Mental Health Officer Training Programme.

Local authorities are required under section 9.1 of the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1984 to appoint Mental Health Officers (MHO's) to discharge the functions conferred on them by the Act. The Act provides that no person shall be appointed to act as an MHO unless he/she is approved by their local authority as having competence in dealing with persons suffering from mental disorder. In accordance with guidance from Central Government, the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) issued requirements for the training of MHO's.

The West of Scotland MHO Training Programme was approved by SSSC in 1995. New requirements have recently been issued by SSSC (April 2000) and the programme is beginning the process of seeking approval under the new arrangements.

The West of Scotland Programme involves nine local authorities; Argyll and Bute; East Dunbartonshire; East Renfrewshire; South Lanarkshire; and West Dumbartonshire. The four West of Scotland authorities (Dumfries and Galloway; East Ayrshire; North Ayrshire; South Ayrshire) run their own separately approved MHO training programme.

The Programme

Completion of the programme will normally take from 9 - 12 months from selection to approval as competent to practice.

The programme is based in the Training Centre, 117 Brook Street, Glasgow. The main elements comprise:

Candidates must submit a portfolio of work that should present evidence of their competence as an MHO.  Successful completion of a portfolio leads to candidates receiving the SSSC Mental Health Social Work Award.  This award is part of the broader Post-qualifying training framework and gives candidiates 60 credits towards the 120 credit Post-qualifying Social Work (PQSW) Award.

Further details can be obtained from the Consortium Office, tel: 0141 5549897.

©West of Scotland Consortium for Education and Training in Social Work 2001.