Section 12 introductory course - 21/02/2023

Course information
This course will take place online and provide access to eLearning platform
Length and time
2 days
£0.00 - £375.00
Course information
This course will take place online and provide access to eLearning platform
Length and time
2 days
£0.00 - £375.00
About the course

​This is a two-day online course suitable for doctors (psychiatrists, GPs, and forensic medical examiners) who are applying for Section 12 (2) approval. Specifically, it’s designed for those who are applying for the first time.
If you are seeking to refresh your Section 12 status, please book the Section 12 refresher course here. If you are seeking Approved Clinician status for the first time, or to refresh your Approved Clinician status, please book one of our Approved Clinician courses here.

At the end of this two-day course, medical practitioners will have sufficient knowledge of the Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA), the MHA Code of Practice, and other relevant legislation (including the Mental Capacity Act) to enable them to make medical recommendations in support of an application for detention under Part 2 of the MHA.

This is an online blended learning course that combines eLearning modules with live interactive sessions. The eLearning modules are sent in advance and should be completed by end of the first day of the course. The live interactive sessions are delivered on the second day. The sessions are led by clinical and legal experts in mental health law, as well as AMHPs, service users, carers, and specialists in Child and Adolescent Forensic Mental Health. The course uses interactive quizzes, case discussions, talks, small-group break-out sessions, and legal updates to ensure delegates are fully equipped to take on the role of Section 12 doctors.

​Please note that this course is just part of the section12 approval process. If you're looking to renew, book on to our Section 12 refresher course instead.

Course programme

The course covers:

  • Criteria for Detention under the MHA
  • Human Rights and the experience of detention for patients and carers
  • Mental Health Law: The Legal Framework
  • Roles & Responsibilities of s12 Doctors
  • Role of the AMHP in the MHA Assessment
  • Mental Health Act Documentation

Day One




09:00 -17:00

Pre-course quiz, intro, modules 1-10, post-course quiz

Self-directed learning

Day Two




09:00 - 10:00

MHA essentials- live MCQ, Q&A

Course lead

10:00 – 11:00

Role of AMHP, nearest relative Q&A



11:00 – 11:15

Coffee Break

11:15 – 11:45

Service user perspective Q&A

Service user

11:45 – 12:30

Medico-legal and forensic issues Q&A

Forensic psychiatrist

12:30 – 13:30


13:30 – 14:30

Case law update and legal considerations

Mental Health


14:30 – 15:00

Nearest relative and carer perspective


15:00 – 15:15

Coffee Break

15:15 – 16:15

Children and young people- case examples and Q&A

CAMHS consultant

16:15 – 17:00

Becoming S12 approved Q&A, final evaluation, and feedback

Course lead


Course Ends

Learning objectives
  • understand the provisions contained in Part 2 MHA relevant to the initial detention of a patient under s 2, 3 and 4.
  • describe the role of a s12 (2) doctor and others when undertaking MHA assessment.
  • understand the meaning of, and refer to, the criteria for detention under part 2.
  • describe the guidance contained in the Code of Practice relevant to the role and responsibilities of a s12 (2) doctor when undertaking a MHA assessment.
  • use knowledge of the impact that an assessment may have on patients and their carers to inform the approach to an assessment.
  • complete the statutory forms lawfully.
Why study this course ?

Learn from the experts

At Maudsley Learning, you’ll be taught by our expert team of mental health professionals and practitioners. This course is led by Dr. Penny Brown, a consultant forensic psychiatrist and clinical research fellow. As a former Associate Medical Director of Mental Health Law and the course lead for s12 and Approved Clinician training since 2019, she has a wealth of experience in this area. She is joined by service users, carers, mental health lawyers, AMHPs, and other clinical specialists who share a passion for improving the understanding and implementation of mental health laws in clinical practice.

Gain confidence

If you’ve not dealt extensively with the Mental Health Act (MHA) before, then this course will provide a comprehensive introduction to the topic. Not only is this course mandatory when applying for s12 approval, but it will also help you to consider the perspective of the patient and to feel more confident when applying the law and providing suitable recommendations regarding detention.

