between MCA proceedings and judicial review
– the interface between the MCA and the Mental Health Act 1983
– the nature and requirements of LPAs, and advance decisions

4. Legal training – attendance on at least one recognised course (not less than 5 hours CPD) regarding welfare applications in the Court of Protection, covering also deprivation of liberty issues under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

5. Access to the following:

– Mental Capacity Act 2005
– Code of Practice
– Court of Protection Rules
– Deprivation of Liberty Code of Practice
– Practice Directions
– An up to date text on the Mental Capacity Act 2005 including the latest DoL provisions with an analysis

6. Access to a medical reference publication regarding categorisation of mental disorder.

7. Access to judgments in the Court of Protection and cases concerning financial applications as well as welfare issues.