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  • Writer's pictureTeam Nellie

Who Can Complete a COP3 Mental Capacity Assessment Form?

When it comes to assessing an individual's mental capacity, particularly in the context of completing a COP3 form, there's a common misconception that only medical practitioners are qualified to undertake this task. So, who can complete a COp3 Mental Capacity Assessment Form? recent legislative changes and clarifications within the Mental Capacity Amendment Bill (2019), alongside adjustments to the COP3 form itself, have broadened the understanding and acceptance of who can competently carry out these assessments.

The rewording of the new COP3 form is a reflection of an evolving approach towards mental capacity assessment, underscoring the notion that professionals other than medical practitioners can competently complete the assessment. This shift is not just a matter of bureaucratic change but a recognition of the diverse expertise needed to fully assess an individual's mental capacity.

The Mental Capacity Amendment Bill (2019)

The Mental Capacity Amendment Bill (2019) has been a pivotal piece in the puzzle of mental capacity legislation, ensuring that the law is more inclusive of professionals from various backgrounds. This legislative change has made it clear that assessing someone's mental capacity is not a task reserved solely for medical practitioners or psychiatrists.

The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) Code of Practice

Furthermore, the MCA Code of Practice, particularly paragraphs 4.38 to 4.43, supports this legislative direction by clarifying that capacity assessment is within the scope of various professionals, not exclusively those in the medical field. The Code of Practice emphasizes the importance of a multidisciplinary approach, recognizing that professionals such as social workers, occupational therapists, and nurses, among others, have valuable contributions to make in the assessment process.

Who Can Complete a COP3 Mental Capacity Assessment Form

Broadening the Scope of Who Can Complete a COP3 Mental Capacity Assessment Form.

By broadening the scope of who can complete the COP3 form, the legal system acknowledges the multifaceted nature of mental capacity. It recognizes that understanding an individual's ability to make decisions involves more than a medical diagnosis; it encompasses a wider range of social, psychological, and environmental factors that other professionals are well-equipped to evaluate.

Social workers, for example, bring a deep understanding of the social and environmental contexts that impact an individual's decision-making abilities. Their training in person-centred approaches and safeguarding makes them eminently suitable for undertaking capacity assessments, as evidenced by cases such as A Local Authority v SY [2013] [2013] EWHC 3485, which emphasized that "appropriately qualified social workers are eminently suited to undertake […] capacity assessments."

The Importance of a Diverse Perspective

Incorporating a diverse range of professionals into the mental capacity assessment process enriches the assessment, ensuring that it is comprehensive and considers all aspects of an individual's life. This approach aligns with the principles of the Mental Capacity Act (2005), which is designed to protect and empower individuals who may lack the capacity to make certain decisions for themselves.


The amendments to the Mental Capacity Act and the rewording of the COP3 form represent a significant step forward in recognizing the valuable contributions of a range of professionals in assessing mental capacity. This inclusive approach ensures that assessments are thorough, person-centered, and reflective of the individual's needs and circumstances. As the understanding of mental capacity continues to evolve, it's crucial that the legal and professional frameworks adapt to ensure that every individual's rights and autonomy are upheld to the highest standard.

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