A set of two sessions, the first of which looks at the key principles of valid consent with adults who have capacity, how and when staff should seek consent, the different ways consent can be given and how staff should respond when consent is refused. This session also looks at ‘Gillick competence’ and how this principle is used when seeking consent from children and young people.

The second session looks at the key principles of consent when the adult may not have the capacity to make decisions. It includes examples of the different occasions when someone may not have capacity and also the fluid and fluctuating nature of capacity. This includes significant content discussing the mental capacity act.

The session covers the different actions staff may need to take in seeking consent, including best interest decisions, emergency situations, advance decisions to refuse treatment and lasting powers of attorney. The accompanying assessment tests the key points.

Course Content:

By the end of this session you will be able to:

  • Define ‘consent’ and be able to explain the criteria required for consent to be valid
  • Explain why it is necessary to get valid consent from a person
  • Describe who can seek consent from a person
  • Explain when it is necessary to seek valid consent from a person
  • Describe the different ways individuals can give or refuse consent
  • Identify some examples of effective communication about a proposed action, treatment or care
  • Describe the implications of providing insufficient information about a proposed action, treatment or care
  • Discuss the individual’s right to refuse consent and appropriate ways to respond to this refusal
  • Define the concept of ‘person who lacks capacity’
  • Describe how a person’s capacity to make decisions can vary and be different for different aspects of their life
  • Discuss the core principles of the Mental Capacity Act (2005) including the presumption of capacity
  • Describe different methods for helping and supporting individuals to make decisions and to participate in the decision-making process
  • Discuss how it is sometimes necessary to act in a person’s best interests when the person lacks capacity to consent to treatment and care
  • Describe how it is sometimes necessary to act in a person’s best interests when the person is unable to consent to treatment and care because of a temporary loss of capacity such as in an emergency situation
  • Describe how advance decisions to refuse treatment are used to convey the wishes of an individual
  • Briefly describe the role of lasting power of attorney

Who is this course for?

Any clinical or non-clinical staff, including unpaid and voluntary staff. Staff involved in specialist roles (e.g. involving research, communicable diseases and the removal, storage, use and disposal of human tissue) will require additional learning to fulfil their responsibilities.


Learning progress and test results can be tracked by managers for internal development and learners can keep a certificate of completion for CPD.

Care Certificate

The course is aligned with the Care Certificate


25 minutes

FAQ & Guidance

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