Section 12 introductory course 07/11/2022

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
Course description

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.

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 which combines eLearning modules with live interactive sessions. The eLearning modules are sent in advance and must be completed by the afternoon of the first day of the course. The live interactive sessions are delivered in the afternoon of day 1 and the morning of day 2. 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 and 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.

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

Please note that this course is just part of the s12 approval process.

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 Section 12 approval introductory 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 taught by Dr Penny Brown, a forensic psychiatrist and research fellow. She is the Programme Lead for the iBSc in Forensic Psychiatry, Criminal Behaviour and Law and, as such, has a wealth of experience in this area.

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. As a result, you’ll feel more confident when applying for S12 approval and be able to provide 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.