Course schedule

Target audience
This course is suitable for: doctors (psychiatrists, GPs and forensic medical examiners) who are applying to one of the four approval panels in England (North of England, Midlands and East, London, South of England) for Section 12 approval for the first time. If you are seeking Approved Clinician status for the first time, or to refresh your Approved Clinician status, please book onto one of our Approved Clinician courses here. If you are seeking to refresh your Section 12 status, please book onto the Section 12 refresher course here. Course applicants from South London & Maudsley NHS Trust should contact to book their place.
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Course lead

Commission options

Group bookings

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.

Bespoke courses

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.

Frequently asked questions

How do I get Section 12 (S12) approved?

Typically, doctors must attend a two-day validated course (this course would count towards S12 approval and all participants will receive a completion certificate after attending both course days), complete an application form, submit evidence and provide a CV, photo and course certificate. However, the process varies according to your location – please use the following links for more information:

  • London – please email
  • South of England – please email
  • North of England – please email
  • Midlands and East of England – please email

What does Section 12 (S12) approval mean?

Section 12 approval means a doctor can recommend compulsory admission for assessment or treatment under the Mental Health Act 1983. Where the MHA requires two doctors to make a recommendation, at least one must be Section 12 approved.

Regional approvals panel contact details

There are four regional Approved Clinician and Section 12 Approval Panels. These are

  • England South
  • London
  • North of England
  • Midlands and East of England





London Approvals Panel Mental Health Unit Northwick Park Hospital Watford Road

Harrow HA1 3UJ

Telephone: 0208 869 3515

Fax: 0208 869 3516


Approvals Lead: Denista Wincey Email:

Panel Chair: Dr Masum Khwaja

Deputy Chair: Dr Anna Higgitt

S12/AC Administrators: Philip Thompson, Asmita Soni

Barking & Havering Barnet

Bexley & Greenwich Brent & Harrow Bromley (Kent) Camden & Islington Croydon

Ealing, Hammersmith & Hounslow East London & the City

Enfield & Haringey Hillingdon

Kensington, Chelsea & Westminster Kingston & Richmond

Lambeth, Lewisham & Southwark Merton, Sutton & Wandsworth Newham

Redbridge & Waltham Forest

England South

Winterhead Ltd. England South Approvals Panel S12/AC Office


Approvals Administrators:

Nerissa Millett Sam Bolton


Head of Business: Hilary Eagles


Approvals Manager: TBC

Panel Chair: Dr. Hasanen Al-Taiar

South Central: Berkshire Buckinghamshire Hampshire

Isle of Wight Oxfordshire

South East Coast: Kent (except Bromley) Surrey


South West:


Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Devon

Dorset Gloucestershire Somerset Wiltshire

Midlands & East of England

Midlands & East of England Approvals Panel, Section 12(2) Approvals Office Midlands and East of England Approvals Woodfield House, Tickhill Road Site, Doncaster, South Yorkshire DN4 8QN

Telephone: Tel: 03000 211699 (11699) Email:

Approvals Manager: Neena Abraham Email:

Panel Chair: Dr. David Goodhead

Panel Coordinator: Elizabeth Morgan

Approvals Assistants:

Arlene Shepherd Nicola Murray

East of England Bedfordshire Cambridgeshire Essex Hertfordshire Norfolk


East Midlands

Derbyshire Leicestershire Lincolnshire Northamptonshire Nottinghamshire Rutland

West Midlands Herefordshire Shropshire Staffordshire Warwickshire West Midlands Worcestershire

North of England

North of England Approvals Panel

West Park Hospital Edward Pease Way

Darlington Co Durham


Website: - search for NEAP

Approvals Manager: Allison Mosley

Panel Chair: Dr Gill Bell

Panel Vice Chairs: Dr Mischa Mockett (North West)

Jan McAdams (Yorkshire)

Approvals Coordinators: Nicola Churchward Paula Hodgman

Jayne Wall Marjorie Wilson


North Yorkshire

East Riding of Yorkshire South Yorkshire

West Yorkshire

North East:

County Durham Northumberland

Tyne and Wear

North West: Cheshire Cumbria

Greater Manchester Lancashire Merseyside