Adults with Incapacity - in-house training and support

Adults with Incapacity – understanding the legislation and how to use it effectively

Adult incapacity issues can be both difficult and sensitive. Applying Adults with Incapacity (AwI) legislation is becoming more and more commonplace for health & social care professionals, third sector practitioners and family law solicitors but knowing how and when to make best use of the legislation can often be very challenging.

Developed in partnership with Sandra McDonald, the former Public Guardian in Scotland, our in-house AWI training sessions provide professionals and practitioners with the information required to help and advise both adults with incapacity and those supporting them.

We have designed two half-day masterclasses – a ‘Foundation’ masterclass and an ‘Advanced’ masterclass – each shaped to suit the level of a delegate’s knowledge and practical experience in this area. Both of these are three hour modules, which can be delivered independently as two half day sessions, or combined as a full day’s training.

If you need only a refresher on the Foundation principles but would like to spend longer considering AWI operational challenges and dilemmas then our full-day interactive training session is ideal for your needs.

Being mindful of the demands on everyone’s time, each session can be delivered in your offices or local Council/Health Board HQ on a date that suits – indeed, clients often choose to tag a half-day training session on to an existing team meeting or full-team training day.

Each masterclass is:

  • an interactive session shaped to suit the knowledge and expertise of attendees
  • designed for a maximum of 35 attendees
  • valued at £2,500+VAT for one half-day masterclass and £4,200+VAT for two half-day masterclasses or the full-day interactive training session
We are also conscious of the various pressures on training budgets – should service providers (such as a Council and a Health Board or a number of local third sector organisations) wish to pool together to purchase a masterclass, they are welcome to do so. This can work particularly well for providers who have complimentary or overlapping remits or those who operate in more rural or remote locations.

If you have any queries or would like more information, please contact Mark on 0131 344 4611 or drop him an email at

The half-day masterclasses will offer 3 hours CPD and the full-day session offers around 6 hours. Delegates will be provided with a certificate of attendance upon completion.

Foundation Masterclass

On completion of this masterclass you will:

  • Have practical level knowledge of AwI, power of attorney and guardianship
  • Have an understanding of how to consider a person’s capacity to decision make
  • Know where and how to report concerns

Advanced Masterclass and Full-day training session

On completion of these sessions you will:

  • Have detailed knowledge of AwI, power of attorney and guardianship
  • Be able to assess a person’s capacity to decision make
  • Know the background to supported decision making
  • Appreciate the difference between supported decision making and exercise of legal capacity
  • Know the changes proposed to AwI
  • Have had the chance to actively consider all of this with experienced colleagues

We have designed two half-day training sessions, a ‘Foundation’ masterclass and an ‘Advanced’ masterclass – each tailored to suit the level of a delegate’s knowledge and practical experience in this area.

Foundation Masterclass

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Advanced Masterclass

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Topics to be covered:
General principles

  • What are they?
  • What do they mean in practice?
  • What if they are in conflict?
  • What if you disregard them?
Topics to be covered:
General Principles

  • An understanding of the principles is assumed
  • What changes are proposed?
  • What does this mean for practice?
Supported Decision Making

  • Where has this requirement come from?
  • What is required to comply?
  • How do I comply?
Supported Decision Making v Exercise of Legal Capacity

  • Where has this requirement come from?
  • What’s the difference?
  • Practice changes to evidence compliance
Capacity Assessing

  • Definition under the Act
  • How to apply this in practice
Capacity Assessing

  • An understanding of the definition under the Act is assumed
  • Considering the legal definition, and practicalities of applying this, in the light of exercise of legal capacity
  • Consent v assent
Power of Attorney

  • All your general Power of Attorney questions addressed


  • All your general guardianship questions addressed
Surgery on using the AwI effectively

  • A surgery-style forum where delegates are encouraged to discuss some of the issues or problems they have encountered around AwI and consider appropriate responses and/or remedies
Reporting concerns

  • What and how to report concerns
AwI changes

  • What changes are proposed? (to Power of Attorney, guardianship and generally)
  • What impact may this have on life as we have known it?
  • What procedural changes may you have to make?
Our full-day interactive training session is ideal for those who only require a refresher on basic AWI principles but would like to spend longer considering operational challenges and dilemmas around applying Adults with Incapacity legislation in practice.

Full-day Interactive Training Session
(5hrs 40mins)

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Welcome and introductions
Sandra McDonald, Director, EX-PG Ltd (and former Public Guardian for Scotland)

1hr 40mins
Refresher on AWI foundation matters

  • Review of general principles
  • Refresher on capacity definition
  • High level overview of PoA
  • High level overview of guardianship
  • Intervention orders
  • Access to Funds
  • Investigations
*This session assumes a basic knowledge of relevant AWI matters but offers a reminder of these as a platform for the advanced learning that will follow*

What does the UNCRPD say? What does it mean for practice?

Changes to the Principles
What will this mean in practice?

Supported Decision Making

  • Where has this requirement come from?
  • Consider obstacles to decision making
  • Discussion on applying this in practice

Capacity Assessing – A practical session

  • Changes that will be made
  • Discussion on what this may mean in practice
  • A model of capacity assessing
  • Practical application of common scenarios using the model

Power of attorney – A surgery on dealing with dilemmas

  • Hints and tips for effective use
  • General discussion on problems and challenges with use
  • ‘Surgery’ on overcoming these challenges
  • Update on likely changes

Guardianship Reform

  • Update on guardianship reform
  • Discussion on how this may operate in / impact on practice

AWI reform general update
Potential changes not already covered above

Sandra McDonald, Director, EX-PG Ltd (and former Public Guardian for Scotland)
For 14 years (2004-2018) Sandra was the Public Guardian for Scotland. The Public Guardian supports as well as supervises those appointed, under the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000, to administer the affairs of persons with incapacity. Sandra holds qualifications in law, public sector management and nursing. As Public Guardian, she led a team of 80, delivering a service across the whole of Scotland.

Upon retiring as the Public Guardian in the summer of 2018, Sandra established EX-PG Ltd. She currently offers mental capacity/incapacity advice and training, drawing on the breadth and wealth of her experience as Public Guardian. All Sandra’s advice and training can be tailored to your needs and is specifically designed to assist both those supporting, as well as those developing and delivering services for, people with incapacity.

For more information, please visit –