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Mental Health Act Advisory Group

The function of the group is to advise and guide members and the society on aspects of the Mental Health Act and related legislation.


The Mental Health Act Advisory Group is convened and constituted under the Statutes and Rules of the BPS Charter and operates under the supervision of the Practice Board.

The role of the group is to advise and guide members and the Society on aspects of the Mental Health Act and related legislation.

Read more about the Mental Health Act


The Approved Clinician frequently asked questions (FAQs) document has been produced with the assistance of Sue Ledwith, Dr Nicholas Todd, Dr Bruce T. Gillmer and Professor John L. Taylor.

Download the FAQs


The Mental Health Act Advisory Group runs an approved clinician forum networking and CPD event every year.

The date for the next Approved Clinician Forum is 24 November 2023 at the BPS London office.

Find out more about the Approved Clinician Forum

The BPS Approved Clinician Peer Review Panel was established following the implementation of the Mental Health Act 2007 that introduced the extended role of the (multi-disciplinary) approved clinician (MPAC).

The purpose of the Peer Review Panel was to support psychologists (and latterly members of other eligible professions) in preparing their portfolios of evidence for submission to the Regional Approvals Panels.

In the early days this was a valuable resource as the process of application was new and unclear and support and mentorship for aspiring MPACs was not developed.

The panel also provided quality assurance for both employing organisations and Regional Panels who were unused to managing applications from non-medical staff.

In the intervening years the support available to trainee MPACs from employers, workplace mentors, university mentors and via Regional Panels has developed considerably.

As a result, the use of the BPS Peer Review Panel has reduced very significantly.

It has been decided, therefore, to stand-down the panel.

Read more about the Mental Health Act

Approved Clinicians

A Responsible Clinician (RC) is the Approved Clinician (AC) who has overall responsibility under the Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended by the Mental Health Act 2007) for a patient's case, including those who are discharged from hospital but who remain liable to be detained (e.g. those on a Community Treatment Order).

An AC is a person approved by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (via a regional approvals panel) for the purposes of the MHA.

ACs not acting as RCs for particular patients have other responsibilities under the Act, e.g. AC's holding powers, review of patients in seclusion.

Becoming an approved clinician

Psychologists, nurses, occupational therapists and social workers (in addition to medical practitioners) can be approved as ACs.

Before considering training and seeking approval as an AC you are advised to look at the following information and guidance:

The Department of Health (2017) guidance recommends that prospective ACs have their portfolios reviewed by BPS prior to submission to regional panels.

For more information please see our FAQs or e-mail [email protected].

Approved clinician discussion list

We also run an email discussion list for people who are already AC/RCs or those interested in the role.

In the discussion group people can share information, network and find help.

This is open to all relevant professions.

To be added to this group please email the team