Comprehensive Assessment of At-Risk Mental States (CAARMS) practitioner training

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Course information
Course information
About the course

CAARMS has become the standard tool for assessing people at risk of developing psychotic illness around the world. This programme includes two days of live teaching in addition to an interactive eLearning course and will enable practitioners to implement effective screening of at-risk individuals in their service. It has been developed as a collaboration between experts from Maudsley Learning, the Outreach and Support in South London (OASIS) team, and King’s College London and is delivered by experienced early intervention practitioners. At the end of this course, you will be accredited to administer the CAARMS tool. A 1-day CAARMS supervisor course is also available on request.

Course overview
  • Prevention of psychosis: rationale and impact
  • Detecting emerging psychosis; key psychopathology, stages of psychosis
  • Overview of psychometric tools that can be used to assess clinical high risk (CAARMS, Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes (SIPS) /Scale of Prodromal Symptoms (SOPS), DSM-5 with focus on CAARMS
  • Comprehensive Assessment of At Risk Mental State; foundations and core concepts
  • Core subgroups
  • Environmental and practical setting for assessing clients at risk
  • Thresholds for psychosis; idea of false positive/ false negatives, outcomes in those who do not make transition
  • For ARMS; attenuated psychotic symptoms, brief limited intermittent psychotic symptoms (BLIP), genetic risk and deterioration syndrome
  • Core psychometric CAARMS rating principles; intensity, frequency, onset/ offset, relationship to substance use, anchors, ‘rate don’t formulate’, functioning
  • Core psychometric CAARMS rating scales; P1. unusual thought content, P2. non-bizarre idea, P3. perceptual abnormalities, P4. disorganised speech
  • Complementary psychometric CAARMS rating scales for affective and behavioural symptoms e.g. Sofa’s scale
  • Operational and pragmatic considerations for CAARMS assessment in the NHS; where fits in wider assessment and risk management, pre-screening, transdiagnostic assessment and comorbidities
  • Brief overview of clinical care for ARMS; principles of screening, assessment, follow-up, crisis management and preventive interventions 4
  • Wider context and looking forward; unreliability of CAARMS in the over 35year olds; assessing clinical risk states for disorders beyond psychosis
Learning outcomes

At the end of this course learners will be able to:

  1. Understand the background and rationale for early detection of psychosis
  2. Utilise a range of validated tools to assess people at risk of psychosis
  3. Implement screening effectively in your service
Course timings

Start time 9.00 The first 30 minutes, is to allow for logging in/ arrivals, orientation, and introductions. Teaching will begin at 9.30am

Finish time 16.30

The times listed above are our standard course delivery times but are negotiable. When delivering the course digitally, we will offer you the opportunity to log in from 8.30 or 8.45 am for a last-minute check-in and run-through before the course goes live at 9:00am.

Please be aware that once the course is Live on our website, we will be unable to change the times of the course.


Please click here to download the program FAQ's.


How is the course structured?

The course is structured into two staged levels of training:

  1. Practitioner training (2 days)
  2. Supervisor training (1 day)
  3. Furthermore, there will be an Annual networking event for all trainees- The National Conference on
    Psychosis Prevention

I have no previous certification as a supervisor for CAARMS, however, I have experience with the CAARMS. I would like to apply for the Supervisor course, is this possible?

If you cannot show evidence of CAARMS practitioner certification, you can access the supervisor training by passing a psychometric entry assessment.

Am I eligible for practitioner training?

You are eligible for practitioner training if:

  1. You are currently working for the NHS in early intervention for psychosis, early detection for
    psychosis, general practices, or any other clinical services where you may assess young people with
    emerging mental disorders such as psychosis.
  2. You are also eligible if you are a clinician working with people with emerging mental disorders such
    as psychosis (e.g., but not restricted to a psychiatrist, mental health nurse, or psychologist) in training.
    How much is this course? The course is free for all eligible trainees as it is commissioned, thus fully funded, by Health Education
    England (HEE).

Is this training suitable for adult services?

The training is suitable for staff who work with emerging mental health disorders in young people, i.e., individuals aged 12-35.

Is training just focused on early intervention psychosis services or is there scope for it to be available for 24/7 crisis services?

Crisis services are eligible to apply.

Do I gain certification at the end of the CAARMS practitioner course?

Yes. If you pass the final psychometric assessment, you will become a certified CAARMS Practitioner or certified Supervisor. If you do not pass, you will be given a second chance to complete another psychometric assessment within 1 week. If you still do not pass the second test you will need to retake the practitioner

How is the course structured for a Practitioner?

CAARMS practitioners will be empowered over two training days to learn basic skills and core psychometric concepts through frontal lectures, observation, skills practice, supervision and support to upskill and be able to deliver the assessment in clinical care. All trainees will also benefit from an annual networking event to promote sharing of good practices at the end of each training year.

How is the course structured for a Supervisor?

CAARMS supervisors will receive advanced training over one day, with one refresher half day, to effectively supervise, evaluate and assess CAARMS practitioners to build sustainability and impact. All trainees will also benefit from an annual networking event to promote sharing of good practices at the end of each training year.

How do I know I have been accepted onto the course?

Once you have registered your interest or been nominated by your service lead, we will contact all candidates to confirm whether you have successfully gained a place.

Can I attend one day of the practitioner training?

The course layout for the practitioner course consists of 2 days of bespoke training. Both days must be attended in order to pass the final psychometric test and gain practitioner certification.

What is the CAARMS?

The Comprehensive Assessment of At-Risk Mental States (CAARMS) is a semi-structured psychometric instrument for the identification of the At Risk Mental State (ARMS) based on presenting psychopathology. The ARMS could indicate an increased risk of development of first-episode psychosis.

Who can I contact for more information on the CAARMS course?

If you are interested in this training or have any queries, please contact the CAARMS programme delivery
team at

I am interested in the CAARMS course, however I am outside England, am I eligible?

Unfortunately, as our training is commissioned by Health Education England, we can only recruit NHS England staff.

I am a psychiatrist in training, am I eligible?


I am a GP, am I eligible?


How long is the training?

Practitioner training occurs over two back-to-back training days, with an annual event at the end of the year. Supervisor training occurs over a single training day, with a half-day refresher and an annual event.

How do I register my interest in this training?

Please complete the following 2-minute survey in order to register your interest and deem your eligibility:

If you have any other queries or wish to submit interest on behalf of a whole team, please contact the CAARMS programme delivery team at

I am unsure whether I am eligible for practitioner or supervisor training, can you help?

Please follow the below eligibility flow diagram to deem eligibility for this training:

Course schedule

Target audience
MH nurses (incl trainees) , Healthcare assistants, Social workers, Psychiatrists (inch trainees), General hospital doctors , Allied health , Psychologists (incl trainees)
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Discounted rates are available for group bookings. Please contact us for more information. Maudsley Learning has a full range of courses to meet the needs of your organisation. Most can be delivered to you flexibly and tailored to your requirements.

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We are able to offer custom-made programs, whether digital or face to face, to meet the education and training needs of your organisation in the UK or internationally.


We value research and knowledge-sharing and will continue to contribute to the literature base on mental health education, addressing important research questions in this exciting field.