Section 12 and Approved clinician trainings

Mandatory courses for doctors/clinicians seeking Section 12 or Approved Clinician status

Delivered by experienced instructors, we are closely affiliated with King’s College London and part of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), ensuring top-quality mental health training.

Whether you're a seasoned Approved Clinician seeking renewal or a professional aspiring to become one for the first time, or even a clinician/doctor aiming to attain initial Section 12(2) Approval, Maudsley Learning offers a tailored suite of courses to meet your needs. Our comprehensive offerings include a mandatory two-day Section 12 induction course for doctors pursuing initial approval and a validated 1-day refresher course for those renewing Section 12 status. Additionally, for professionals meeting the requirements to become Approved Clinicians, our 2-day AC introduction course is essential, while ACs seeking renewal can benefit from our validated 1-day refresher course.

Delivered by experienced and qualified instructors, our courses are closely affiliated with King's College London and operated by the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), the leading provider of mental health services in the UK. This ensures that participants receive the most accurate and up-to-date information available. Renowned for our world-leading services, we are the preferred choice for healthcare staff seeking comprehensive mental health training.


Section 12 introductory

This two-day course is designed for doctors, including psychiatrists, GPs, and forensic medical examiners, who are seeking Section 12 (2) approval for the first time.

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AC introductory course

This 2 day, online blended learning course is designed for individuals applying to become an Approved Clinician* for the first time , including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers & nurses

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AC refresher course

This is a one-day course for qualified clinicians (psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists and nurses) needing to renew their Approved Clinician status.

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Section 12 refresher

This 1 day course is exclusively for doctors, psychiatrists, GPs, and forensic medical examiners seeking re-approval for MHA Section 12(2)*. It is restricted to professionals who are already section12

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Dr. Penny Brown

Consultant forensic psychiatrist and research fellow

These courses are 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.

Upcoming courses

Frequently Asked Questions

The Approved Clinician & Section 12 Approval Process

Please be aware that these courses represent only a portion of the AC approval process, which may vary depending on your location. For further details, please reach out to your regional approvals panel. See below for contact information:

If you are seeking Section 12 approval for the first time or wish to refresh your Section 12 approval, kindly book one of our Section 12 courses here.

For those seeking to refresh their Approved Clinician status, please book the Approved Clinician refresher course.

For doctors already approved under Section 12, this course automatically includes Section 12(2) renewal, eliminating the need for separate course attendance.

Course applicants from South London & Maudsley NHS Trust should contact to secure their place.

* an Approved Clinician under the Mental Health Act 1983 section 12ZA (5)

How long does it take to become an Approved Clinician/Section 12?

It can take up to 6-8 weeks for the panel to review and approve your portfolio, with the process potentially extending even further in certain instances. To expedite the process, ensure that you initially meet the approval criteria and include all necessary documentation.

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.

How do you become an approved clinician?

First, you need to gain a good understanding of the roles and responsibilities of an Approved Clinician. You must also have a working knowledge of assessment, treatment, care planning, clinical leadership, equality and diversity, and communication. Once you make an enquiry for approval, your regional panel will send you an application form. From there, you’ll have to submit a portfolio of evidence, which will be sent for approval by the panel. For more information, read the following Department of Health document: Guidance for seeking Approved Clinician status via the portfolio route.