Liberty Protection Safeguards and MCA/DoLS training – time for a reboot!

Rod Landman
Rod Landman, ARC England Lead Trainer

by Rod Landman
Lead Trainer, ARC England

The government announcement that the transition from Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) to Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) has been booted into the very long grass was, probably, the least surprising thing to happen in Westminster in the last 12 months.

When we were originally promised imminent changes I prepared a series of one-hour ‘all you need to know’ webinars for ARC England members. As deadlines came and went these were initially postponed and finally cancelled, on the grounds that it wasn’t fair to ask members to spend time and money preparing for changes that might not happen.

The continued delays to LPS are a major disappointment to adult social care providers who were anticipating a streamlined operation. Perhaps even more disappointing is the allied announcement of a deferred revision to the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice, which is now ridiculously out of date.

I worry that some of you may have been postponing MCA/DoLS training for managers and front line staff on the (quite reasonable) grounds that there was no point committing substantial resources when everything was about to change and you would only have to go through it again. Given the various postponements of the new legislation this could have been going on for years.

Well, if you have deferred MCA/DoLS training, it’s time for a reboot! High quality, interactive training about MCA/DoLS underpins service quality and pays dividends. If your frontline staff understand the five key principles of the Act and are living and breathing them on a daily basis, then the people you support are very likely to be receiving a service that respects their rights and empowers them.

Up-to-date training will also address key Court of Protection judgements which have emerged in the last few years, which range from the basic ‘correction’ of the two-stage test for capacity to the more sophisticated understanding on assessing whether people can make a lawful decision about starting a sexual relationship, accessing the internet or using contraception. For the latter, if it was a ‘test’ that was universally applied I suspect that very few of us would pass. Do you know the advantages, disadvantages, side effects and accepted effectiveness of every type of contraception?!

There were high hopes, as well, that an updated Code of Practice would offer more comprehensive guidance on the tricky issues of fluctuating capacity and executive function/dysfunction. There is, however, some fairly robust good practice guidance that can be derived from case law. Again, good quality training will include this. Talking of which . . .

ARC England continues to offer our high quality, interactive and up-to-date suite of MCA/DoLS training workshops for:

Our full calendar of scheduled training courses.


All our courses can be delivered either online or in person at our usual highly competitive rates.

If you need to train 10 or more staff members, we can run the courses in-house exclusively for your organisation, either online or in person at your workplace.

To find out more, contact [email protected] or for an informal discussion about your organisation’s requirements, contact me at [email protected].