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Best Interest Assessor - 20 credits

Currently viewing course to start in 2024/25 Entry. Switch to 2023/24 Entry

The key educational aim of the course is to ensure that you recognise your role in the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards implementation. This includes a strong commitment to   Human Rights, ADP and ensuring the principles of valuing diversity and equality are maintained....

  • Level CPD
  • Study mode Short Course
  • Location City South
  • School School of Education and Social Work
  • Faculty Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences

This course is:


The key educational aim of the course is to ensure that you recognise your role in the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards implementation. This includes a strong commitment to   Human Rights, ADP and ensuring the principles of valuing diversity and equality are maintained. The programme of study is relevant to all practitioners who work with adults in a Health and Social Care setting who have a condition that may affect their mental capacity and decision making.

This course is not open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

As a BIA, you will need to be employed by the local authority who has a legal responsibility to authorise a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard as a Best Interest Assessor. This can be as an independent assessor or as a BIA who is already employed by the LA. You will be able to promote and safeguard the well-being of vulnerable adults who lack mental capacity in a care setting and ensure that their detention is compliant with Human Rights legislation.

The Best Interest Assessor course is a standalone 20 credit module at post graduate level 7. The module team that deliver the following modules consist of experienced social work academics, BIA practitioners and a legal expert in mental capacity issues.

You will be exploring the ethical dilemmas involved in practice focusing on case law, cutting edge research and evidence based practice in deprivation of liberty and mental capacity work.

You will shadow a BIA assessment in practice   PRIOR to coming on the course and reflect on this as part of your summative assessment.

There is a range of teaching and learning methodologies available that will meet your needs as a graduate student.

The staff have years of experience of delivering high quality BIA training in the region.

You will be part of one of the largest universities in the country and the learning campus is in the heart of Birmingham, in Edgbaston.

There are a range of students support services from wellbeing services to learning support services, library and an active students union.

Why Choose Us?

  • Experienced academic social work staff in the field of Dols/ mental capacity/ mental health practice who deliver high quality teaching and learning at postgraduate level
  • Pastoral and academic tutorial support. Individual tutor support for each student on the course
  • Contribution from a range of practicing BIAs who work in the heart of an inner city to the course delivery and assessment
  • Period of study leave to prepare for the assessment.
  • Law teaching by a legal expert in the field of deprivation of liberty, human rights and mental capacity
  • Focus on underpinning values of diversity and anti-oppressive practice in Health and Social Care

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.


Starting: Oct 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Short Course
  • 3 weeks
  • £820
  • £820 per 20 credits

Fees for Full-time students

This course can be studied on a Full-time study basis. The cost per year of study is based on credit requirements for that year.

International students

Sorry, this course is not available to International students.

The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

How to apply

You will need to arrange to shadow a Best Interest Assessor prior to coming onto the course and submit a Combined Form 3 as evidence of this, prior to a conditional offer being made as this is a DOH requirement.

You can contact the BIA admissions officer/module co-ordinator for the shadowing guidelines.

You will also need to provide two named referees from practice, one in your present area of employment.

Course in Depth

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Course structure

The course is of a ten day duration and there is a separate two day induction programme a week before to introduce you to the module.

The week consists of four full days teaching with study time at the end of the week and time for a mock VIVA exam to discuss your shadowing experience.

You will be offered a tutor to support you individually.

Module content

As a BIA student you will be able to explore legislation that is specific to this statutory  role such as the Human Rights Act 98, Mental Capacity Act 2005, Mental health Act 83 amended 2007.

You will be considering case law and judgements made regarding deprivation of liberty safeguards and the less restrictive alternatives.


This course has been approved by the Department of Health and has had excellent student reviews with an intake that spans across the UK.

Facilities & Staff

Our facilities

Our School of Education and Social Work is based at our City South campus in leafy Edgbaston.

We’ve spent £41million expanding the education facilities at City South. These facilities offer hands-on practical experience, replicating the spaces you will come across in professional practice. Alongside classrooms and lecture theatres, we also have a range of specialist teaching and learning spaces for specific subjects including science, design and technology, drama and physical education.

As well as subject-specific rooms, our facilities include the Primary Innovation Lab, which houses £24,000 worth of LEGO. This room is a special resource for our education students, offering an innovative and creative way to approach subjects across the curriculum – from computing to English, mathematics to art. The lab responds to research that children and young people learn best from practical experience.

Our Social Work students have access to a home environment room and mock hospital wards which offer an opportunity to gain experience of working with service users in different situations.

Computer facilities

The Seacole building has two open-access IT Suites which offer PCs, printers, photocopiers and scanners. There is also an IT Helpdesk for quick and easy help with your computing or internet issues.

Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

In addition to desktop PCs, we also offer a laptop loan facility, allowing students to borrow a laptop for up to six hours while on campus.

Our staff

Inderjit Patel

Senior Lecturer/Programme Director

Inderjit has delivered teaching and learning across a range of modules on professional social work programmes including Social Work Theory and Method, Law, Values and Ethics, Sociology, Child Protection, Mental Health and Inter professional practice during the last 10 years as a Senior Lecturer in Social Work. She has also delivered teaching and...

More about Inderjit


Course enquiries

If you would like to enquire about this course please contact the module coordinator, Inderjit Patel on: