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Mental Capacity (welfare) Accreditation

  • From 1 April 2019, HM Courts and Tribunals Service is conducting a pilot to trial a new system for appointing an accredited legal representative.

    Find out more about the pilot

    This accreditation has been designed to prove your experience to prospective clients and their relatives in representing the needs of vulnerable clients. It has been developed in conjunction with, and approved by, the Court of Protection, pursuant to Rule 3A and Rule 6 of the Court of Protection Rules to provide accredited legal representatives (ALRs).

    To view all current members of the scheme, download a list of members (PDF 138 KB). This list is updated each month.

    On this page:

    Who is membership for?

    The accreditation is open to legal practitioners, including solicitors, barristers and fellows of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, who offer advice on health and welfare matters under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
    There is no minimum entry requirement for time spent practising in this area. You will be asked to demonstrate your experience working in this field over three years prior to application. If you have less experience you can still apply provided you can meet the required competences.

    You can choose from two accredited statuses:

    • Accredited legal representative (ALR): recognition for expertise in mental capacity law with ALR status. In accordance with Rule 6, can be appointed by the court under the Rule 3A/Pilot Rule 1.2 to represent P
    • Accredited practitioner: recognition for expertise in mental capacity law without ALR status. Cannot be appointed by the court to represent P as an ALR under Rule 3A

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    Why apply for accreditation

    To help clients confidently choose a practitioner with mental capacity expertise and the experience of working closely with vulnerable individuals and their family to understand and protect their best interests.

    Achieve accredited legal representative status under the Court of Protection Rules

    • The president of the Court of Protection has approved the accreditation, pursuant to Rule 3A and Rule 6 of the Court of Protection Rules, enabling suitably accredited members to act as an accredited legal representative.
    • Accreditation is the only route to recognition as an ALR.

    Reassurance that you are familiar with, and recognise the sensitivities of, working with vulnerable individuals

    • Demonstrate an understanding of the particular sensitivities and vulnerability of clients and the effects of the decisions on health and welfare matters.
    • Proven ability to consider the often conflicting needs of P and other interested parties.
    • Proven knowledge of Court of Protection practice and procedure, and ability to apply knowledge, rules and procedures in a practical and sensitive manner.

    Promote and support access to justice for vulnerable clients

    • Offer reassurance to clients that you will represent their interests right first time to secure the best possible outcome.

    Win more business and increase client satisfaction

    • Benefit from the strength of the Law Society’s brand with a specialist accreditation to support your marketing programmes and generate new enquiries from prospective clients.

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    How to apply

    There are three steps:

    1. Completion of a mandatory training course
    2. Submission of an application form
    3. Interview

    Re-accreditation is required every three years.

    Step 1: Mandatory training

    The prerequisite two-day training course is provided by City University and must be completed prior to submitting your application. Training courses are delivered face-to-face and we accept a minimum of 10 and up to 16 people per session.

    The following dates are available:

    • 25-26 February 2020
    • 3-4 June 2020
    • 14-15 October 2020

    See more information about the course and how to book.

    Step 2: Application form

    Step 3: Interview

    When we’ve received your application, we will notify you if any further information is required. You will then be invited to an interview before a panel of two assessors.

    An hour before your scheduled interview time you will be provided with a case study scenario. It will concern issues around health and welfare matters and you will have to consider how best to represent and advise your client and deal with the issues of law, procedure and evidence. Your knowledge and experience will be tested via a series of competency-based questions on the scenario.

    If you are applying as an ALR, the interview will contain a further assessment in which you will be expected to provide feedback on a mock client interview.

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    Accreditation fees

    A fee is applicable for each application. See accreditaton fees for full details of costs.

    Contact us

    To be kept up-to-date with news on the accreditation and the launch date, email us.

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  • Further help or support

    If you need any further guidance or support, please contact the Accreditation Unit:

    Telephone: 0207 320 5797 (lines are open 09:00-17:00 Monday to Friday)