Adults with incapacity

Add to favourites

Adults With Incapacity Course for General Dental Practitioners, Public Dental Service Dentists and Hospital Dental Service Dentists.  The aim of this course is to provide participants with the knowledge and skills to work under the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000.  This is a 3 day course which includes a 2 day taught block and a future 3rd day for peer review and assessment.


The Mental Welfare Commission (MWC) have produced advice on mental health care and treatment related to the COVID-19 pandemic for practitioners who are using the Mental Health Act and Adults with Incapacity Act when caring for patients.

Please also note that it will likely be updated frequently as the situation develops and the MWC web site should be checked regularly for the latest version.


About the adults with incapacity course

Adults with incapacity, a course for dentists

The aim of this course is to develop the dentist’s knowledge and skills in assessing the capacity of individuals who may come under protection of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) act 2000 (part 5 amendment). This course is aimed at dental practitioners working within a special care setting and general dental practitioners who have a responsibility for patients where capacity might be an issue. The course will be delivered in both lecture and workshop based formats.



Anticipated Learning Outcomes

  • Critically discuss the legislative and ethical dimensions in relation to capacity / incapacity

  •  Identify patients who may come under the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) act 2000

  •  Maximize capacity by supporting the patient to make decisions concerning their dental treatment

  • Execute sound clinical and ethical judgments when making assessments of incapacity and document the process accordingly.

  • Complete accurately and where necessary, a certificate of incapacity under Section 47 of the adults with incapacity (Scotland) act 2000

Course programme

Day One

  • Introductions
  • Brief Overview of the AWI (Scotland) Act 2000
  • Capacity / incapacity
  • Assessing capacity
  • Applying the act
  • S47 form

Day Two

  • Reflections and Questions
  • Working with proxies
  • Advocacy
  • Disputes
  • Putting theory into practice: The Goodlife Group
Introduction to Adults with Incapacity
Adult Support and Protection
Assessment of learning

Assessment of Learning

As part of the course all participants are expected to design and deliver a ten minute presentation on a case which they have been involved in and where establishing capacity was required.  Your presentation should be delivered using Power Point or similar such as Prezi.


Your presentation should include

  • How you established capacity / incapacity
  • Your treatment plan and which factors you took into consideration
  • How you applied the five principles of the AWI (Scotland) Act 2000)
  • A readable view of your completed S47 form or if you didn't require to complete, an example of how you might in the future.

If you have any questions regarding your presentation please do not hesitate to contact


AWI situational judgement test

AWI Situational Judgement Test coming soon!

Legislation and code of practice

The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000

The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 ( 'the Act') was one of the earliest pieces of legislation to be passed by the Scottish Parliament. It provides a framework for safeguarding the welfare and managing the finances of adults who lack capacity due to mental disorder or inability to communicate.

Part 5: Medical treatment and research

Part 5 of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 allows treatment to be given to safeguard or promote the physical or mental health of an adult who is unable to consent. Special provisions apply where others such as attorneys have been appointed under the Act with powers relating to medical treatment.

How to complete an S47 form
Essential Course Reading


The Mental Welfare Comission for Scotland

The Mental Welfare Comission for Scotland has a range of publications, for professionals, people with mental ill health and families and carers. We would recommend that anyone on the AWI course reads the following guides;

Common Concerns with Powers of Attorney

The Right to Treat

Supported Decsion Making

Working with the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act



The Office of the Public Guardian in Scotland

The Office of the Public Guardian in Scotland was created when the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 recieved Royal Assent.

General function to:

Maintain a public register of powers of attorney that have been registered, guardianship and intervention orders granted and authorisations granted under the access to funds scheme.

Registed powers of attorney that are to begin or continue in the event of capacity

Supervise those individuals who have beemnn appointed to manage the financial and property affairs of adults who l ack the capacity to do so for themselves

Inverstigate circumstances made known to us where the property or finances belonging to an incapable adult appear to be at risk.

Course Participants should:

Access this site and familiaraise yourself as you will be expected to discuss the roles of POAs and Guardianship orders

Office of Public Guardian

Clink on this link to access some really good videos created by the Mental Welfare Commision for Scotland

The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland was originally set up in 1960 under the Mental Act. Their duties are set out in current mental health and capacity law.  Please access this site regularly and familiarise yourself with the relevent publications.



Course resources

Health literacy

Health Literacy is about people having enough knowledge, understanding, skills and confidence to use health information, to be active partners in their care, and to navigate health and social care systems. Health Literacy is being increasingly recognised as a significant public health concern around the world.

Making It Easier: a health literacy action plan for Scotland



Leaving feedback for the Good Life Group

Please help us support the work of the Good Life Group to continue their excellent work and leave  feedback. Please click on the image below which will take you to the feedback page. 

Leaving feedback for the whole course

Please click on the link below to leave feedback for the whole course. Your feedback is essential in allowing us to shape the content and delivery of the course for future participants. Click on the image to access the form.