UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


Delivering adult and older adult acute mental health inpatient care

Welcome to the competence framework for staff working in acute mental health inpatient settings with adults and older adults. This site gives open access to the framework, which details the attitudes, knowledge and skills that need to be brought together to deliver effective interventions when working in this setting.

The framework has been developed by researchers and clinicians at University College London (UCL) and North East London NHS Foundation Trust. The framework has been endorsed by the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health, which is a collaboration between UCL and the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the Royal College of Nursing, The British Psychological Society, and the Association of Clinical Psychologists UK

The primary audience for this work will be health workers, trainers and supervisors, and clinical managers and commissioners of services. However, the framework will also be useful for patients and their family and carers because it sets out what can be expected from a well-functioning service.

It is important to start by reading the background document, which explains how the competence framework was developed and includes a guide to its content.

Access the background document here

Accessing and downloading the competence framework

There are two ways of accessing the competences:

1. You can download them from the map of competences (which you can access by clicking the image of the map below).

The map sets out the structure of the framework and shows how the competences relate to each other. Placing the cursor over any of the boxes in the map takes you to the relevant competences.

You can download a pdf of the map here.

2. If you want to see all the competences grouped by domain, available as individual files or in a single document, you can get access here:

Parts of the map

Attitudes, values, and style of interaction

Basic knowledge of issues related to acute mental health inpatient care

Communication skills

Professional competences for all healthcare workers

Generic relationship competences

Assessment, formulation, and planning

Structured care and intervention

Psychosocial Interventions


Professional competences for organisations